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7 must-see highlights at Art Basel Miami Beach 2016

Art Basel Miami Beach opens on 1 December, 2016, and we can’t wait to check out its showcase of art pieces by veteran and up-and-coming artists from around the world. Held at Miami Beach Convention Center (MBCC) in Florida, the annual art fair also includes talks by artists and gallerists.

Into its 15th year, Art Basel Miami Beach features 269 exhibitors from 29 countries, ranging from Copenhagen’s Christian Andersen to London’s Thomas Dane Gallery and homegrown art practice Singapore Tyler Print Institute (STPI). What’s special about its latest edition is that its Public category — which presents public art installations in Collins Park — is themed “Ground Control” and is inspired by the late music icon David Bowie. This public exhibition is organised in collaboration with The Bass Museum of Art and displays over 20 artworks.

For those planning a trip to the lovely coastal city of Miami Beach, we’ve put together a list of 7 things to see at the show. And if you’re a Madonna fan, you’re in for a treat.

Art Basel Miami Beach 2016 takes place from 1 December to 4 December, 2016.


Umbrella from: Fundamentals (2016) by Michael Craig-Martin

This whimsical painting is created by Irish-British conceptual artist Michael Craig-Martin, who is known for using recurring motifs of umbrellas and buckets in his work. Craig-Martin is a veteran in the art scene: During the ’70s and ’80s, he was a teacher at Goldsmiths College in London, where he nurtured young artists the likes of Damien Hirst.

(Photo credit: Michael Craig-Martin and Alan Cristea Gallery, London)

Evening 9:10 461 Lenox Avenue (1964) by Romare Bearden

This collage by the late Romare Bearden is inspired by the themes of race and politics in 1960s America, and depicts a scene in Harlem, New York. A champion of African-American culture, Bearden is known for his collages composed of coloured paper, fabric and magazine clippings — which produced an interesting textural effect.

(Photo credit: Romare Bearden and DC Moore Gallery)

Miami Mountain (2016) by Ugo Rondinone

Swiss-born artist Ugo Rondinone’s colourful tower of painted boulders is part of Art Basel Miami Beach’s Public category and is permanently displayed in Collins Park. The installation is inspired by North America’s hoodoos, which are essentially rock formations that have stood the test of time.

(Photo credit: Ugo Rondinone and The Bass)

ARTFASHION by Patricia Field

Sex and the City‘s costume designer Patricia Field has made her Art Basel debut with the launch of ARTFASHION, an exhibition and gallery shop showcasing apparel and artworks by a group of artists handpicked by her. The clothes on display include painted jackets, t-shirts, corsets and vests designed by artists such as Tom Knight, Scooter LaForge and Suzan Pitt. Pictured here is a corset emblazoned with gumball machines, which is created by Knight. His designs have been spotted on the likes of Lady Gaga and Britney Spears.

(Photo credit: Patricia Field)

Tears of a Clown by Madonna

On December 2, 2016, Madonna will be at Art Basel Miami Beach to host a special event comprising an art auction, dinner and Tears of a Clown live performance. The event takes place at Faena Forum, and is held in support of The Mercy James Pediatric Surgery Hospital in Malawi. The Queen of Pop last staged her Tears of a Clown show as a one-off performance in Melbourne in March, so this is certainly an opportunity that die-hard fans won’t want to miss. More details here.

(Photo credit: Madonna)

Hot Iron (2016) by Adrià Julià

Featuring an assortment of black-and-white magazine pages, photographs and pictures, this intriguing multimedia installation is the brainchild of Barcelona-born artist Adrià Julià. It is inspired by filmmaking and the interdependence that people share with their environment.

(Photo credit: Adrià Julià and Dan Gunn)

Pink Boogie (1975) by Norman Lewis

Like its name suggests, this oil on canvas work by Abstract Expressionist painter Norman Lewis features a vibrant dance of pink and blue brushstrokes. Lewis rose to prominence in the 1940s, when he entered the art scene as the only African-American in the first generation of Abstract Expressionist artists. Many of his art pieces were used as a medium to convey messages about the struggles and issues faced by African-Americans in society.

(Photo credit: Michael Rosenfeld Gallery LLC, New York, NY)

Sara Yap
Deputy Director, Digital Operations (Asia)
Sara Yap is the Deputy Director of Digital Operations at BurdaLuxury, and a contributing writer to Lifestyle Asia’s dining and jewellery beats. When she’s not on the lookout for exciting new restaurants or bejewelled trinkets, she’s probably buried in a riveting read, or reminiscing the good ol’ days with her favourite playlist of ’90s boyband hits.