The 2016 edition of Art Basel Miami Beach brings together over 200 galleries, including 21 first-time exhibitors.

Art Radar takes a look at some of the highlights at the art fair coming from Asia and Africa.

Artwork from GALLERYSKE, Bangalore. Image courtesy Art Basel Miami.

Artwork from GALLERYSKE, Bangalore. Image courtesy Art Basel Miami.

From 1 to 4 December 2016 galleries from around the world will converge on Art Basel Miami Beach. In Art Basel’s 15th edition in Miami Beach, there are an impressive 269 galleries expected from 29 countries across North and South America, Europe, Asia and Africa. The art fair is proven to be a highlight of the art calendar, with almost all the galleries from 2015 reapplying and 21 new galleries included in the 2016 edition.

Taro Izumi (Take Ninagawa), 'Fish-Bone-Hanger', 2010. Image courtesy the artist and the gallery.

Taro Izumi, ‘Fish-Bone-Hanger’, 2010. Image courtesy the artist and the gallery.

While the list is large, there are a great number of galleries coming from North America and Europe, with an impressive 95 galleries coming from New York alone. Other hubs include London (33 galleries), Paris (23 galleries), Berlin (24 galleries) and Los Angeles (17 galleries).

Oliver Payne (NANZUKA), 'How’s The Weather ? … Who Cares !!!', 2015. Image courtesy the artist and NANZUKA.

Oliver Payne, ‘How’s The Weather ? … Who Cares !!!’, 2015. Image courtesy the artist and NANZUKA.

There are a number of sections to the art fair:

  • Galleries
  • Nova: galleries can present up to three artists, showing works created within the last three years
  • Positions: a platform for a single artist to present one major project
  • Edition: exhibits from leading publishers of editioned works and prints
  • Kabinett: galleries present a curated exhibition in a separately delineated space within their booths
  • Survey: a range of projects including presentations by an individual artist, juxtapositions and thematic exhibits from artists representing a range of cultures, generations and artistic approaches
  • Public: over 20 large-scale sculptures and installations
  • Film: a programme of films
  • Magazines: a booth for art publications from around the world display their magazines
Artwork from Goodman Gallery. Image courtesy Art Basel Miami.

Artwork from Goodman Gallery. Image courtesy Art Basel Miami.

Exhibitors from Africa

The two African galleries exhibiting in Art Basel Miami hail from South Africa and have sites in Johannesburg and Cape Town. Goodman Gallery is a long-standing international contemporary art gallery that was established in Johannesburg in 1966. The gallery engages with contemporary and emerging artists based both in southern Africa and the diaspora. Stevenson Gallery is a younger gallery that opened in 2003 and has a focus on the region. As well as supporting their stable of artists, Stevenson has also exhibited artists such as Francis Alÿs, Rineke Dijkstra, Thomas Hirschhorn, Glenn Ligon and Walid Raad in South Africa.

Wong Ping (Edouard Malingue Gallery), 'Still from ‘Doggy love’', 2015. Image courtesy Edouard Malingue Gallery.

Wong Ping, ‘Still from ‘Doggy love’’, 2015. Image courtesy Edouard Malingue Gallery.

Younger galleries and first-time exhibitors

The section called Nova is dedicated to younger galleries and this year it will feature 35 exhibitors. For the first time Hong Kong-based Edouard Malingue Gallery will participate in Art Basel Miami Beach, bringing over a film by Wong Ping (b. 1984), paintings by Josef Strau (b. 1957) and work by Vivian Suter (b. 1949). Hong Kong artist Wong Ping creates installations of a fantastical animated world that touch upon topics such as sex, politics and social relations. Running throughout Wong Ping’s work is the concept of control or limitation.

Keiichi Tanaami (Nanzuka), 'Dazzling City', 2016. Image courtesy the artist and NANZUKA.

Keiichi Tanaami, ‘Dazzling City’, 2016. Image courtesy the artist and NANZUKA.

Another inclusion from Asia in the Nova section is Tokyo-based Nanzuka gallery. They will present a large-scale mixed media canvas by Keiichi Tanaami (b. 1936), drawings by Hiroki Tsukuda (b. 1978) and a video by Oliver Payne (b. 1977). The work of Keiichi Tanaami, leading pop artist of postwar Japan, is driven by numerous themes. As the artist describes,

A magazine that is packed to the brim with human interests and desires bears a strong resemblance to who I am as a person. My life is not a straight shot, with one central theme running through it like a book. It would be more properly called a ‘magazine editor’s life’, spent looking about at my surroundings constantly, wandering from place to place, engaging in a wide variety of work along the way.

aajiao (Leo Xu Projects), 'Gfwlist', 2010. Courtesy the artist and Leo Xu Projects, Shanghai.

aajiao, ‘Gfwlist’, 2010. Image courtesy the artist and Leo Xu Projects, Shanghai.

Another new inclusion to the art fair is Leo Xu Projects from Shanghai. They will present an installation of works by aaajiao (b. 1984), Cui Jie (b. 1984) and Liu Shiyuan (b. 1985), exploring the urban model and dystopian myth of Shanghai. Each artist explores a different vision of their experiences living, working and exhibiting in Shanghai. They investigate realities of contemporary life, such as negotiating travel in an increasingly gloablised world, the cyber sphere and new urban models.

In her oil paintings, Cui Jie creates an image of fused cityscapes that question China’s shifting urban landscapes. Meanwhile, Liu Shiyuan reveals her experiences of urban living based upon her time spent in China, the USA and Denmark through a fictional diary interspersed with images of digitally manipulated floral patterns.

Kishio Suga (Tokyo Gallery + BTAP), 'Protrusion KX87', 1987. Image courtesy the artist and Tokyo

Kishio Suga, ‘Protrusion KX87’, 1987. Image courtesy the artist and Tokyo Gallery + BTAP.

A divers range of galleries

There are a number of Asia-based galleries participating in Art Basel Miami Beach 2016, including Pace Gallery, Galerie Urs Meile, Galleria Continua, ShanghART Gallery, Blum & Poe, Tina Kim Gallery, Gagosian Gallery, Simon Lee Gallery, Tokyo Gallery + BTAP, Lehmann Maupin, Galerie Perrotin and White Cube Gallery.

Teresita Fernandez (Lehmann Maupin), 'Fire (America) 2', 2016. Image courtesy the artist and Lehmann Maupin, New York and Hong Kong.

Teresita Fernandez, ‘Fire (America) 2’, 2016. Image courtesy the artist and Lehmann Maupin, New York and Hong Kong.

Pace Gallery, based in a number of locations including Hong Kong, Beijing, New York, London, Paris and Palo Alto, will be featuring the geometric, bronze and aluminium sculptures of Joel Shapiro. In addition they will have a number of other modern and contemporary masters, such as Lee Ufan, Sol LeWitt, Robert Rauschenberg and Mark Rothko to name just a few.

Artwork from Galerie Urs Meile. Image courtesy Art Basel Miami.

Artwork from Galerie Urs Meile. Image courtesy Art Basel Miami.

Beijing and Lucerne-based gallery Galerie Urs Meile will present a number of new works by emerging and established artists at Art Basel Miami. Their list includes works by Cheng Ran (b. 1981), Tobias Rehberger (b. 1966), Li Gang (b. 1986), Wang Xingwei (b. 1969) and Yang Mushi (b. 1989) among others.

Mongolian-born Cheng Ran will present the new video work Homing Pigeon (2016) that is part of a larger multi-video installation entitled Diary of A Madman, which debuted at the New Museum in New York in October 2016. The work incorporates a number of influences, such as Allen Ginsberg’s poem the Howl spoken by the artists himself and iconic images of Times Square with a focus on homing pigeons as the foreground, in order to capture the spirit of New York City. Meanwhile Chinese-born Wang Xingwei presents a new work entitled Watermelon Landmine (2016), a painting in which he uses exaggeration and a fictional theme to question negative images such as “Japanese Devils”, Chinese traitors and others.

Claire Wilson


Related topics: South African artists, Japanese artists, Chinese artists, drawings, paintings, photography, fairs, events in the United States

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By Brittney

Brittney is a writer, curator and contemporary art gallerist. Born in Singapore and based in New York City, Brittney maintains a deep interest in the contemporary art landscape of Southeast Asia. This is combined with an equally strong interest in contemporary art from the Asian diasporas, alongside the issues of identity, transmigration and global relations.

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