It’s that time of year again, where the art world prepares to descend upon Miami for a week of star-studded events, glitz and of course—art. Art Basel is set to take place December 1-4 in Miami Beach, boasting 269 galleries from 29 countries and artwork from over 4,000 artists.
You will find the most premier galleries representing some of the best-known artists in the world this year. With a reputation for being one of the most exclusive art exhibitions in the world, art collectors, patrons, and gallerists flock to the exhibitions to make connections.
However, most everyone can agree that the main reason they are there is to take in an incredible amount of high caliber art, all in one place.
If this is your first time at Art Basel Miami Beach, we put together some tips to help you navigate the somewhat dizzying landscape.
Here are some tips on how you can prepare:
Make a Plan of Attack
There is an overwhelming amount of artwork to see at the main event—but this year is shaping up to be an exciting mix of both veteran gallerists and first-time trail blazers. From established galleries like Gagosian and Hauser & Wirth to new movers and shakers like Galerie Crevecoeur, Ghebaly Gallery, and Edouard Malingue Gallery, Art Basel Miami is raising the bar for its 15th anniversary with new talent and artistic content.
Learn the Sectors & Map it Out
There are nine sectors of exhibitors this year at Art Basel Miami: Galleries, Nova, Positions, Edition, Kabinett, Survey, Public, Film and Magazines.
Galleries (the main sector) features the world’s leading galleries displaying contemporary and modern 20th- and 21st-century artworks. Nova presents recent artworks—often displaying pieces straight from the artist’s studio for the first time. Positions provides galleries with the space to present one emerging artist with one major project. And Public is a must-see with a dedicated space for outdoor sculpture and site-specific installations.
Get a map from outside of the convention center and make a plan. Even better, do a little research beforehand and decide which galleries you are most interested in seeing. The more you have a strategy, the more you will get out of the event.
Don’t already have a favorite gallery? Find the rest of the sector descriptions and participant list here. It’s not only a great way to discover new artists but see a whole group of work you might have skipped over, otherwise.
Check Out Satellite Fairs
While Art Basel is the main attraction, more than 20 satellite fairs take place concurrently throughout the city. Miami’s local galleries, museums, designers and retailers use it as a time present their best work.
Take some time to stroll through Miami and let yourself be surprised by the installations, public art, and pop-ups that occur on every corner of the city.
Enjoy the Public Spectacle
This year’s public sector is set to be one of the best. What started only a few years ago has turned into one of the most celebrated sectors at Art Basel Miami Beach. For the fourth year in a row, Nicholas Baume, Director and Chief Curator of the Public Art Fund will again curate Public.
The focus of the 2016 curatorial selections will be “Ground Control,” inspired by David Bowie and interpreted in a number of ways. Baume has said that the theme brings together artists who explore the space around them. Twenty site-specific works will be presented at Public that invent and reimagine physical, social and psychic spaces.
Participate in the Conversations
Another one of the great parts of Art Basel Miami Beach is the access you have to incredible thought leaders, curators, critics and art historians who are currently shaping the art world. A new conversation series “Artists’ Influencers” kicks off on December 2nd with the artistic director of Serpentine Galleries, Hans Ulrich Obrist.
Other conversations include talks like “why is gender still an issue” and “post-election art market.” Take advantage of the access you have to some of the great minds of today’s artistic inner circles.
Come prepared with the right tech to make collecting art easier before, during and after. Before you arrive, download the Art Basel app to get news about the shows, gallery lists, and interactive floorplans.
Miami has become one of the top cities for art in the world, and not only during Art Basel. Check out all the public art the city has to offer through Public Art Archive, a site that catalogues public art around the United States.
For those of you purchasing artwork at Art Basel this year, document and preserve your investment with Artwork Archive—an online tool that helps collectors easily manage their collections from any device.
Looking for the right questions to ask of a gallerist or artist before purchasing an artwork? Check out this infographic to see if you are asking the right things.