Kohn Gallery - Artnet

Artnet - What Are Top Dealers Bringing to Art Basel Miami Beach and Why?

The annual Art Basel in Miami Beach fair and the roster of parties, visits to collections, special performances, and satellite fairs seems to grow exponentially each year. The 2014 edition is no different, with a total of 267 galleries from 31 countries across North and South America, Asia, Europe, and Africa set to descend on the main fair alone, which is held at the Miami Beach Convention Center in Collins Park (December 4–7).

Art Basel in Miami Beach has nine sections. In addition to more than 200 galleries in the main exhibition hall, there are innovative sections including "Nova," where galleries show works created within the past three years, which often means they are straight from the studio and never before seen in public, as well as "Kabinett," which features curated exhibitions in a separately delineated space within the gallery's booth. "Positions" provides a platform for a single artist to create a major project, while "Public" features outdoor sculptures, interventions, and performances and is a collaboration with the nearby Bass Museum of Art.

As usual, the fair will showcase a vast range of art, including painting, sculpture, installations, videos, multiples, prints, photography, and performance. We talked to some of the art world's top dealers about what they are bringing to Miami and why.

New York dealer Fergus McCaffrey, who recently announced new outposts in Japan and on St. Barth's (see "Fergus McCaffrey Will Open Outposts in the Carribean and Japan"), will present an installation of new work by Jack Early, centered around a lemon-yellow Victrola on a platform sporting stars and stripes. The Victrola spins a record that recounts a performance by Early, in which he recites vignettes from his childhood as a country-style melody he composed plays in the background.

Michael Kohn of Kohn Gallery, Los Angeles, has participated in every edition of the fair since its inaugural run in 2002. Kohn told artnet News the collectors who attend "take it very seriously and want to see the best of what we have to offer." Kohn said the gallery typically presents two areas of art in Miami: work from the West Coast from the 1960s, '70s, and '80s; and work from a group of younger and mid-career artists from the US and Europe that Kohn represents. For instance, this year, Kohn will show work from the estate of Bruce Conner and work from the estate of Wallace Berman, as well as an early work by John Altoon. He will also present work by Tom LaDuke, and Eddie Martinez, artists who are new to the gallery roster.

Dominique Lévy will present a curated exhibtion titled "True Grit" featuring works from the 1970s through the 1990s. The show is inspired by the themes that transformed Charles Portis's 1968 novel (and later Academy Award–winning film) of the same name. Lévy will show a wide range of works including pieces by Alberto Burri, Enrico Castellani, Gilbert & George, David Hammons, Keith Haring, Barbara Kruger, Sigmar Polke, Richard Prince, Peter Regli, Thomas Schütte, Kazuo Shiraga, Richard Serra, Frank Stella, Günther Uecker, Andy Warhol, and Christopher Wool.

John Cheim, co-founder of Cheim & Read told artnet News: "We are featuring Lynda Benglis at this edition of Art Basel in Miami Beach, including a pink polyurethane fountain to be shown in the Public sector. Lynda's significance as a post-minimalist artist that broke through the masculine barrier of minimalism becomes more apparent each year. Pink will be the theme of our booth with works by Benglis, Steir, Lasker, Bourgeois, Holzer, Fishman, and Mitchell."

New York's Sean Kelly Gallery will present a curated selection of works including examples by Marina Abramović, José Dávila, Antony Gormley, Idris Khan, Los Carpinteros, Hugo McCloud, Mariko Mori, and Kehinde Wiley, who will have a retrospective at the Brooklyn Museum from February 20 through May 24, 2015. The gallery's participation in Art Basel in Miami Beach comes on the heels of New York exhibitions of Dávila's The Lightness of Weight and Marina Abramović's new work Generator. Generator marks Abramović's first performative work in New York since MoMA's acclaimed presentation of The Artist is Present in 2010 and celebrates nearly 20 years since the artist's first exhibition with Sean Kelly in 1994.

London's Lisson Gallery will show work by Abramović, Ryan Gander (also in Public sector), Pedro Reyes, Nathalie Djurberg, and Hans Berg, among others.

Mnuchin Gallery will show a vibrant diptych by Frank Stella, Double Scramble (1978), as well as works by John Chamberlain, Andy Warhol, and Simon Hantaï.

Lucy Mitchell-Innes, co-founder of Mitchell-Innes & Nash said the gallery hopes to showcase the artists in its contemporary program, many of whom have made new work specifically for the fair including Jessica Stockholder, Martin Kersels, Keltie Ferris, Brent Wadden, Karl Haendel, Daniel Lefcourt, Virginia Overton, William Pope. L, and Sarah Braman. "We have found from past experience that we have attracted the attention of curators and trustees of museums from all over the US at this fair. Many travel in groups to Miami so we find that our artists are being looked at and discussed by directors, curators, and trustees of a museum all together," she added.

David Nolan Gallery will feature the installation Communism Never Happened (2014) by Romanian artists Ciprian Mureşan and Şerban Savu.

For its 50th anniversary, Zürich's Galerie Gmurzynska has a booth designed by director Baz Luhrmann, costume designer Catherine Martin, and producer Nellee Hooper. The exhibition, named "A Kid Could Do It," will feature works by artists such as Francis Bacon, Joan Miró, and Kurt Schwitters (see: A Peek at Baz Luhrmann's Collaboration for Art Basel in Miami Beach).