It’s that time of year again: From December 4-7, Art Basel Miami Beach will take over the city of the future. With roughly 250 galleries at the main 500,000-square-foot event space alone—not to mention the satellite fairs, VIP gatherings, free concerts and endless after-parties—it’s easy to get lost in the maelstrom. Here, we outline the not-to-miss events to help you find your footing.
Tuesday, December 2
To Have and to Hold: 50 Years of Marriage and Collecting
Since marrying in 1964, Donald and Mera Rubell have come to amass one of the largest privately-owned contemporary art collections in the world. This year the ground floor of their 45,000-square-foot space will exhibit solo works by six contemporary artists (Will Boone, Mark Flood, Lucy Dodd, Aaron Curry, David Ostrowski and Kaari Upson); the second level will show off highlights from the couple’s fifty years of collecting including works by Jeff Koons and Cindy Sherman. Opening reception 6 P.M.; Rubell Family Collection; 95 NW. 29th St.; rfc.museum.
Beneath the Surface
Much like the Rubells, Rosa and Carlos de la Cruz have a private collection that’s on par with most public contemporary art museums. Works by Félix González-Torres, Dan Colen and Peter Doig, among many others, illustrate this couple’s incredibly discerning eye. Open to the public December 2–7; De la Cruz Collection Contemporary Art Space; 23 NE. 41 St.; delacruzcollection.org.
Louis Vuitton’s Playing with Shapes
40 years after the fact, Louis Vuitton has executed Pierre Paulin and Herman Miller’s vision for a 1972 furniture project that never came to fruition—till now. See the 18, one-of-a-kind pieces in all their colorful, curvy glory at the Palm Court. Preview day by invitation only, 12–8 p.m.; open to the public December 3–7; Palm Court; 140 NE. 39th St., Ste. 326. Preview after party, December 3, 10:30 P.M.–2 A.M.; Jewel Box; 2100 Biscayne Blvd.
The FAAM Vintage and Contemporary Jewelry Sale
Even if you aren’t shopping for any of the 50-plus pieces on display—from the likes of Tiffany & Co., Bulgari, Van Cleef & Arpels, Faberge and more—the glittering spectacle will offer plenty of eye candy, such as a midcentury Cartier necklace and bracelet studded with alternating circular-cut diamonds and sapphires on an 18-karat gold twisting band ($90,000). 5:30 P.M.; 80 NE. 40th St.; faamiami.com.
The Miami Beach Edition Hotel Grand Opening Party
Hotelier Ian Schrager will introduce his newest venture to the world with the help of the David Lynch Parisian hotspot Silencio. As Miami’s most anticipated new hotel and the choice accommodation for many key players in the art world, the opening is just one of countless buzzed-about events held at the hotel this week, but an event not to miss. By invitation only; 2901 Collins Ave.
Anderson Ranch Arts Center Cocktail Reception
Each year experimental collectors Debra and Dennis Scholl open their home to share their outstanding, 1000-plus piece private collection with thousands of visitors. This Tuesday, the couple is hosting a cocktail reception for Anderson Ranch Arts Center with a preview of the 2015 Featured Artists Series; guests will also get a first look of the Scholl’s 2014-15 installation, curated this year by Tina Kukielski. By invitation only; 5:30–7 P.M.
The Wynwood Walls
Since 2009, the Wynwood Walls has celebrated the free art and graffiti movement in Miami’s design district. On opening night, Shepard Fairey, Swoon and Kenny Scharf will be working on-site to bring even more color to this celebrated space. VIP opening night 6–9 P.M.; open to the public 9–11 P.M.; thewynwoodwalls.com.
Wednesday, December 3
IWC Schaffhausen’s A Portofino Affair
The International Watch Co. is debuting its Portofino Midsize Collection with a private exhibition opening and dinner featuring work by famed photographer Peter Lindbergh—whose black-and-white images of Cate Blanchett, Ewan McGregor, Emily Blunt and others exploring the glamorous Portofino coast set the tone for this elegant new line. By invitation only; 7:30 P.M.; The W South Beach Hotel; 2201 Collins Ave.
The Art of Haute Horlogerie
Luxury watchmaker Roger Dubuis is also unveiling a new collection, Velvet Haute Couture, with an "interactive dinner" that promises a yet-to-be-announced, live artistic performance. One of many buzzed-about events to be held at the new Thompson hotel, the dinner will be hosted by supermodel Stephanie Seymour and art collector Peter Brant and feature pairings from Dom Pérignon bottles designed by Iris Van Herpen. By invitation only; 7 P.M.; 4041 Collins Ave.
To celebrate Brazilian architect Isay Weinfeld’s upcoming redesign of their iconic, three-acre beachfront property, the Shore Club, Em Trânsito is showcasing the legendary designers of Brazil. Hosted in partnership with New York-based gallery Espasso, the show will feature unseen and limited edition works by Oscar Niemeyer, Jorge Zalszupin and Sergio Rodrigues, among others. Opening reception 9 P.M.; The Shore Club; 1901 Collins Ave.; espasso.com.
Thursday, December 4
Del Toro Shoes: Anniversary Event
Miami shoemaker Del Toro has had a huge presence at Art Basel Miami Beach since 2010, collaborating with some of the world’s top artists including Alec Monopoly and Curtis Kulig. This year they’re teaming up with Brooklyn-based experimental architecture collective Snarkitecture to create an interactive basketball installation called AIRBALL; an in-store event will celebrate the second anniversary of the brand’s Wynwood boutique with the release of a limited-edition, Wynwood-inspired Chukka boot. 4–7 P.M.; Del Toro Shoes; 2750 NW. Third Ave, #22; deltoroshoes.com.
FAAM’s Important Paintings and Sculptures Auction
Since its establishment in 2011, Fine Art Auctions Miami has offered southern Florida blue chip works from the likes of Monet and Renoir; this week’s selection will include Pablo Picasso's The Painter and the Model, estimated at $3 million, and the $600K Matisse work Il Platano. Even if you’re not in the market, after viewing all that contemporary art, it’s nice to refresh your palate with the classics. 5:30 P.M.; 80 NE. 40th S.; faamiami.com.
The 5th Annual Bombay Sapphire Artisan Series Finale
For the last five years, Russell and Danny Simmons’s RUSH Philanthropic Arts Foundation has teamed up with Bombay Sapphire to help amateur artists get their work out to the masses. Here, they will celebrate with the ten artists they deemed worthy of display at this year's Scope Miami Beach and will also announce one Grand Prize winner who will get a solo exhibit at Scope New York 2015. By invitation only; 7–10 P.M.; Soho Beach House South Beach Tents; 4385 Collins Ave.
Visionaire 64 Art John Baldessari Platinum Edition Launch Party
John Baldessari asked 30 contemporary celebrities and personalities to send him a selfie—everyone from Drake to Marina Abramovic snapped a pic—and then embossed the black-and-white images with his signature shapes and colors to be released by art book publisher Visionaire as their 64th installment. In partnership with Samsung, the new Platinum Edition of the book includes a Galaxy Note 4 loaded with all 30 works. By invitation only; 7–10 P.M.; Tropicale at The Miami Beach Edition; 2901 Collins Ave.
Peter Marino’s Bulgari Opening
Bal Harbour is unveiling Bulgari’s first Marino-designed boutique in the U.S. with the man himself on premises to cut the ribbon; with everyone in the art world talking about One Way: Peter Marino, the huge retrospective later this year at Miami’s Bass Museum of Art (bassmuseum.org), it will be interesting to take a close look at the pioneering interdisciplinary artist’s latest project. Open to the public 4 P.M.; Bulgari, Bal Harbour Boutique; 9700 Colllins Ave.
PAMM Presents Future Brown
The Pérez Art Museum Miami is hosting this DJ super group amidst videos projected onto their new building and various art installations.They’re also making use of the one-year-old waterfront property by promising a gravity-defying water-sports show during the concert. 8 P.M.–12 A.M; Pérez Art Musuem; 1103 Biscayne Blvd.; pamm.org.
Women in Arts Brunch
We talked with Teresita Fernández about the history of Art Basel Miami Beach in our October issue and featured her in our January/February Departures 100, so we’re thrilled to see her honored for her work at this brunch hosted by Art Basel Magazine. The MacArthur fellow has a big year ahead of her: a MassMoCA show is currently running through March 2015, she's been commissioned for a public installation in New York City's Madison Square Park and a solo exhibition is slated for Lehmann Maupin. Other 2014 honorees include Lynda Benglis, Madeleine Grynsztejn and Brooke Garber Neidich. By invitation only; December 5; 12 P.M.; Katsuya Restaurant; SLS South Beach; 1701 Collins Ave.
Shen Wei: In Black, White and Gray
Throughout the weekend, the man best known for choreographing the opening ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympics is unveiling 11 new paintings, complete with dance performances from his famed troupe. Matinees, 1–2 P.M.; Evenings, 7–8 P.M. (Friday & Saturday only); MDC Museum of Art + Design, The Freedom Tower at Miami-Dade College; 600 Biscayne Blvd.; mdcmoad.org.
The III Points music festival in the Wynwood arts district launched just last year, but it’s already bringing in some of the best indie acts of the week. Don’t-miss artists include FKA Twigs (Thursday, 7 P.M.), James Blake (Friday, 7 P.M.) and SBTRKT (Saturday, 7 P.M.), all performing as part of a collaboration with the National YoungArts Foundation. The National YoungArts Campus; 2100 Biscayne Blvd.; iiipoints.com.
Café Dolly: Picabia, Schnabel, Willumsen
If you need to escape the Miami hubbub altogether, the NSU Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale is offering a free shuttle service to and from Art Basel all weekend. Here you’ll see the influential art of J.F. Willumsen, Francis Picabia’s figurative period—a departure from his earlier Dada and Surrealist contributions—and Julian Schnabel works from the 1980’s onward. For the shuttle schedule, go to moafl.org.
More on Art Basel
Images courtesy of Louis Vuitton; J.Oppenheim. IWC Schaffhausen; NSU Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale and photographer Steven Brooke.