Miami Art Basel

June 12, 2014
By Sasha Levine | Art, Miami Art Basel

 Jamie Zigelbaum Design Miami Basel
Rendering by Carl Albrecht

Jamie Zigelbaum may tell you he's an art-and-design-world outsider, but that is likely to change, thanks to this year's Design Miami/ Basel (June 17–22; Messeplatz 1; 41-61/666-6464;

For its Design Commission, awarded biannually to early-career architects or designers, the fair invited the 36-year-old MIT Media Lab alum to create an immersive, site-specific installation in its 30,000-square-foot, Herzog & de Meuron–designed entrance hall—making it the first (and last) work visitors will see and the largest commission for the fair to date.

The piece, Triangular Series, is composed of 59 tetrahedral, crystalline-like white lights that hang from the room's ceiling, changing in intensity and hue in response to the movements of visitors below. Using complex technologies—including dynamic color-temperature LED lighting (which varies from warm to cool tones), advanced sensors and custom software—Zigelbaum explores the concept of entrainment, a phenomenon in which rhythms created by both living and non-living entities synchronize with one another.

Here, he discusses the work, the nexus of design and technology and the importance of fairs like Basel.


Q: What is it about entrainment that fascinates you?
A: Entrainment is a really interesting model for thinking about communication between very different types of things because it's the same phenomenon that will work with organic materials, like the flashing of fireflies, and with inorganic, non-lifelike things, like pendulums and metronomes. So it's this connective, invisible force, which is affecting various systems in very subtle ways, that gives rise to these complicated behaviors.

We've integrated these concepts into the physicality of this piece to create a dialogue between the people in the space and the installation. It is reacting to you and you are reacting to it in ways you don't understand. Those changes in lights are changing your own internal physiology—your heart rate, your breathing pattern. And then your motion in the space is feeding back into the system, changing the rhythm. The lights and the people are in this conversation—before they even know it.

Q: How would you describe the current relationship among art, design and technology?
A: Artists working and engaging with technology in a very authentic and direct way are able to help society process why we should use it. Design is about solving problems, art is asking questions—that's a clichéd answer, but it's fairly true. And technology is science applied. When you have artists working with these things, it allows us to ask why we want them in our lives.

Q: From a visitor's perspective—rather than that of an artist—what do you think is the value of fairs like Design Miami/ Basel?
A: You get to see one slice of the art world, which is the market-driven side. It's this thriving marketplace. A lot of artists are turned off by that, but there's new work being made, being sold—and its able to speak louder. It's a very lively, active environment.

Q: Is there anything you're particularly excited to see or do or experience at this year's Design Miami/ Basel?
A: This will be my third time in Basel and my seventh or eighth experience with Art Basel, including the Miami editions. I really look forward to wandering all the galleries—at Basel, the satellite fairs and museums. There's just so much art and design to see.

June 14, 2013
By Adam H. Graham | Miami Art Basel

Art Basel Ai Wei Wei
Art Basel 2013 | Unlimited | Ai Weiwei | Meile // MCH Messe Schweiz (Basel) AG

After weeks of rain in central Europe the sun shone down on the Rhine Valley for the opening days of Art Basel. Buyers (as well as VIPs, VVIPs and VVVIPs) attended private pre-shows and receptions that opened a day early, but the fair kicked off officially yesterday (June 13) and runs through June 16.

The 44th edition of Art Basel introduced an extension of Hall 1 designed by native starchitects Herzog & de Meuron, which was not open entirely early on but still hosted some of the best events. The new Messe Basel is a wheel-shaped open dome composed of brushed aluminum in a honeycomb form that discreetly houses several additional halls and galleries. Its open ceiling is reminiscent of James Turell’s skylights and the courtyard fountain at Museo Nacional de Antropología in Mexico City.

Another highlight is the “Unlimited” show, which features 79 artworks curated for the second year in a row by Gianni Jetzer, director of the Swiss Institute in New York. Jetzer’s selections have a strong video element—one that was noticeably underrepresented among the 304 gallerists in the main hall.

Works include those by well-established artists like Thomas Demand, whose gorgeous Pacific Sun video recreates a New Zealand cruise ship (composed completely of paper) making its way through a storm, and Pierre Huyghe’s untitled film, which was shot in a compost heap in Karlsaue Park in Kassel, Germany, last year. It features a pink-legged dog and a statue with a beehive on its head.

Jetzer’s emerging artists really brought soul. Susan Hiller’s Wild Talents—two side-by-side film projections each featuring snippets of popular films about children with special powers (Poltergeist, Carrie, Firestarter)—explores the fears and connections associated with kids and psychic power.

Non-film pieces include Huang Yong Ping’s miniature terracotta replica of Osama bin Laden’s Abbottabad compound—this one festooned with lush ferns and plants—where he was killed in 2011, and a work by Ai Weiwei called Fairytale Ladies Dormitory (pictured above). But one of the most amusing is Martin Creed’s Work No. 570 (better known as “The Jogger”), which involves several runners sprinting around the busy Art Basel halls every half hour, providing some fast-paced live action.

April 26, 2013
By Jamie Wiebe | Fashion, Miami Art Basel, Style

A Pop Art–Inspired Valentino Collection
Photo courtesy of Valentino

Valentino’s iconic dots get a little sweeter in the brand’s newest capsule collection, Pop Pois, which features candy-colored, polka-dotted espadrilles, clothing and accessories in tangy shades of blueberry, cherry and lime. Launched last December during Art Basel Miami Beach, and scheduled for a European release in Valentino boutiques this month, and a release in Asia in May, the Pop Art–inspired collection plays up Miami’s sunny, retro-modern vibe with a wink to the brand’s history. The modular centerpiece is a polka-dotted scarf emblazoned with the Valentino logo, which has been resized and transformed into flowing silk maxi tops, pajama pants and day dresses that can be mixed and matched for a seamless transition from beach to nightclub to bedroom. The glamorous showstopper? A flirty, gold-chained VaVa Voom studded clutch, updated with a matching polka-dot cover. Caftan dress, $1,290;

December 12, 2012
By Alexandra Wolfe | Art, Miami Art Basel

Art Basel Miami Beach: Pharrell Williams
Photo by

While some top art dealers and collectors boarded the first plane home as soon as the most exclusive pre-fair vernissage festivities were finished, many celebrities stayed through the weekend at Art Basel Miami Beach. Among the 70,000 attendees who traipsed through the 250 or so galleries was a transplanted Tinseltown. Instead of collecting, however, the stars went clubbing. Le Baron, the Parisian nightclub-turned-art-fair pop-up hot spot, emerged at Nikki Beach Club Miami, where by Friday night the entire fashion world had flocked.

Vogue editor-at-large Hamish Bowles, designer Riccardo Tisci, print magnate Peter Brant’s sons, Harry and Peter, and sartorialist Scott Schuman showed up that evening, followed on Saturday by Jay-Z, Beyoncé and Demi Moore. Actress Kate Mara hung out at the Architectural Digest Oasis pop-up lounge at the Raleigh Hotel, designer Roberto Cavalli hosted cocktails at the SLS Hotel South Beach and the Moncler fashion house fêted its 60th anniversary at 1111 Lincoln Road. And by the weekend’s end art and its admirers were competing for attention, with the hype over Latin American and Brazilian artists nearly reaching the buzz surrounding a budding celebrity romance.

December 11, 2012
By Alexandra Wolfe | Art, Miami Art Basel

Art Basel Miami Beach
Photo by Carly Otness/

Our picks for Friday night’s top places to see and be seen at Art Basel Miami Beach:

10. The Glass House Café at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden had a breakfast celebrating its exhibitions: “Chamberlain at Fairchild,” “Design at Fairchild: Sitting Naturally” and “Garden Lights.”

9. Marcelo Krasilcic’s book 1990s debuted at Lords South Beach Hotel with music by Kai Kuhne and Renata Abbade.

8. Freehand Miami Hostel hosted a “Bow-B-Q” with Bow and GrandLife Hotels.

7. New York’s Neue Galerie exhibition “Postcards of the Wiener Werkstätte: Selections from the Leonard A. Lauder Collection” was fêted at Wolfsonian-Florida International University, hosted by director Cathy Leff.

6. Architectural Digest celebrated the AD100 list and designer Mark Cunningham at the Oasis lounge at the Raleigh Hotel.

5. Photographer Matthew Rolston launched his book Talking Heads: The Vent Haven Portraits at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach, sponsored by Hendrick’s Gin, with four five-by-five prints from the book on display.

4. The Morrison Hotel Gallery at Dream South Beach hosted a second night of cocktails at the Electric Room pop-up. On exhibit: Jack White, White Stripes Canada Tour, 2007 by Autumn de Wilde; Keith Richards and Ron Wood, Los Angeles, CA, 1979 by Henry Diltz; Bruce Springsteen, Darkness, 1978 by Frank Stefanko; Debbie (Harry. Shades by Chris Stein; Black Keys, 2009 by Danny Clinch; and Jim Morrison, NYC, 1967 by Joel Brodsky.

3. Artist Bill Viola and director of MoCA, North Miami Bonnie Clearwater were in conversation for Art Basel Miami Beach’s Art Salon series.

2. Paddle8, the online auction house, had a party for its exhibition of GIFs called “Moving the Still,” in Wynwood (pictured here).

1. Folks raised money for Sandy victims during a MoMA PS1 benefit at the Delano Beach Club on Friday, with a DJ set that included Dave 1 of Chromeo and Arthur Baker.

December 11, 2012
By Alexandra Wolfe | Art, Miami Art Basel

Art Basel Miami beach: Jeremy Piven and Martha Stewart
Photo courtesy of Art Basel/InterContinental Miami

Our picks for Thursday night’s top places to see and be seen at Art Basel Miami Beach:

10. Russell Simmons hosted a party celebrating Raphael Mazzucco’s collection at the St. Regis in Bal Harbour with Talent Resources and Rosenbaum Contemporary.

9. Miami Art Museum director Thom Collins had a reception for the new exhibit “New Work Miami 2013,” with music by Spam Allstars.

8. Chopard and W magazine editor Stefano Tonchi previewed the Milton Greene photography collection “Marilyn Forever” at Soho Beach House.

7. Hyde Beach at the SLS Hotel South Beach was booming with Visionaire magazine and Net-A-Porter’s Art Basel party.

6. Scope Miami officially kicked off with an outdoor VH1 lounge where Metric performed against a backdrop of Artists on the Rise, a group of three emerging artists whose work was featured in the lounge.

5. Fendi Casa’s exhibit celebrating Andy Warhol’s contemporary artwork opened at the Fendi Casa Luxury Living Showroom.

4. Russian heiress Maria Baibakova hosted a cocktail party in her penthouse apartment at the Setai, in honor of artist Matthew Brannon’s commission for Lincoln Center.

3. Also at the Setai, designer Domenico Vacca opened his club, DV Club Miami, for the season.

2. The InterContinental Miami officially opened its new restaurant Toro Toro, with Chef Richard Sandoval at the helm. To celebrate the hotel’s $30 million renovation, actor Jeremy Piven plugged in the lobby’s new Digital Canvas installation.

1. Vito Schnabel held a buzzy Dom Pérignon party at Wall, the nightclub in the W South Beach Hotel.

December 06, 2012
By Alexandra Wolfe | Art, Miami Art Basel

Chanel Art Basel Party
Photo © David X Prutting/ president and COO Sebastian Cwilich spent Art Basel’s VIP preview day walking around the fair with Wendi Murdoch, passing celebrities like André Balazs and Chelsea Handler, P. Diddy and his entourage, and designer Tommy Hilfiger. We caught up with Cwilich before his Soho Beach House bash.

Q: How did the Miami collaboration come about?

A: Dasha Zhukova thought it would be a great idea to extend the platform to include collectible design, given that collectible design can be a more accessible way for people to get comfortable with art. So Dasha introduced Carter [Cleveland] and me to Craig Robbins and Marianne Goebl, and here we are.

Q: How will this collaboration change the experience of the fair?

A: Most importantly, this allows the design enthusiasts and collectors from around the world who can’t make it to Miami to view a substantive portion of the objects at the fair and, if they’re interested, go on to connect with the dealers. For people who are coming to the fair, this allows them to preview the fair and come prepared. Additionally,’s functionality allows people in Miami and around the world to read live posts related to Design Miami and the works on view—written by dealers, curators and collectors at the fair.

Q: How has technology changed collecting more generally?

A: It used to be that a collector in New York could walk down to the Soho Gallery Building on West Broadway and get a sense of what was happening in contemporary art. Now, as the art world has become much bigger and much more geographically dispersed, collectors need a better way to find out what’s happening. Online platforms are one great way to do that.

Q: What were the challenges of adapting the fair to an online platform? What have been the greatest benefits of doing so?

A: I think the key is not to adapt the fair to online, but rather to focus on ways we can extend the experience to greater numbers of people. We can’t allow someone to touch the objects online—yet!—but some of the storytelling possible via posts, or via filtering technology that allows us to immediately see the 60-plus chairs on view at the fair, are things you can’t do so easily in person.

December 06, 2012
By Alexandra Wolfe | Art, Miami Art Basel

Art Basel Miami
Photo by MOS Architects 2012

The 11th annual Art Basel Miami Beach kicked off on Wednesday with a star-studded schedule. Our picks for opening night’s top 10 places to see and be seen:

10) Billed as the “first upscale hostel in the U.S.,” the owners of New York’s NoMad Hotel launched the Roman & Williams–designed Freehand Miami Hostel with a party for Timo Weiland and music by Weiland and Alan Eckstein.

9) Designer Diane von Furstenberg discussed art, creativity and the market with W magazine editor Stefano Tonchi at Design Miami.

8) Guests watched live music at the Absolut Art Bureau’s art bar installation by Los Carpinteros. The open-air bar, Güiro, will serve Absolut cocktails each night until midnight.

7) Pop-Up Piano Miami launched on Wednesday with a fundraising concert at the Perry South Beach Hotel with hors d’oeuvres by the One Group and Grey Goose cocktails. The night continued with DJ Yissel Cabrera and eight pop-up pianos on display before being scattered across the city.

6) Interview Magazine and Valentino took over the rooftop of the Webster Miami boutique to showcase Valentino’s new Pop Art–inspired Pop Pois capsule collection.

5) To celebrate the long-awaited Drive-In in far West Texas, Ballroom Marfa hosted cocktails at Cabanas in the SLS Hotel South Beach.

4) Daphne Guinness dined with Will Smith, Chris Bosh and Ray Allen at the Roger Dubuis Velvet event at Villa Azur Restaurant & Lounge, hosted by Haute Living magazine and Dom Pérignon.

3) NetJets, the private aviation company, held its annual Collectors Cocktail party (in collaboration with online art site Artspace) at the Bath House, highlighting works by six international artists selected by curator Micaela Giovannotti.

2) From 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., VIPs got a first look at Art Basel Miami Beach at the convention center. The vernissage started at 6 p.m., where collectors mingled over cocktails near the main fair’s opening. Inside the collectors’ lounge, Ruinart Champagne’s mirrored installation, in collaboration with neo-Baroque designer Hervé Van der Straeten’s “Miroir” collection, was on display.

1) The Chanel-sponsored party at Soho Beach House was one of the most elusive tickets in town. Last year the entire art world showed up, along with Hollywood stars like Owen Wilson, Adrien Brody and Val Kilmer. And if history is any indication, those who were able to finagle their way onto the guest list made sure to stay for dinner. Last year’s crowd of 600 was treated to petite filet mignon with béarnaise sauce, chorizo and shrimp, and stations piled high with paella, meatballs, and quinoa with squash blossoms.

December 06, 2012
By Alexandra Wolfe | Art, Miami Art Basel

Art Basel Miami Beach party
Photo by David X Prutting/BFANYC

Art Basel Miami Beach, the behemoth bacchanal that began as a mere art fair just over decade ago, first sprawled into South Beach, then headed across the causeway into downtown Miami, Wynwood and even Bal Harbour. This year it reached a whole new dimension—a digital one, that is. With online platforms finally taking center stage, the fair’s virtual presence is more prominent than ever before.

Last year the concept burst onto the scene with’s star-studded Soho Beach House barbecue. Chanel will sponsor the event again this year, with hosts including Wendi Murdoch, Dasha Zhukova, Peter Thiel, Carter Cleveland and Larry Gagosian, and judging by the impenetrable guest list, it appears to be the week’s most coveted invite. But isn’t stopping at a beach blowout this year—it has partnered with Design Miami to create an online space where’s more than 100,000 registered users and 250,000 monthly visitors can shop the fair.’s competitors are in on the act, too. Artspace, an online marketplace for contemporary art, will cohost NetJets’ annual Collectors Cocktail at the Bath Club, and online boutique Grey Area will show off its wares at the Standard Hotel. And even much of the art itself has gone digital, with major installations like InterContinental Miami’s 19-story LED Digital Canvas being unveiled on the hotel’s façade December 6.

December 05, 2011
By Alexandra Wolfe | Miami Art Basel


Gideon Rubin. Courtesy of Ruinart.

For the collectors, gallerists and celebrities who had been at Art Basel Miami Beach since Tuesday, the weekend was less about art and more about the action. After partying all night at Le Baron nightclub in the Delano, the art set woke up for the beaucoup de brunches along the Collins Avenue, where they were whispering about dealer Ann Friedman selling forged artwork and collector Adam Lindemann’s not-so-complete boycott of Art Basel. And for all the complaining about corporate sponsorships taking over the main fair and its surroundings, many of the pop-up shops were just as creative as the artwork itself. The Havaianas Brazilian graffiti installation, Fendi's Craft Alchemy, Veuve Clicquot’s golden airstream and Ruinart’s Gideon Rubin display all had more viewers at a given time than many of the gallery booths. Perhaps this started to frustrate dealers, who reacted to the glut of tourists near their walls. When a collector brushed against a Peter Halley painting in Mary Boone’s booth, she tried to kick him out. “You are out of your mind,” the collector replied. To which she answered, “No, this is my gallery and I want you out!” Michelle Rosenfeld, a Madison Avenue art dealer who happened to be in the booth at the time, advised the collector, “Don’t argue.” Here's what was happening elsewhere.

10. Bonnie Clearwater, director and chief curator of the Museum of Contemporary Art, moderated a panel with collectors Carlos de la Cruz, Dennis Scholl, Martin Margulies and Irma and Norman Braman at Art Basel Miami Beach.

9. Hakkasan’s dim sum brunch at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach in partnership with Zagat guides.

8. Final day of Gideon Rubin’s exhibition at the Ruinart area of the Collector’s Lounge. The installation of 21 cardboard faceless portraits of the Ruinart family over the years was Rubin’s first commission. “If they don’t have facial features, it makes it actually harder to paint,” Rubin says. “You still have to give them weight of being human but with the folds of the clothes and the shape of the body.”

7. The Basel Castle installation was a conceptual mini-festival of contemporary artists, musicians and games, sponsored by Popchips.

6. Leo Fitzpatrick, Luis Gispert and Tim Barber displayed new releases published by OHWOW at a book-signing event in the Design District.

5. The Standard and Le Baron nightclub hosted the annual Lazy Sunday BBQ at the hotel.

4. MAC hosted a dinner for socialite Daphne Guinness’s new cosmetics line at Soho Beach House.

3. SPiN Galactic and the Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami, held a ping-pong tournament at the Standard.

2. MoMA P.S. 1 hosted sunset cocktails at the Mondrian Hotel honoring Lizzie Fitch and Ryan Trecartin.

1. CAN’T MISS: Thomas Collins, director of the Miami Art Museum and the Lisson Gallery screened Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry, a documentary about the Chinese artist. The screening took place at The Fontainebleau, underneath Weiwei's Miami Chandeliers installation. It was the first feature film about the artist-activist who, after publicly calling the 2008 Olympic Games political propagand,a has become one of most controversial critics of the Chinese government.