From Abstraction Innovators to Protest Art, Art Basel Miami Beach Mixes Up Eclectic Offerings

  • David Driskell, "Ghetto Wall #2," 1970.  Oil, acrylic, and collage on linen, 60.0 × 50.0 (in).  DC Moore Gallery, at Art Basel Miami Beach, Survey, S6.

    David Driskell, "Ghetto Wall #2," 1970. Oil, acrylic, and collage on linen, 60.0 × 50.0 (in). DC Moore Gallery, at Art Basel Miami Beach, Survey, S6.

  • Vito Acconci, "3 Flags for 1 Space and 6 Regions," 1979 - 1981.  Color photoetching on six sheets of paper, 72.0 × 60.0 Size (in).  Crown Point Press, Prints & Multiples, at Art Basel Miami Beach, Edition, E17.

    Vito Acconci, "3 Flags for 1 Space and 6 Regions," 1979 - 1981. Color photoetching on six sheets of paper, 72.0 × 60.0 Size (in). Crown Point Press, Prints & Multiples, at Art Basel Miami Beach, Edition, E17.

  • Roy Lichtenstein, Study for “Peace Through Chemistry”, 1969.  Galerie Gmurzynska at Art Basel Miami Beach 2017, Booth B1.

    Roy Lichtenstein, Study for “Peace Through Chemistry”, 1969. Galerie Gmurzynska at Art Basel Miami Beach 2017, Booth B1.

From December 7 to December 10, with a VIP preview on Dec. 6, Art Basel's 16th edition in Miami Beach features 268 leading galleries within a more-spaciously redesigned floorplan at the Miami Beach Convention Center (MBCC). 

2017 is an important year for the cultural scene in Miami with The Bass re-opening after a $12-million renovation and The Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami (ICA Miami) inaugurating its new building in the heart of the Miami Design District. 

Among the show's blue chip highlights is Robert Rauschenberg’s 30-foot mural Periwinkle Shaft (1979–80), from a private collection, and offered by Edward Tyler Nahem gallery.

Also of note, Lévy Gorvy will show Ellsworth Kelly's Sumac, a red-toned abstraction from 1959, priced in the range of $4-5 million. The Kelly is part of the gallery's thematic presentation "Abstracting the Real," a survey of innovators who "redefined art’s visual proximity to reality, asserting the artificiality of physical limitations to emphasize concreteness, immediacy, and sensation over the remove of description."

Galerie Gmurzynska has on view mostly unseen classic modern work of Latin American heritage by Wifredo Lam and Roberto Matta, alongside major Pop-art luminaries like Roy Lichtenstein and Robert Indiana, and a new, previously un-exhibited photographic series by Johnny Pigozzi, in their booth, opposite the VIP Lounge Entrance.

In the Survey section of exhibitions focused on historical works (pre-2000), New York's DC Moore Gallery will show the 1960s-70s work of David C. Driskell (b. 1931), the legendary African American artist and art historian. Created during the "turbulent era" that began in the Civil Rights Movement through the Vietnam War, Driskell’s oeuvre of the period rarely shows overt protest, yet he found compelling reasons to initiate several works with sociopolitical commentary. Important compositions in this vein include Of Thee I Weep (1968), Soul X (1968), and Ghetto Wall #2 (1970) on view in the gallery's booth (S6). 

The show hosts nine first-time participants from North and South America, including Anat Ebgi from Los Angeles; Chapter NY, David Lewis Gallery and Tyler Rollins Fine Art from New York; Inman Gallery from Houston; Patron from Chicago; Galeria Jaqueline Martins and Ricardo Camargo Galeria from São Paulo; and Isla Flotante from Buenos Aires.

In addition, the 11 new exhibitors from Europe and Asia are: A arte Invernizzi from Milan; Applicat-Prazan and Ceysson & Bénétière from Paris; Dépendance from Brussels; Múrias Centeno with spaces in Porto and Lisbon; Hales Gallery, Offer Waterman and Richard Saltoun Gallery from London; Antenna Space from Shanghai; and Takuro Someya Contemporary Art and Taro Nasu from Tokyo.

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