Art Basel Miami Beach Preview Day
Art Basel Miami Beach 2023 is in fine form with galleries from five continents presenting across seven fair sectors—from large-scale projects in Meridians to specially curated nooks in Kabinett. In what is always a bustling opening day, we focused our walking path of the 277 gallery booths by following these sectors and selecting a favorite from each.
Art Basel Miami Beach Best Booths: Galerie Templon
Of the hundreds of galleries, we couldn’t help but be drawn to the vibrant, surprising, and sometimes humorous selection at Galerie Templon. Highlights include a Robin KID assemblage of Americana imagery, a Will Cotton western, a Kehinde Wiley portrait in stained glass, and an eye-catching, large-scale sculpture of a rider on horseback from the gallery’s newly US-represented artist Hans Op de Beeck.
Reginald O’Neal and Masako Miki in Meridians
In Meridians, the sector dedicated to large-scale projects, Miami-local artist Reginald O’Neal presents The Cellist, 2023. This monumental reproduction of a porcelain Jazz cellist figurine sits in a quiet, darkened space facing the wall. This unorthodox positioning is what drew us in, and we quickly understood it as a symbol of the dilemma for an artist’s talent to become a commodity in oppressive demand.
Brightly lit nearby, Masako Miki’s enchanting installation compiles vibrant felted wool sculptures alluding to Tsukumogami shapeshifters, or forgotten household items that become supernatural spirit entities. The whimsical space Hyakki Yagho, Night Parade of 100 Demons, covers wall to floor in lively graphics.
Best Booths at Art Basel Miami Beach: Daniel Faria Gallery
In Nova, a sector for galleries presenting works created in the last three years, Daniel Faria Gallery showcases new pieces by Shannon Bool, Simon Speiser, and Stephanie Comilang. Comilang and Speiser’s shaped textiles explore material and tactility with 3D-printed weaving patterns on pineapple fibers.
Cynthia Talmadge at Positions
In Positions, a section for solo presentations by young galleries, Cynthia Talmadge’s immersive installation of pointillist paintings depicts the studio of Mary Pinchot Meyer. The canvases are installed flush to the wall and each other with hand-dyed carpet to match, creating a new space spanning various moments in time.
Rudolf Maeglin in Survey
In Survey, dedicated to galleries highlighting practices of historical relevance, Meredith Rosen’s “Red” booth of Rudolf Maeglin works drew our attention, consisting of eight paintings of factory workers made between 1932-1948 in Basel, Switzerland. Situated in the factory, the works in “Red” show the heat of machinery mirroring the erotic charge present in Maeglin’s portrayal of workers.
Best of Art Basel Miami Beach: Elisabeth Kley
And in Kabinett, scattered through the fair in curated nooks separated from the gallery’s booth, Elisabeth Kley’s trompe-l’oeil of hand-painted wallpaper, ceramics, and works on paper created a graphic environment playing with pattern and perspective.
Other highlights were a theme of duos. Walking between Pace Prints, Jack Shainman Gallery, and Galerie Barbara Thumm, we spotted three gorgeous works by Kaloki Nyamai, Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, and Derek Fordjour each using bold color, composition, and textures to illuminate their figure’s duet.