On Tuesday December 3rd, I visited the Perez Museum for a preview before the museum opened its doors to the public the next day. Award winning architects Herzog & de Meuron designed the striking building which hopes to attract visitors and collectors from around the world. It was designed to serve locals as a place where people could enjoy the natural beauty of the site and the intracoastal and gather together in the outdoor spaces, lush with hanging gardens. “Ai Weiwei’s According to What?” looked impressive as you approached the building. His retrospective spans twenty years including photography and large scale sculpture, like the tangled bicycles. It has garnered a lot of criticism from the Miami community over the past few years but here’s hoping it will succeed in its endeavor to be a major Miami art institution.
From there, we were off to the opening of Tracey Emin’s first solo American museum exhibition, titled “Tracey Emin: Angel Without you” at MOCA – North Miami. I can’t think of a city more perfect than Miami for a show full of neon lights. Emin’s witty handwritten expressions and glowing declarations of love lit up the museums walls. The exhibition includes over 60 works covering almost twenty years of her practice. Later in the evening, White Cube celebrated Tracey at the Soho House. It was a fabulous evening poolside!
The next morning, I attended the panel discussion at the New World Center, hosted by Paul Goldberger with art collector and philanthropist Eli Broad, Elizabeth Diller from Diller Scofidio + Renfro and Joanne Heyeler, the founding director of the Broad museum . Plans were discussed for the $140 million building, with its state of the art “veil and vault” concept featuring two floors of gallery space that will offer free admission to visitors and showcase the in depth collection of nearly 2,000 works of art. When I first met the Broads in the 1970’s while I was at Sotheby’s, they had just started to collect and had three works including a drawing by Van Gogh, and paintings by Motherwell and Kelly. They have certainly come a long way!
The VIP opening of Art Basel at 11 am didn’t seem very VIP, as there were so many people clamoring to get in early. The quality this year was trulty impressive with many galleries selling works in the first hours. Tracey Emin’s neon “The Last Great Adventure is You” sold out immediately at White Cube. Dominique Levy’s booth featuring Jeff Koons and John Baldessari created a compelling dialogue with Jeff in attendance.
The Rubells took six trips to China between 2001 and 2012 and visited 100 studios in seven cities acquiring the work of 28 artists which they featured in their exhibition appropriately titled, 28 Chinese. The list of artists includes Ai Weiwei and Zhang Huan amongst many others who have never before shown in the US. Jennifer Rubell celebrated the opening of the exhibition with her large-scale food installation Faith.