Scoop Art’s walk through Miami’s Art Fairs

Posted on December - 8 - 2016

It’s easy to say that this year some of the artworks major events have been accompanied by political changes. From the President Dilma Rousseff’s impeachment in Brazil during the 32nd São Paulo Biennial to the declaration of the United State’s next president during sale season in both New York and Miami, both significant changes have caused a stir and propelled politically charged atmosphere. This can either be a great place to see how socially engaged artworks blossom or can be a destabilizing force in the art market. Both seem to apply for Miami’s Art Week where attendance rates were lower that previous years and sales have been, although not drastically affected, a bit more hesitant and slower.

Nonetheless, the quality and variety of artworks and artists have not faltered. Galleries across the Miami Beach tents as well as the satellite exhibitions boasted and varied array of artists and as it to expect, renowned and well as emerging Latin American artists were to be found and were there to please the event-goer.

This year Scoop Art was right there along the lines of art lovers eager to see what the much-awaited event was bringing to the table. The first item on the list was NADA, one of the edgiest of the bunch, which what it may lack in experience, it makes up for in style. Among the galleries was Guatemala’s very own Proyectos Ultravioleta, whose colorful and playful stand never misses to catch everyone’s attention (it’s not by chance that is mentioned as one of NADA’s top booths). Its unconventional approach of showing the works of Costa Rican Federico Herrero, Juni Figueroa, and Akira Ikezoe proves that the gallery is right up there among the great ones in the international scene.


Proyecto Ultravioleta’s booth. Photo: Scoop Art

Parallel to the fair’s the PAMM held the first solo exhibition of Argentinean artists Julio La Parc titled Form into Action. The exhibition showcases more than 100 works of Le Parc between 1958 to 2013 either as large-scale installations or drawings that bend the senses into an altered state of perception. Form into Action was a triumph in bringing North America the work of one of Latin America’s most influential artist (it’s no wonder that his work received more attention in the galleries that carry him). It’s a must-see exhibition as well as the other exhibition room dedicated to Carlos Motta’s work.


Julio Le Parc. Photo: Scoop Art

And then there was the big one, the mother of all art fairs: Art Basel. Walking through the people can be a high price to pay for diving in, but once you are part of the currents, the art makes the ordeal worth it. The walls were lit by a piece of Ana Mendieta Cosmetic Variations stood at in Galerie Lelong, showing the artists in a set of seven photographs where she is interacting with a male counterpart or just by herself. Her work never ceases to lose its relevance through time. At both Galerie Peter Kilchmann and Sean Kelly Gallery the Cuban duo Los Carpinteros showed their work in an interesting video, sculptures, and painting. Over at Sean Kelly, another Latin America artist presented his work, this time in the form of a beautiful diptych (that brings Lichtenstein’s splashes to mind) by Mexican José Dávila.


Ana Mendieta. Photo: Scoop Art

As part of the mandatory list, booth J10 brought all the way from Norway the prominent gallery Nils Stærk and among its ranks, a well-known Guatemalan artist that resonates through the globe. Dario Escobar’s critically acclaimed work has managed to transcend into the international market since the beginnings of the century and as a result, has landed him overseas representation. His work Composition No.1 and Equilibrio No. 2, stood their ground in the minimalistic but colorful booth.


Dario Escobar. Photo: Scoop Art

Leaving the Scandinavian scene, another stop that peaks the list is Mexican-based gallery Kurimanzutto. It’s no secret that we regard this space as one of our favorites, but that is highly justified. The booth was filled with wooden stools supporting Damián Ortega’s Icebergs, surrounded by Abraham Cruzvillegas, Gabriel Sierra, and Jimmie Durham. This year as part of the Kabinett section, the galleries exhibit work of Mexican Carlos Amorales. The artist is no stranger to the international scene, but what hits home is his connection to Guatemala through his collaboration with the Guatemalan master composer, Joaquín Orellana.

As many articles have sprung about the effects of the unstable political state, which will probably affect the art market in many ways still unknown. A purchasing decision might linger longer than before, and the overall psyche will not be in the best predisposition to buy, however, the art never stops being good and worth making the trip to see it first hand. Until next year!

By: Gabriela Martinez de la Hoz


Kurimanzutto’s booth. Photo: Scoop Art