5 Memorable Booths to Seek Out at Art Basel Miami Beach
By Julia Halperin
December 2, 2021
For a gallery in the main section of the fair, it’s customary—and often lucrative—to present an array of crowd-pleasing works by a range of artists in the program. Peter Blum’s booth went against the grain.
At first, it might seem like a group display, with media ranging from wallpaper to photography to tapestry. But upon closer inspection, it becomes clear that the works are all by the same artist: the Alaska-based Nicholas Galanin. Created over the course of 12 years, each one explores—sometimes wittily, often profoundly—how white America has appropriated Native land and culture, often distorting history and disfiguring itself in the process.
One particularly resonant work by the Tlingit and Unangax̂ artist is The Imaginary Indian (Totem Pole) (2016), a carved totem installed in front of Victorian-era wallpaper and hand-painted to blend right in. For Galanin, the work represents the European fetishization, appropriation, and flattening of Native cultural production.
Works on the stand range in price from $10,000 for small-scale editions to $135,000. Around half of the works on offer were sold by the end of the first VIP day.