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Detail image of Nicholas Galanin, The Value of Sharpness: When it Falls, 2019. Courtesy of the artist and Peter Blum Gallery

Miami Art Week 2021: a guide to Art Basel and shows in the city
By Harriet Lloyd-Smith
November 30, 2021 

Over the last year, the art world has tentatively been refinding its footing, and at long last, ’tis the season to eat, drink and be in Miami. Explore our picks for Miami Art Week 2021. 

Art Basel Miami Beach makes a bold return for 2021

Art Basel Miami Beach 2021 (2 – 4 December) will return to the Miami Convention Center for the first time since 2019, and although spirits are high, new-normal protocols remain. A strict mask mandate minimises the potential for celebrity-spotting and people-watching, and this year’s must-have accessories include a body temperature within normal range, proof of a negative Covid-19 test, and evidence of vaccination status. 

The 2021 edition will showcase 253 galleries from 36 countries and territories, 43 of which join for the first time. The fair format remains largely the same (albeit one day shorter than usual), but the emphasis has shifted towards the elevation of underrepresented perspectives. ‘There’s enormous excitement within the art world on both sides of the Atlantic about Art Basel Miami Beach 2021,’ says Marc Spiegler, global director of Art Basel. ‘Not only because it’s our first fair in two years in the Americas, but also because the show has never before featured such a diverse range of voices.’

Meridians – the fair’s platform for large-scale projects – returns for its second iteration. Highlights include Yinka Shonibare’s Moving Up, an installation chronicling the vertical movement of six million African Americans from rural Southern states to cities in the North, Midwest, and West from 1916 to 1970, known today as the Great Migration. Elsewhere, Nicholas Galanin engages in the complexities of Indigenous identity, culture, and representation. His Tlingit background informs his conceptual practice, which includes the installation The Value of Sharpness: When It Falls, an arc of 60 suspended hatchets that appear in flight. 

Beyond the headliner Art Basel, this year will also see the return of satellite fairs including Untitled Art (30 November – 4 December), Design Miami (1 – 5 December), and Art Miami (30 November – 5 December).

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