Art Basel, one of the worlds biggest contemporary art fairs is under way in Miami Beach today until December 8th.
Curated under the theme ‘Social Animals’ by Nicholas Baume, Director and Chief, Curator of Public Art Fund, the artworks selected for this year’s Public sector will transform Collins Park into an outdoor exhibition space. Public, a sector of Art Basel’s Miami Beach show, features over 30 large-scale sculptures and installations by leading and emerging international artists, including Olaf Breuning, Sam Falls, Jeppe Hein, Thomas Houseago, Alicja Kwade, Richard Long, Santiago Roose, Oscar Tuazon, and Ursula von Rydingsvard. For the third straight year the sector is produced in partnership with the Bass Museum of Art. A selection of artworks will continue to be installed in Collins Park through March 2014. The Public sector’s opening night on Wednesday, December 4 will include a special program of performances, free of charge and open to the public.
The Guardian reports that after insane sales at New York auction houses where the ultra-rich spent over a billion dollars on contemporary art, gallery owners and art dealers participating in Art Basel are looking to cash in on this spike in the contemporary art market, where world record prices were recently fetched for painting – Francis Bacon’s Three Studies of Lucian Freud sold for $142.5m – and work by a living artist – Jeff Koons’s Balloon Dog (Orange) set a new high of $58.4m.
Definitely worth the madness if you’re in Miami this time of year, if not to see some incredible contemporary art at the beach, then to watch the contemporary art market go ape-shit as cashed up art collectors try to stake their claim on contemporary visual culture. We’ll see if Lewis is up for a post or two.