News: The 10 Best Booths at Art Basel in Miami Beach, December  5, 2019 - Artsy, Alina Cohen

The 10 Best Booths at Art Basel in Miami Beach

December 5, 2019 - Artsy, Alina Cohen

At the Art Basel in Miami Beach press conference on Wednesday morning, Dan Gelber, mayor of Miami Beach, likened the 18th edition of the fair to a teenager “coming of age.” That may be true in many respects: This year’s presentation at the Miami Beach Convention Center expects collectors from over 70 countries, and features 269 galleries from 33 countries. Yet the fair is still youthful enough to accept a good prank. One of the most talked-about artworks is a banana duct-taped to a wall. The piece is by none other than Maurizio Cattelan and aptly titled Comedian (2019); two of three editions were sold by Perrotin by the end of the VIP preview, each priced at $120,000. Below, we share some of our non-biodegradable favorites from the fair.

Pippy Houldsworth

Survey, Booth S2

With works by Faith Ringgold

In the 1970s, artist Faith Ringgold wanted to make her paintings more portable. “She didn’t want to go on heaving them around [and depending on] a man to move the paintings—because they’d been getting much larger,” explained Pippy Houldsworth, who’s exhibiting a presentation of five Ringgold artworks, made between 1964 and 1997, in her gallery’s booth. Inspired by Tibetan thangkas—paintings on fabric—Ringgold decided to paint on unstretched canvases, and her mother helped her sew on borders of patterned fabric.

Three of these revelatory, mixed-media pieces are on view at Art Basel in Miami Beach. Each features a nude African American woman amid brightly hued leaves. In the works—titled Slave Rape #1: Fear Will Make You Weak, Slave Rape #2: Run You Might Get Away, and Slave Rape #3:Fight to Save Your Life (all 1972)—Ringgold’s subjects are strong, capable women. The trio of paintings was in storage for 50 years, before being featured this year in a major Ringgold retrospective at the Serpentine Galleries. The works will go straight back to Europe after the fair ends, as the survey travels to the Bildmuseet in Umeå, Sweden. The three “Slave Rape” pieces, in addition to Ringgold’s painting The Flag is Bleeding #2 (American Collection #6) (1997), all sold before the fair opened to a private museum, for an undisclosed price.

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Photo Credit: Art Basel

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