Art Basel Miami 2012 Guide

In its first decade, Art Basel Miami Beach grew from an experimental spin-off of its Swiss namesake to become this country’s most important contemporary art sales platform—and a great excuse for a party.

Pictured: “Piano Chair,” 2011 (digital animation) by Robin Rhode — Courtesy of Lehmann Maupin


WHEN: December 6–9
WHERE: Miami Beach Convention Center
HIGHLIGHTS: Entering its 11th year, ABMB’s four-day show brings together top collectors, curators, critics, and more than 260 galleries showcasing the work of over 2,000 artists. Add to that Design Miami, a dozen other satellite fairs, countless site-specific installations throughout the city, and a raging roster of parties that make this a nonstop event, and you’ll understand why, for some collectors and dealers, this winter fair outshines its older Swiss sibling.

Pictured: “Prayer (Yellow),” 2011-12 by Makoto Saito — Courtesy of Paul Kasmin Gallery


James Royal Palm Miami

This property, formerly the Art Deco Royal Palm, reopened in October following a $42 million face-lift, during which the 179 guest rooms and 211 studios and suites were given an earthy midcentury vibe by the Rottet Studio. The hotel’s restaurant serves regional dishes, and the carefully curated art collection ranges from jet-set photographer Slim Aarons to local contemporary star Loriel Beltran.

1545 Collins Avenue
South Beach
Rates: from $399

Pictured: Guest room — Courtesy of the James Royal Palm Miami

SLS Hotel South Beach

Philippe Starck and Sam Nazarian’s SLS has made a splash among Miami Beach’s luxury hotels. The whimsical 140-room joint’s Art Deco-meets- summer-camp lobby, Brobdingnagian rubber ducky, and acclaimed Bazaar restaurant made it the belle of the Basel ball last year, and it’s only gotten buzzier.

1701 Collins Avenue
South Beach
Rates: from $305

Pictured: Guest pool — Courtesy of SLS Hotel South Beach


The Raleigh

The Raleigh remains a perennial favorite of the Basel crowd. Sure, it’s a quick skip to the Convention Center, but the real draw is the timeless style of this 1940 Deco glamazon (and her early-aughts André Balazs upgrade).

1775 Collins Avenue
South Beach
Rates: from $515

Pictured: The Raleigh’s lush approach — Courtesy of The Raleigh


Freehand Hostel

ABMB has never been the province of starving artists, but one of this year’s hottest social scenes is set to be—wait for it—a hostel. Opened by the design stars behind the Ace Hotel group and New York’s NoMad, these nautically inspired budget digs will be the permanent home of famed pop-up party Broken Shaker, complete with cocktails by Bar Lab.

2727 Indian Creek Drive
Mid Beach
Rates: from $30

Pictured: Four-person bunk room at the Freehand — Photo by Adrian Gaut



The Bazaar by José Andrés

With the culinary whimsy of James Beard Award–winner Andrés and the dreamworld design of Starck, this was one of the most anticipated Miami restaurant openings in years. It delivers, with acid-yellow walls and artfully presented treats, like liquid nitrogen caipirinhas and fois gras with coffee.

1701 Collins Avenue
South Beach

South Street Restaurant and Bar

A collaboration between Miami restaurateur Amir Ben-Zion, hip-hop lifestyle manager Amaris Jones, and DJ Affect, this Design District spot opened in October, serving up neo-soul food in a Motown-inspired space with drinks by the folks at Bar Lab.

4000 NE 2nd Avenue
Design District

Pictured: South Street’s dining room — Courtesy of South Street



It doesn’t get more Miami than this 10,000- square-foot penthouse restaurant in Herzog & de Meuron’s parking garage overlooking the city. On the menu: Peruvian-Asian cuisine such as Korean short ribs and some of the freshest ceviche around. It is all served in an indoor-outdoor space with a vertical garden and chill tunes spun by marquee-name DJs.

1111 Lincoln Road
South Beach
Pictured: The indoor-outdoor dining room — Courtesy of Juvia


Florida Cookery

Opened just last month by Kris Wessel, who remains the chef at Miami’s Red Light Little River, this new hot spot aims to help revive regional dishes such as lychee-roasted quail and mango pie, many of which were plucked from his grandmother’s cookbook. There are also waistline-conscious offerings by Heidi Klum’s nutritionist.

1545 Collins Avenue
South Beach


Wynwood Walls

This meeting place for both local and international street artists might be thought of as the Five Pointz of Miami. The first major show, co-curated by Tony Goldman and Jeffrey Deitch, opened in 2009. Until his death this past fall, real estate developer Goldman continued to expand the surface area open to artists.

167 NW 25th Street
Wynwood (near Downtown)

Pictured: Kenny Scharf’s expanded mural — Courtesy of Martha Cooper, Kenny Scharf, and Wynwood Walls


Miami Beach Cinematheque

Set in the historic City Hall built by Carl Fisher in 1927, this two-year-old institution includes a screening room, gallery, bookstore-cum-library, and café. It’s the perfect place to spend some time away from the art while still steeped in culture.

512 Espanola Way
South Beach
Pictured: The screening room — Courtesy of Miami Beach Cinematheque




Curated by British expat Steven Giles, Base is the Colette of Miami, its gallery-like space selling everything from women’s wear to glossy shelter magazines and Comme des Garçons perfumes. The cool kids hang at the listening station up front. If you find yourself at the Delano hotel, check out the lobby satellite store.

939 Lincoln Road
South Beach
Pictured: BASE on Lincoln Road — Photo by Steven Giles BASE, South Beach, 2011


The Webster

In 2009, alums of YSL, Hermès, and Balenciaga put Miami fashion on the map with this 20,000-square-foot mega retail space in a pink-and-turquoise Art Deco building. It has since become a pretty-people palace with a pop-up art gallery and, new for fall 2012, an outpost of celeb chef Michelle Bernstein’s Crumb restaurant.

1220 Collins Avenue
South Beach
Pictured: The Webster Miami glows at night — Courtesy of The Webster


Miami Design District

This is the year that Miami’s Design District officially morphs from bohemian caterpillar to designer butterfly with a massive new complex of luxury stores along Northeast 40th Street. Cartier and Céline have already opened, with Hermès and Pucci hot on their well-shod heels.

38th to 41st Streets between NE 2nd Avenue and N Miami Avenue (near Downtown)

Pictured: Rendering of the new Louis Vuitton store — Courtesy of Louis Vuitton / Design District



  1. Pingback: Paul Kasmin Gallery Now Represents Artist Taner Ceylan - Yareah Magazine. Arts and writing | Yareah Magazine. Arts and writing

  2. Pingback: NYC Exhibition. Robin Rhode. Take Your Mind Off the Street. Lehmann Maupin Gallery - Yareah Magazine. Arts and writing | Yareah Magazine. Arts and writing

Your Opinion Is Important!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: