Culture News

20 Arizona Artists to Show Work During Art Basel in Miami Beach This December

Twenty artists with ties to Arizona will show works at Miami-area art fairs when Art Basel in Miami Beach takes place in December. Their works will be part of exhibitions presented by either Lisa Sette Gallery or {9} The Gallery, both based in Phoenix. 

Art Basel is a renowned art fair founded in Switzerland in 1970 as a way to connect international galleries and patrons of modern and contemporary art. Now, the event comprises art fairs in three cities – including Basel, Hong Kong, and Miami Beach.

The 15th edition of Art Basel in Miami Beach happens December 1 to 4, 2016. Participants include 269 galleries from 29 countries in North America, South America, Europe, Asia, and Africa. It's a signature event on the international art scene, with participants selected through a rigorous jury process. 

Because Art Basel in Miami Beach draws such a large crowd of international artists, art professionals, and art lovers, quite a few additional art-related events happen during the same period of time.

These events include large art fairs comprising booths representing various art venues from around the world, where gallerists and artists show works to be purchased for personal, museum, or other collections.

Lisa Sette Gallery is showing works by 12 of the 36 artists the Phoenix gallery represents during Art Miami, which is one of the most significant annual contemporary art fairs in the United States. Art Miami typically attracts more than 85,000 people – including collectors, curators, and museum professionals. It takes places in the Wynwood Arts District that's home to more than 70 galleries. 

This is the seventh year Sette's gallery has participated in Art Miami. After operating her gallery for 28 years in Scottsdale, Sette relocated in 2015 to midtown Phoenix.

Sette has been showing works at Miami art fairs for a decade, and says she always tries to make sure she includes Arizona-based artists.

Five of the artists whose work Sette is showing at Art Miami are based in Arizona: Rachel Bess, Angela Ellsworth, Mayme Kratz, Carrie Marill, and James Turrell. Both Bess and Kratz have received artist awards from Contemporary Forum, a prestigious support organization for the Phoenix Art Museum. Ellsworth and Marill have received Contemporary Forum grants.

Turrell is best known for creating skyspace installations, including those located at Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art and ASU’s Tempe campus.

Sette is showing work by additional artists based in the United States (Enrique Chagoya, Sonya Clark, Jessica Joslin, and Charlotte Potter), as well as work by Maximo Gonzalez and Xawery Wolski, both based in Mexico City, as well as Cuba's Reynier Leyva Novo.

“It’s highly international exposure, and works get purchased for various collections,” Sette says. “The benefits for artists go far beyond monetary gain.”

Laura Dragon, who owns {9} The Gallery in Phoenix, is participating for the first time in an art fair coinciding with Art Basel in Miami Beach. Dragon also co-founded Grand ArtHaus, a co-working studio and gallery space. Both are located in the Grand Avenue arts district that’s a popular destination during First and Third Friday art walks.

She’ll be showing works by eight artists, including Miami-based Cuban-American artist Kiki Valdes and Fausto Fernandez, at an art fair called X Contemporary, which happens at the Nobu Hotel in Miami Beach.

Fernandez, whose public art commissions include a 400-foot by 40-foot terrazzo floor design for Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, worked for a decade in Phoenix but now lives in New Mexico.

{9} will also present works by Fred Tieken, Bassim Al-Shaker, Jon Wassom, Pete Deise, Joe Holdren, and Kathy Taylor.

Tieken, who operates galleries in Paradise Valley and Venice Beach, California, with his wife Gail, is also showing work at the Spectrum Miami art fair with bG Gallery of Santa Monica, California. Tieken, now in his 80s, showed work at the Aqua Art Miami art fair two years ago. "We made a lot of connections and sold quite a bit of art," he says of that experience. 

He's creating 16 new pieces to show in Miami, including a dozen for the {9} The Gallery booth at X Contemporary. Other X Contemporary participants include Brooklyn's Bishop Gallery, which is featuring a collection of early works by Jean-Michel Basquiat, an artist who has significantly influenced Tieken's work. 

Al-Shaker’s work was shown at the Iraq Pavilion during the 2013 Venice Biennale, where he met Gordon Knox, director for the ASU Art Museum, who was instrumental in helping Al-Shaker relocated to Phoenix. In September, Al-Shaker officially opened his Babylon Gallery in Roosevelt Row, a part of downtown Phoenix nationally recognized as a top arts district and neighborhood.

Dragon decided to participate as a way of getting more exposure for Arizona artists, saying that they need a wider audience to become well known and sought after on a national and international level. Like Sette, she recognizes the unique role significant art fairs can play in artists' careers.

“It’s an exposure you really can’t get anywhere else,” Sette says.

Correction: This post has been corrected from its original version to include the official name of Art Basel in Miami Beach.
KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Lynn Trimble is an award-winning freelance writer and photographer specializing in arts and culture, including visual and performing arts
Contact: Lynn Trimble