Visual Art

Art Wynwood likes being the only fair in town post Basel

Written By Douglas Markowitz
February 8, 2024 at 6:49 PM

The Art Wynwood art fair returns to Herald Plaza for four days from Wednesday, Feb. 14 to Sunday, Feb. 18 in downtown Miami. (Photo courtesy Art Wynwood)

Just when we thought we were out of the Miami art fair season, Art Wynwood is about to pull us back in.

Setting up shop in downtown Miami at Herald Plaza from Wednesday, Feb. 14 to Sunday, Feb. 18, the show of modern and contemporary art from dozens of local and international galleries offers another chance for art lovers and collectors to explore a bustling art market. More than 50 galleries and over 500 artists will be shown, according to organizers.

“We have galleries introducing post-war (art) for great prices,” says Julian Navarro, director of Art Wynwood. “You’re going to see Picassos, you’re going to see Miros, you’re going to see the good secondary market (artworks) from Latin America.”

With a little over 50 galleries showing at Art Wynwood, the art fair aims for a more intimate experience than Miami Art Week. (Photo courtesy of Art Wynwood)

Several galleries will be offering blue-chip art. New York-based Zeitz Contemporary Art will be showing works by such illustrious names as Henri Matisse, Andy Warhol, Alex Katz, and Jeff Koons – hopefully they’ll be able to avoid a repeat of last year, when a Koons “balloon dog” statue was accidentally shattered. Lesser known and international names are also represented: Kyiv-based Kedria Arts, which has a second location in Detroit, has work from five Ukrainian artists at their booth this year at Art Wynwood.

Locals will also have a strong presence. Adamar Fine Arts will feature work from famous contemporary artists such as Damien Hirst and Ugo Rondinone. Coral Gables-based Cernuda Arte will show Cuban modernist and contemporary artists including Wifredo Lam and José Bedia, while Imaginart, also based in the Gables, will have work by local artist Gloria Lorenzo. And artist Peter Tunney, still based in Wynwood after most local galleries have left the neighborhood, will receive the fair’s Lifetime Achievement Award. The artist has kept a gallery at the Wynwood Walls for the last eight years, and he’ll be at the fair with a special booth titled “Invincible Summer.”

Antonio Sannino, “Under Construction Sea VI,” is being shown at Art Wynwood by Liquid Art System. (Photo courtesy Liquid Art System)

“We decided to honor him not only for his work, but for his career as an entrepreneur, as an artist helping new emerging artists,” Navarro says of Tunney.

Some of the galleries in the show are transplants to Miami, part of a trend of international dealers moving into the city. Liquid Art System, originally based in Capri, Italy and with several locations in the Naples area, recently opened a Miami showroom on NE 4th Avenue in Little Haiti. They plan on using the fair to get closer to their American clients and show work by artists including Marco Grassi, Silvia Berton, and Filipo Tincolini.

“We have a lot of important American collectors and Art Art Wynwood is a way for us to be closer to (them),” says Franco Senesi, founder and CEO of Liquid Art System, adding that the gallery also shows at Art Miami. “For us, it’s a good opportunity.”

Marco Grassi’s “Pink experience n.731,” will be at Liquid Art System for this year’s Art Wynwood in downtown Miami. (Photo courtesy Liquid Art System)

The art fair takes place in tandem with the nearby and much bigger Miami International Boat Show, which is owned by the same parent company, Informa. The firm also runs the trifecta of Art Miami, Context, and Aqua during Miami Art Week and Palm Beach Modern + Contemporary in March and sees Art Wynwood as a way to take advantage of customers coming to the boat show.

But while last year’s edition benefitted from two satellite fairs – art-focused Superfine and the artist’s book fair Tropic Bound – both have taken this year off. Tropic Bound’s next edition won’t be until 2025, and Superfine appears to be focusing on other cities like San Francisco in March and New York City in May.

For Navarro, this doesn’t change much. He sees an advantage to being the only game in town for art collectors this weekend. For one, attendees aren’t wasting time trying to get to every other fair.

“(During Miami Art Week) it takes two hours just to cross the bridge, right? I think with Wynwood, it’s a good place,” he says. “The collectors are going to spend more time there. They don’t need to go to other places because there are no other places.”

Silvia Berton,“Petricore,” will be shown by Liquid Art System at this year’s Art Wynwood. (Photo courtesy Liquid Art System)

Navarro also feels the year will be better overall. The art market is cooling down after a brief post-pandemic boom, where business was frequently conducted online or over the phone. Now, collectors and gallerists alike are going into fairs to get facetime, and they’re being more intentional with what’s being bought and sold.

“Right now, I feel like the market is leveling up,” says Navarro. “You’re not going to see people coming to buy a lot of things without knowing (about the art). And I feel like collectors are being more responsible in how they support not only the galleries, but the artists.”

WHAT: Art Wynwood

WHEN:  VIP Preview 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 14, Regular viewing: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, Feb. 15 to 17, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 18.

WHERE: The Art Wynwood Pavilion, One Herald Plaza (Biscayne Bay & 14th St.), Miami

 COST: $38, one-day general admission; $28 for one-day senior and student (12 to 18); $68, multi-day pass; $230, VIP pass.

 INFORMATION: 305-517-7977 or artwynwood.com 

ArtburstMiami.com is a nonprofit media source for the arts featuring fresh and original stories by writers dedicated to theater, dance, visual arts, film, music, and more. Don’t miss a story at www.artburstmiami.com.

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