Art is, of course, the focus of Art Basel, and this year, 253 galleries from around the world will have a presence. Meridians, devoted to large-scale sculptures and paintings, installations, video projections, and live performances in a dedicated space on the main show floor, is once again curated by Magalí Arriola, director of Museo Rufino Tamayo in Mexico City. This time around, Meridians spans creations by Brazilian artist Maxwell Alexandre, as part of his Pardo é Papel series depicting favela life, from Rio de Janeiro gallery A Gentil Carioca, as well as U.S.–and Ghana-based artist Todd Gray’s Sumptuous Memories of Plundering Kings, a complex 14-part, 30-foot-long piece shown by David Lewis Gallery that meditates on European colonialism, slavery, and the African diaspora.
Curated exhibitions from emerging and established artists are the focus of Art Basel’s Kabinett platform, which ranges from Dusseldorf gallery Sies + Höke’s rare early drawings by Sigmar Polke and Gerhard Richter to Roberts Projects’ paintings from Ghanaian artist Otis Kwame Kye Quaicoe that consider the relationships between identity, materiality, and race.
There are sure to be other highlights too. At the recently opened Superblue Miami gallery in Allapattah, Dior Maison’s “Dior Medallion Chair” exhibition (on view November 30–December 5) will reveal versions of the Louis XVI–style seat reimagined by such designers as Dimore Studio, India Mahdavi, and Pierre Yovanovitch.
Another luxury icon will be celebrated in the Design District too: In honor of the centennial anniversary of Chanel No. 5, London artist and stage designer Es Devlin collaborated with the fashion house’s resident perfumer, Olivier Polge, on Five Echoes, the transformation of Jungle Plaza into a temporary forest of more than 1,000 plants, shrubs, and trees punctuated by a multisensory sculptural labyrinth enlivened by light, color, and sound.
Louis Vuitton is also getting in on the action: Expanding their Objets Nomades collection of travel-inspired designs, the luxury fashion house will transform its stores in the Design District with work from the Campana Brothers, Raw Edges, Marcel Wanders, and Patricia Urquiola on display.
With buzzy new hangouts like Pharrell Williams’s Goodtime Hotel offering sanctuary from the barrage of installations, Design Miami and Art Basel are sure to conjure an aura of prepandemic conviviality. And for those spending time in Miami in the lead-up to the festivities, the international art, music, and culture festival Art With Me will make landfall in Miami from November 26 to 28 at Historic Virginia Key Beach Park, running from noon to 2 a.m. each day. Expect concerts, art installations, wellness programming, and even activities for kids.