What to See in Downtown Miami / by Ernesto Kunde

Perez Art Museum Miami

(formerly Miami Art Museum) 

Miami’s new museum opens to the public with a bang during Basel, featuring a highly anticipated exhibition by Chinese  artist Ai WeiweiAccording to What? is the first major international survey of this notorious artist’s complex body of work. The construction of PAMM, a billion-dollar museum, represents the growth of Miami as a legitimate player in arts and culture.  It’s the first building to rise in the downtown’s new Museum Park (formerly Bicentennial Park). Simply a must-see.

PRIMARY PROJECTS 

Several blocks away from PAMM, sits Primary Projects’ stunning new gallery. The 5,000-square-foot space, opening its doors to the public for the first time during Art Basel, is devoted to showcasing what’s next in contemporary art. Partners Booksllll “Books” Bischof, Typoe, and Cristina Gonzalez are at the helm and their track record is stellar – in galleries and on the streets. Primary Flight is their work of genius. It’s a world-renowned mural installation project that transforms the walls of Wynwood — from barren to brazen – each year.

Artist to Watch: LA artist Kenton Parker inaugurates the new Primary Projects space with Contender, a solo show dedicated to self-portraiture through sculpture, painting, installation and photography. Through the use of universal scenarios like fighting, purging, nudity and apathy, Parker invites guests to explore their memories in the “safe space” he’s created.

POP-UP PUBLIC ART

Miami-Dade Country Art in Public Places debuts its first temporary public art commission with a four-night installation that’s designed to serve as the backdrop for the “most exclusive VIP party of Art Basel,” according to Brandi Reddick, curator for Art in Public Places. Local artists Jim Drain and Bhakti Baxter created M|/\M|M/\X to celebrate the completion of their respective projects at PortMiami. Visible from I-395 and Government Cut in downtown Miami, the “secret” party will take place nightly from Dec. 4 – 7 in the cargo containers located on the waterfront. Visit miamidadepublicart.org for details if the organizers decide to release them.

PULSE CONTEMPORARY ART FAIR 

Nestled deep within downtown Miami is the art fair Pulse, a progressive blend of acclaimed and innovative contemporary artists presented in tandem with special event programming throughout the week.