Looking to See Some Art Beyond a Fair Booth? Here Are 16 Museum and Gallery Shows to Visit During Art Basel Miami Beach 2021

Nov 26, 2021

During Miami Art Week (November 29–December 5), there will be plenty more to see beyond the Miami Beach Convention Center, the Ice Palace, and the beachside tents. As the city’s museums, nonprofits, private collections, and galleries return to form after the off year of 2020, they have saved some of their best programming for December, when they can seize the international art world’s attention. Read on for our picks.


Installation view of “There Is Always One Direction” at the de la Cruz Collection. Photo courtesy of the de la Cruz Collection, Miami.

Since 2009, collectors Rosa and Carlos de la Cruz have operated a private museum that showcases new selections from their holdings each year. The current outing takes its name from Gabriel Orozco’s sculpture Four Bicycles (There Is Always One Direction) (1994), which is on view alongside works by the likes of Tauba Auerbach, Hernan Bas, Wifredo Lam, Glenn Ligon, Christina Quarles, Sterling Ruby, Vaughn Spann, Reena Spaulings, and Christopher Wool.

The de la Cruz collection is located at 23 NE 41st Street in the Miami Design District. Admission is free.


Will Ryman, The Situation Room (2014). Photo courtesy of the Margulies Warehouse, Miami.

Mega-collector Martin Z. Margulies is staging no fewer than seven shows at his private museum this year, including ones dedicated to Arte Povera, new work by Anselm Kiefer, and Will Ryman’s life-size replica, in glittering black charcoal, of a now-iconic photo of President Obama and his security council in the titular situation room.

The Margulies Warehouse is located at 591 NW 27th Street. General admission is $10.

Zhivago Duncan, Pretentious Crap (2010–11). Collection of the Pérez Art Museum Miami, gift of Diane and Robert Moss.

In addition to current shows by Jed Novatt, Meleko Mokgosi, and Marco Brambilla, and of African and African diaspora artists from the Jorge M. Pérez collection, PAMM is staging an installation of Zhivago Duncan’s elaborate multimedia work Pretentious Crap (2010–11), which Diane and Robert Moss donated to the museum in 2014. The piece is by the artist’s alter ego Dick Flash, the sole survivor of a global apocalypse who has forgotten life before the end of the world, collecting scraps from a ruined civilization he doesn’t understand. The resulting display, with vehicle parts spinning aimlessly in a massive cabinet, parallels contemporary artists’ struggles to make work that explains our complex world.

PAMM is located at 1103 Biscayne Boulevard, Miami. General admission is $16.

Delfin Finley, Two Sides of the Same Coin (2021). Photo courtesy of Jeffrey Deitch.

After five years of teaming up with Larry Gagosian to bring blue-chip art to the Design District’s Moore Building, Jeffrey Deitch is going it alone this year with “Shattered Glass.” He’s re-staging a show of new art by emerging artists of color that debuted at his Los Angeles space back in the spring, which attracted more than 1,000 daily visitors in its final weeks. Curators Melahn Frierson and AJ Girard are expanding the exhibition to include 15 additional artists. It’s also the last time Deitch will occupy the space because, according to the dealer, its being taken over by a “concept creation collaborative” called Woodhouse.

The Moore Building is located at 191 NE 40th Street, Miami Design District, Miami. Admission is free.


“Witness: Afro Perspectives” at El Espacio 23. Photo courtesy of of El Espacio 23, Miami.

PAMM namesake Jorge M. Pérez opened his own private art space in Allapattah, the Dominican neighborhood that is also home to the new Rubell Museum. The second show, of over 100 works by African and African Diaspora artists, is guest-curated by Tandazani Dhlakama, of Cape Town’s Zeitz MOCAA, in collaboration with Pérez Collection curators Patricia M. Hanna and Anelys Alvarez. Featured artists tackling weighty themes include Belkis Ayón, Lorna Simpson, and Leonce Raphael Agbodjelou. A companion show, “Allied With Power: African and African Diaspora Art from the Jorge M. Pérez Collection,” is also on view at PAMM (through February 2, 2022).

El Espacio 23–Jorge M. Pérez Collection is located at 2270 Northwest 23rd Street, Allapattah, Miami. Admission is free.

Ellen Lesperance, Amazonknights. Womonspirit. Womonpower. Glory. (2017). Collection of the Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami; museum purchase with funds from Helen Kent-Nicoll and Edward J. Nicoll. Photo: Dan Kvitka.

In addition to “Betye Saar: Serious Moonlight,” which opened in late October and runs through April 17, 2022, the ICA is unveiling a quintet of solo presentations by Ellen Lesperance, Shuvinai Ashoona, Harold Mendez, Hugh Hayden, and Anthea Hamilton during Miami Art Week. Inspired by the women weavers of the Bauhaus, the Pattern and Decoration movement, and 1970s and ’80s feminist art, Lesperance has made paintings and sculptures based on hand-knitted garments worn by women activists who took part in the Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp demonstrations in Berkshire, England, between 1980 and 2000.

The Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami is located at 61 NE 41st Street, Miami Design District. Admission is free.

Alex Israel, Self-Portrait (Pelican with Fish) (2019). Courtesy of the Bass Museum of Art, Miami Beach.

Alex Israel’s collaboration with Snap, which debuted at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity in 2019, uses augmented-reality technology to create five AR experiences that each correspond to one of his “Self-Portraits.” At the museum, viewers can take in the physical paintings with their eyes, and then download the AR “lenses” to view the work though their smartphone, watching as the works come to life. A sixth AR work activates the museum’s Art Deco facade, transforming the entire building into a pedestal for a giant virtual sculpture of Israel himself.

The Bass Museum of Art is located at 2100 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach. General admission is $10.

Maryan, Personnage (Soldat), 1974. Collection of Beth Rudin DeWoody, on view at the Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami.

During World War II, Polish-born artist Maryan sustained injuries that necessitated the amputation of his leg. After the war, he studied to become an artist in Jerusalem and Paris before moving to New York in the 1960s. His paintings, sculptures, drawings, and films often feature fictional figures he called his personnages, from the French word for character. This exhibition surveying his four-decade career, curated by Alison Gingeras, opens with an installation that re-creates Maryam’s studio at New York’s Chelsea Hotel, where he lived during the 1970s.

Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami is located at the Joan Lehman Building, 770 NE 125th Street, North Miami. General admission is $10.

Reginald O’Neal, Thyself (2020). Courtesy of Spinello Projects, Miami.

At the last proper Miami Art Week, in 2019, the opening of Don and Mera Rubell’s private museum was one of the most hotly anticipated events of the year, putting the city’s Allapattah neighborhood on the art-world map. This year’s offerings are from 2021 artists-in-residence Kennedy Yanko, Otis Kwame Kye Quaicoe, Cajsa von Zeipel, and Reginald O’Neal, a figurative painter whose work focuses on the Black experience. The Rubells commissioned two new paintings from the Miami-based artist, and will show them alongside works from his solo debut “At the Feet of Mountains,” held last year at Miami’s Spinello Projects. O’Neal will have a simultaneous show, “They Dreamt of Us,” at the gallery (through January 15).

The Rubell Museum is located at 1100 NW 23th Street, Miami. Admission is free.

Es Devlin, Forest of Us, (2021). Installation view of Every Wall is a Door, Superblue Miami, 2021. Photo by Andrea Mora.

Superblue Miami’s inaugural exhibition, which aims to transport viewers to new worlds, opened in May, adding even more visual star power to the Allapattah neighborhood. The show also includes an immersive mirrored environment from stage designer Es Devlin, one of James Turrell’s light-based Ganzfeld works, and Drift’s kinetic installation Meadow, plus a digital experience from TeamLab.

Superblue Miami is located at 1101 Northwest 23rd Street, Miami, Florida. General admission is $36. 

Bernadette Despujols, Andres (2021). Courtesy of Spinello Projects.

Bernadette Despujols has previously painted naked women, creating works that confront society’s objectification of the female body. Here she turns her painter’s eye on the closest men in her life, creating intimate portraits of her friends, family, and lovers.

Spinello Projects is located at 2930 NW 7th Avenue, Miami. 

Nadia Hironaka and Matthew Suib, Field Companion, still. Courtesy of Locust Projects, Miami.

Locust Projects, a highly regarded nonprofit alternative art space, reliably hosts some of Miami Art Week’s most interesting offerings. This year, Philadelphia-based artists Nadia Hironaka and Matthew Suib have created an immersive film installation of Field Companion, a film loosely inspired by the forests of the New Jersey Pine Barrens but filmed in a terrarium in the artists’ studio. Mirrored walls make it seems as through the microcosmic film set, captured with a motion-controlled camera, stretches into infinity. Fantastical (digitally rendered) creatures inhabit this tiny world, which speaks to issues of coexistence and sustainability, and the the importance of nature.

Locust Projects is located at 3852 North Miami Avenue, Miami. Admission is free.

Photo: Juan Luis Matos. Courtesy of the Wolfsonian FIU, Miami Beach.

It’s not just wealthy art collectors who can leave Miami Art Week with an original piece of art. In exchange for posing for a photographic portrait with Juan Luis Matos during his weeklong residence at the Wolfsonian’s Bridge Tender House, you’ll get a a print of the work. Each portrait’s pose and setting will be inspired by images in the Wolfsonian collection. The project is a collaboration with Bakehouse Art Complex and Miami Beach Open House.

The Wolfsonian–Florida International University is located at 1001 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach. General admission is $12.

Bob Dylan, One Too Many (2020). Private collection. Image courtesy of the artist.

Beloved singer-songwriter and Nobel Prize winner Bob Dylan gets his first U.S. retrospective of his work as a visual artist. The show, which originated at the Modern Art Museum Shanghai, features more than 180 paintings, drawings, ironwork, and ephemera, and teases out the connections between his material output and his music and lyrics.

The Patricia and Phillip Frost Art Museum at Florida International University is located at 10975 SW 17th Street. Admission is free.

Margarita Cano, The Tumbler (1997). Collection of the NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale; gift of Isabel Hernandez in memory of Benjamin Holloway. © 2021 Margarita Cano.

Entirely self-taught, the Cuban-born, Miami-based artist Margarita Cano turned 90 this year. This exhibition celebrates her celestially inspired oeuvre, which includes miniature books, votive portraits, landscapes paintings, prints, and photographs.

Nova Southeastern University Art Museum is located at 1 East Las Olas Boulevard, Fort Lauderdale. General admission is $12.

Judy Chicago, Hand on Fire (Hands—Studies/Ancillaries) (2004). Courtesy of Nina Johnson, Miami.

Pioneering feminist artist Judy Chicago may be notorious for the ceramic plates she made for her massive installation The Dinner Party, but she has also developed her own techniques for painting on kiln-fired glass. Her second show with the Nina Johnson gallery will mark the debut of Mortality in Glass, her largest glass piece to date, as well as works from her glass sculpture series “Head’s Up” and “Hands.” Chicago has also re-fabricated Zig Zag, a Minimalist sculpture originally from 1965, in powder-coated steel.

Nina Johnson is located at 6315 NW 2nd Avenue, Miami. Admission is free.