Brett Sokol 2017-11-30 21:55:18
Miami Beach enters the homestretch of its Convention Center renovation. In September, Art Basel signed a new lease with the city of Miami Beach, agreeing to stage its only fair in the Americas at the Miami Beach Convention Center for five more years, through 2023, with an option to renew the agreement for another five years after that. “We are delighted to extend our long-standing relationship with the city of Miami Beach and look forward to hosting Art Basel in the newly renovated, state-of-the-art Convention Center for many years to come,” said Noah Horowitz, Director Americas for Art Basel. “Since our inaugural edition in 2002, the city’s unwavering support has helped make our show in Miami Beach what it is today: a global event.” For their part, city officials all but launched fireworks. Mayor Philip Levine likened the deal “to locking in the Super Bowl for five years.” Visitors to this year’s fair will see evidence of construction around the Convention Center, where renovations are underway, but once they’re inside, “it’s business as usual,” says Melissa Berthier, the city’s public relations manager. While Hurricane Irma in September resulted in construction delays, Berthier says the entire renovation will be complete by the fall of 2018, in time for next year’s Art Basel. Meanwhile, the fair is taking advantage of the work that’s already done, deploying a fresh show design with a new floorplan, wider aisles, larger booths, and an overall more contemporary look and feel. Come 2018, the renovated and expanded Convention Center will feature an extensive array of new permanent public artworks, from a whimsical Elmgreen & Dragset-designed sculpture that turns a swimming pool into an archway in the new park across from the center’s west entrance (where a parking lot currently sits) to architectural flourishes added to the center’s walls by Franz Ackermann and Sarah Morris. Additional artworks—by Ellen Harvey, Joseph Kosuth, and Joep van Lieshout—will also be installed.
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