Art Basel Miami: best galleries and parties

What to know (and not to miss) at the fairs

By Sana Imtiaz Choudhry

Art Basel Miami Beach is North America’s most comprehensive, international art fair which showcases the work of 4000 artists from 35 different countries. Scheduled to be held from December 5-9, 2019 at Miami Beach Convention Center, the show will host 20 satellite fairs, parties, and exhibitions during Miami Art Week. Among 269 Galleries that will exhibit their work, there are 20 new participants including Barro Arte Contemporáneo from Buenos Aires, Mariane Ibrahim Gallery from Chicago and Parker Gallery from Los Angeles.

Best galleries and parties at Art Basel Miami Beach 2019

The Highlights of Art Basel Miami

The fair is divided into six sections: Galleries (the main exhibition), Positions (where galleries represent their work), Nova (new work by one to three artists from galleries), Survey (work of an artist completed before the year 2000), Edition (prints and edition work) and Meridians (the large scale projects in Convention Center’s Ballroom). 

Noah Horowitz, the director of Americas of Art Basel, highlights the diversity of art reflected in Art Basel Miami. “I am particularly excited to welcome new galleries from more diverse parts of the U.S. and Canada. The strong roster of galleries from the Americas is complemented by cutting-edge galleries from across Europe and Asia”, he says.

But here’s the point; even if you are a die-hard art enthusiast, you can’t see the art exhibited at all 269 galleries in 5 days. You have to be selective. Following is the list of 7 must-see galleries that reflect art from various parts of the globe, created by some of the most influential artists on today’s art scene.

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Seven best galleries not to miss at Art Basel Miami

Travesía Cuatro, Madrid

Spanish gallery Travesía Cuatro will be completely new to the show. Founded in 2003 by Silvia Ortiz and Inés López-Quesada, the gallery showcases the work of emerging and mid-career international artists. The paintings and sculptures represented in this gallery combine the elements of Latin American and European Art. It aims at reflecting polyphony and diversity of discourses from these contexts. Travesia Cuatro has established itself for expressing a unique socio-political stance regarding topics like identity, global economy, and multiculturalism. The gallery prizes the display of a highly influential Italian artist Alighiero Boetti.

Roberts Projects, Los Angeles

The gallery represents mid-career and established artists like Amoako Boafo, Kehinde Wiley and Jeffrey Gibson. It was opened in 1999 and showcases the art which addresses the questions of identity and culture.  The gallery is recognized for bringing out a broader context of contemporary art by exhibiting artists from various contexts and generations. 

Clearing, Brussels and New York

Clearing is a contemporary art gallery based in New York and Brussels. The gallery has been representing emerging art since its inception in 2011. It represents the work of 17 established artists such as Harold Ancart, Korakrit Arunanondchai, Calvin Marcus, Marina Pinsky, Eduardo Paolozzi, Bruno Gironcoli, and René Heyvaert.  The work of the artists emulates the absurdist approach to reality, eccentricity, and wit.

High Art, Paris

Housed in Paris, the gallery represents an international program. It not only reflects the work of emerging artists but also networks like Paris Internationale, Shanaynay. ‘The gallery has always been interested in practices exploring the ever-evolving relationship between humanity, nature, and technological forms of production and reproduction,’ says High Art’s cofounder Philippe Joppin. The works of artists like Olga Balema, Matt Copson, Mélanie Matranga, and Max Hooper Schneider prove the point. 

Espaivisor, Valencia

Managed by Miriam Lozano and Mira Bernabeu, the gallery reflects the art inspired by the cultures of Latin America, Eastern Europe, and Spain. Raising awareness about various socio-political issues, the gallery houses the artifacts created by influential artists like Dan Perjovschi, Graciela Carnevale and Nil Yalter. Espaivisor will also exhibit the oeuvre of Claudio Perna, which is considered a key proponent of Conceptual Art in Latin America. 

Blanket Project, Cape Town

Started in 2005 by Jonathan Graham, Blanket Project is one of the most established commercial galleries in Cape Town. Exhibiting the work of the most influential South African Artists, Blanket Project exhibits the work of performer and video artist Donna Kukama, fictional portrait artist, Cinga Samson and the master of abstract art, Igshaan Adams. Blanket Project will exhibit the new work of Billie Zangewa in the Nova sector. Through the medium of delicate silk collages, Zangewa has articulated a powerful and comprehensive feminine perspective.

Antenna Space, Shanghai

Founded by Simon Wang, Antenna Space reflects regional art which in the words of Wang is “weird, kind of sexy and empathetically compatible.” Wang sees Shanghai as an epitome of Metropolitan culture, which is “crazily dynamic, consisting of giant arts platform,” whose people are “ready for new art.” Wang likens his space to an antenna as it materializes the artists’ desires into projects. The gallery will participate in the Positions sector and exhibit the work of artists Xu QU. 

This list is only the tip of the iceberg of the high-end art that is going to be exhibited during Art Basel Miami. Follow the list of all the galleries here.

But the display of art is not the only thing which distinguishes Art Basel Miami. It is the VIP parties, get-togethers of the celebrities and meet-up with the cutting-edge artists from all around the globe which explains Art Basel Miami. The following are some of the VIP parties and get-togethers to follow if you have VIP First Choice Fair Pass.  

A drink in a cocktail party nightlife

VIP parties and get-togethers during Art Basel Miami

DJ Khaled and a charity superyacht reception

Wednesday 12/5

Hosted by the famous DJ Khaled, Dujour Magazine’s Party will enable you to get started with one of the best elite events.

Another highlight of the day is the 8th Annual My Group Charity Superyacht Reception starting at 8:30 PM. Come the night and you will find yourself enjoying exquisite food, finest wines, a silent auction, and a DJ. An amount of the proceeds will be donated to the Blue Angels Foundation.  

Andrea Bocelli at Gloria Estefan’s yacht

Thursday 12/6

Fancy getting up close and personal with a celebrity like Andrea Bocelli? Look no further. Join Veronica and  Bocelli and Emilia and Gloria Estefan on Estefan’s yacht. You can personally meet and greet the celebs, enjoy spectacular wine, cocktails, and small bites. Andrea Bocelli’s outstanding performance will complement this fine reception. 

Performances and cocktails at Plymouth Miami Beach Hotel

Friday 12/7 

Maxim December Miami Issue Party at Plymouth Miami Beach Hotel is one of the highlights of the day.  The music by DJ Irie, artistic experiences by Marco Santini, live performances by Rick Ross and Daye Jass and the hot model Martha Hunt from Victoria’s Secret will make this event a must-attend treat. The food and drink choices are as expensive and chic as entertainment. Signature bites by Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar and Grill, complimentary specialty cocktails, Peroni Beer and Belaire Champagne will be included. 

Vintage and luxury at the same party

Saturday 12/8

First-class vintage bags, jewelry, and luxury goods are the signature of What Goes Around Comes Around. This year in Miami, they are celebrating their 25th Anniversary Party. So we can expect a meeting with celebs, special performances, custom drinks and a lot more.  

To enjoy these and much more, contact the VIP Concierge to get your tickets now. 

Besides these VIP fetes, you can expect parties and get-togethers at lobby bars, chic restaurants, and trendy hotels. If you are talking about a buzzy scene, hoping to run elbows with the “it” crowd, you can find the hottest stuff on these destinations. 

Best Party Destinations during Art Basel Miami

Basement at Miami Beach Edition

This is sure to host some of the coolest late-night parties. It is equipped with a Discobox dance club, an ice skating rink and a four-lane bowling alley. You can expect to party hard there!

LIV at Fontainbleau

LIV at Fontainbleau promises to give you the best mega-club experience. After a million-dollar overhaul, Fontainbleau is expected to host stars and cutting edge artists during Art Basel evenings. Some of the A-list DJs like A-list DJs like David Guetta, Tiesto, Kaskade, and Calvin Harris are expected to be there.


Rockwell has established its repute as one of the leading night clubs in South Beach in the last few years. During Art Basel, we expect to see A-list celebs like Lenny Kravitz, Kendal Jenner, and Lebron James. The music and performances by Rick Ross and Gucci Mane are sure to make the partying at the Rockwell, the best experience. 

Broken Shaker

If you are a fan of the subtropical party atmosphere, you are sure to find your favorite spot in Broken Shaker. Located inside Freehand Hotel’s shaded courtyard, every single detail is set to bring a chic party. Its mix and match furniture, overhead string lights and some of the most creative cocktails are sure to lure the hip-hop party lovers and the cool crowd.

Mana Wynwood

Located on the outskirts of Wynwood, Mana Wynwood is known to hold some of the coolest cultural events and art shows. They have staged some of the outclass events like Kendric Lamar Concert and several celebrity-hosted bashes. During Art Basel Miami, they plan to set up a lounge featuring a skate park, sculpture garden, and live art installations.  

So what are you thinking? 

Plan to see some of the finest art in your favorite galleries. Choose your favorite parties to get dressed up for. 

If you haven’t seen the work by the cutting edge artists, meet and greet the celebs or danced till 5 a.m. at one of the South Beach Clubs, were you even in Miami? 

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Sana Imtiaz Choudhry is a freelance content writer and blogger. Traveling has been her passion and destiny. She has lived in 15 countries and traveled to 4 continents of the world. She loves to write about everything, from traveling to parenting, from digital marketing to entrepreneurship, from cooking to art. You can reach her at