10 Artists To See At Art Basel Miami 2021

It’s official, Art Basel Miami is back IRL and it’s bringing art lovers back to South Beach with it. Open to public from December 2-4, the 2021 edition features 253 galleries from 36 countries across five continents. After cancelling the 2020 event, the North American showcase returns with a new perspective featuring works that emphasize underrepresented artists and voices this year.

According to Marc Spiegler, the Global Director of Art Basel, “There’s enormous excitement within the art world on both sides of the Atlantic about Art Basel Miami Beach 2021. Not only because it’s our first fair in two years in the Americas, but also because the show has never before featured such a diverse range of voices.”

Can’t make it to the Superbowl of modern and contemporary art this year? Neither could we. But that doesn’t mean we can’t appreciate artwork from afar. Here’s a handful of our favorite artist showing at Art Basel Miami this year.

Art Basel Artist We Love

Otis Kwame Kye Quaicoe, Gauna

Oil on canvas paintings by Otis Kwame Kye Quaicoe Right to Left: Moses Adomah, 2021, David Theodore, 2021, Rainyanni (Cowgirl), 2021

Ghanan painter, Otis Kwame Kye Quaicoe is a Rubell Museum Artist-in-Residence–which is one of the two galleries showing his work at Art Basel. Known for creating captivating portraits of his family and friends, Quaicoe uses color and texture to express the deep character of his subjects. The three featured works (above) convey a new perspective of the American cowboy trope.

Raymond Hains, France

Robert Hains work Seita, 1970, laminate, sandpaper and paint on wood

French artist Raymond Hains started his ‘Match’ series while living in Italy in 1964. Seita (above) is a giant mix-medium matchbook presented by Galerie Max Heltzer at this year’s showcase. The work, which is known to be inspired by Claes Oldenburg, draws attention to everyday objects through scale. Thus, playing with our perception of reality.

Suchitra Mattai, Guyana

a mended heart, a lightened soul, 2021, vintage saris, animations, fabric, fringe, tassels, and acrylic, dimensions variable

Born in Guyana, South America and of South Asian decent, Suchitra Mattai’s work is influenced by her multicultural background and upbringing. Using vintage and found materials in many of her pieces, she brings rich history to her work while navigating her own personal narrative as a minority woman. Her multi medium piece (above) featured by Kavi Gupta Gallery at Art Basel uses a mix of vintage saris, other found fabrics and acrylic paint.

Daniel Arsham, New York, New York

Daniel Arsham is a contemporary artist who doesn’t need an introduction these days. Known for his collaborations with luxury brands including Tiffany and Porsche, his works focus on “fictional archaeology” according toPerrotin Gallery (the gallery showing his work at Art Basel this year). Considered one of the must-see artworks at this year’s showcase, his Eroded 1975 911 S in Crystal is a full scale replica using his signature sculptural corrosion techniques.

Ja’Tovia Gary, Dallas, Texas

Another must-see at this year’s showcase is Citational Ethics (Toni Morrison, 1987) byJa’Tovia Gary. The piece is the second work in the Citational Ethics series, both of which illuminate the words of a Black woman in neon.  The work’s title serves as a citation for the quote, encouraging viewers to learn more about its source.⁠ (Tony Morrison, 1987) references Morrison’s Beloved using part of the quote, “Those white things have taken all I had or dreamed and broke my heartstrings too. There is no bad luck in the world but whitefolks.” Additionally, the form of the sculpture cites another Black American icon, Martin Luther King Jr., by recalling the sign outside the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, where he was murdered. 

Kennedy Yanko, Bushwick, Brooklyn

Kennedy Yanko works (right to left) I am flower, 2021, I am that, 2021, I am water, 2021

Another artist represented by the Rubell Museum, Yanko is a painter-sculptor who repurposes materials in unexpected lyric combinations. Her currently works, including I am water (above) explores the limits of material gesture, and simultaneously reveals innate links between seemingly dissimilar objects.

ORLAN, France

ORLAN, is a mixed medium artist who creates works across sculpture, photography, performance and video. Showing some of her archival work Art Basel this year via Ceysson Benetiere Gallery, her self portrait works explore her identity as a young woman at the height of the modern feminist movement.

Fred Eversley, Los Angeles, California

Based in Los Angeles, with a studio in Venice Beach, Eversley is an 80-year-old sculptor who has been creating works since the 1960s. Considered to be one of the artists within the “L.A. Light & Space“ movement–Eversley has explored energy, both physical and metaphysical, throughout his career. His Untitled sculptors within his Lenses series are presented by Nicola Vassell Gallery continue his exploration of energy through multicolor polyester casting.

Bertrand Lavier, France

Since the 1960s, Lavier has explored the relationship between painting and sculpture, representation and abstraction. Often using a tongue and cheek attitude in his art, Lavier is known for using everyday industrial objects and repositioning them as elements in a strategic critique of consumerism. That being said, his untitled neon works (above) are a detour from his readymade work. Instead, the work pays homage to painter Frank Stella and traverse his fascination with time and space.

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Kate Dessa has been writing about culture, creativity and entrepreneurship for over 12 years – getting her start when magazines were something you still held in your hand. When she is not writing, producing or creating you can usually find her eating. Find her across platforms @katedessa