Untitled stakes its claim on Miami Beach
The sophomore fair is growing, but who knows what the future holds
By Rachel Corbett. From Art Basel Miami Beach daily edition
Published online: 04 December 2013
Now entering its sophomore year, the Untitled art fair has rapidly made a name for itself in the crowded Miami Beach fair scene. The performance-art star Marina Abramovic hosted last night’s preview party (where she was also on hand selling $1,000 prints to benefit the Elton John Aids Foundation) and the event itself nearly doubled in size since last December—jumping from around 40 exhibitors to a current lineup of nearly 100.
“We had a show last year that set a certain dialogue and the galleries really embraced it,” says the fair’s director Jeff Lawson. To make room for the new booths, the architectural firm Keenan/Riley expanded the beachside tent on Ocean Drive and 12th Street by 66%.
Untitled’s growth could put it in direct competition with Nada, the 11-year-old event that has long held the reputation of being the dominant satellite fair, but which is sited farther north in Miami Beach.
“What was important to us was the venue,” says Francisco Borrego Vergara, a director at Curro & Poncho, a Mexico-based gallery that defected this year from Nada because of the newer fair’s proximity to Art Basel Miami Beach.
International galleries, particularly those from Latin America, have a notable presence at Untitled. Returning as the artistic director of the fair, the New York-based curator Omar Lopez-Chahoud has invited exhibitors from 19 countries, up from around a dozen last year. “I needed to travel more,” he says, “because that is how you get a sense of what’s really going on.”
The approach seemed to appeal to exhibitors. “I’m excited to be among all of these dealers who are not just my competitors on the Lower East Side,” says gallery owner Elizabeth Denny, the owner of the Denny Gallery in New York.
But it’s too soon to say if Untitled has established a lasting brand in Miami. Lawson says he plans to rotate in a new curator and architect after next year, and hasn’t committed to the same location. “Who knows?” he says. “We could even be in a different city.”
Correction: This article was updated on 4 December. Untitled will keep the same architect and location next year, but could change thereafter.
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