The non-profit organisation Faena Art, which was founded by the Argentine art collector, real estate developer and hotelier Alan Faena, celebrates its tenth anniversary this year.
Long before the Faena District in Miami existed, the organisation established a presence in Buenos Aires with the launch of the Faena Art Center in 2011. Its first commission—curated by Jessica Morgan, the current director of the Dia Art Foundation and previously a curator at Tate Modern—was an immersive exhibition by the Brazilian artist Ernesto Neto that engulfed the space with colourful textile webs.
The first stateside commissions in Miami Beach in 2015 featured works by Ragnar Kjartansson, Jim Denevan and others. The annual initiative officially became the Faena Festival in 2018—a free arts festival coinciding with Art Basel in Miami Beach that is hosted across the Faena Forum, the Faena Hotel, the streets and the beach.
“It had always been my dream to have an international cultural festival—a polyphonic platform to amplify voices and bring together practitioners from different artistic fields,” Faena says. The organisation itself was “born in the spirit of collaboration and to make art accessible to all, conceived as a bridge between the local and the global [to] be a shelter to the artistic community”.
The inaugural US edition of the Faena Prize for the Arts—a $75,000 award launched in Buenos Aires in 2012—has been awarded to the emerging digital artist Pilar Zeta. Her commission Halls of Vision (2021) will be the centrepiece of the annual festival, consisting of a site-specific installation that alludes to Argentina’s Madí movement and honours the legacy of Art Deco in Miami Beach.
Below are some of Faena Art’s most exciting commissions from the past ten years.