Yayoi Kusama’s All the Eternal Love I Have for the Pumpkins (2016) at the ICA Miami Pop-up in the Design District (until 31 January 2020). Photo: Silvia Ros; © Yayoi Kusama

Art Basel in Miami Beach 2019

In pictures | Immerse yourself in Miami's art

From Kusama's pumpkins to pink furry beasts, our pick of the top art experiences around town this week

Experiential art emerged in the 1960s with artists such as the Japanese avant-gardist Yayoi Kusama, who championed the idea of creating immersive works that demanded in-person viewing and participation. These installations were intended to create a non-commodified art experience that distanced itself from the trappings of the art market, and to provide the viewer with a meditative and sometimes hallucinatory encounter. But more than five decades after Kusama launched her first “infinity mirror room” at the Castellane Gallery in New York in 1965, an experience that was once intended as a practice about presence has arguably become a mainstream marketing concept, with museums, commercial galleries and pop-up spaces around the US cashing in on the trend.

All this popularity comes at a price, however. Kusama’s most recent iteration, INFINITY MIRRORED ROOM—DANCING LIGHTS THAT FLEW UP TO THE UNIVERSE (2019) at David Zwirner in New York (until 14 December), saw three- to four-hour wait times during its opening week, with visitors queuing around the block. Those hoping to see her installation All the Eternal Love I Have for the Pumpkins (2016) during Art Basel in Miami Beach, an off-site project organised by the Institute of Contemporary Art Miami in the Design District (until 31 January 2020), are warned to “expect long wait times due to the exhibition’s popularity and limited capacity” during first-come, first-served free admission on Thursdays; timed $15 tickets for slots during Miami Art Week have already sold out. (The Miami installation is also incidentally at the centre of a closely watched lawsuit brought by the German financial investment firm Fine Art Partners [FAP], which says it owned the work, against the dealer Inigo Philbrick, for allegedly selling it to Saudi Arabia without the company’s knowledge.)

For everyone willing to brave the crowds for that perfect selfie, here are some of the top immersive art exhibitions to see in Miami this week.

José Carlos Martinat’s colourful installation American Echo Chamber (2018) at the Pérez Art Museum Miami (until 26 January 2020)
Photo: © José Carlos Martinat. Courtesy the artist and Revolver Galería

José Carlos Martinat’s colourful installation American Echo Chamber (2018) at the Pérez Art Museum Miami (until 26 January 2020)

The NightGarden at the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden in Coral Gables (until 11 January 2020)
Photo: © Sharon Sipple

The NightGarden at the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden in Coral Gables (until 11 January 2020)

Canal-Cheong Jagerroos’s Floating Islands (2019) at Tranter Sinni Gallery (until 20 January 2020)
Photo courtesy of Tranter Sinni Gallery

Canal-Cheong Jagerroos’s Floating Islands (2019) at Tranter Sinni Gallery (until 20 January 2020)

A Mirror Maze: Numbers in Nature at the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science (until 12 April 2020)
Photo: © JB Spector/Museum of Science and Industry Chicago

A Mirror Maze: Numbers in Nature at the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science (until 12 April 2020)

Fernando Laposse’s Pink Beasts (2019) on display in the Miami Design District (until 31 December)
Courtesy of the artist

Fernando Laposse’s Pink Beasts (2019) on display in the Miami Design District (until 31 December)

Infinite Space by Refik Anadol at Artechouse, Miami Beach (until January 2020)
Photo: Daniel Garcia

Infinite Space by Refik Anadol at Artechouse, Miami Beach (until January 2020)