Art Basel Miami Beach: Advisory Selections
Advisory Perspective

Art Basel Miami Beach: Advisory Selections

By Rory Mitchell | Miami Beach, 25 November 2021

With the arrival of Art Basel Miami Beach, the art fair calendar of 2021 is set to close with a bang. We select our favourite works from the fair, which returns in full force after its 2020 cancellation.


Teresita Fernández, Dark Earth (Eclipse) (2021). Solid charcoal and mixed media on chromed panel. 95.25 x 120.65 x 7.62 cm.

Teresita Fernández, Dark Earth (Eclipse) (2021). Solid charcoal and mixed media on chromed panel. 95.25 x 120.65 x 7.62 cm. Courtesy the artist and Lehmann Maupin, New York, Hong Kong, Seoul, and London.

Teresita Fernández at Lehmann Maupin

Using materials such as charcoal, iron ore, and gold, Teresita Fernández's alluring sculptures and installations immerse viewers into questions around power and how the past connects to the present.

Frequently referring to legacies of colonialism, her works connect materials with the natural world, unveiling layers of violence that are embedded in the landscape. Fernández recently reflected her work as having a 'terrible beauty'.

Based in New York since 1998, the MacArthur award winner recently presented over two decades of her practice at the Pérez Art Museum Miami.


Kudzanai Chiurai, His Fate (2021). Oil on canvas. 209 x 165.5 x 7.5 cm.

Kudzanai Chiurai, His Fate (2021). Oil on canvas. 209 x 165.5 x 7.5 cm. Courtesy Goodman Gallery Johannesburg, Cape Town and London.

Kudzanai Chiurai at Goodman Gallery

Born one year after Zimbabwe gained independence from the U.K., multi-disciplinary artist Kudzanai Chiurai works across painting, photography, video, fashion, publishing, and more to reimagine inherited power structures.

Looking into themes including displacement, xenophobia, and inequality, Chiurai has remained in self-imposed exile since being threatened with arrest after he created controversial posters of former president Robert Mugabe during the lead-up to the 2008 elections in Zimbabwe.

Chiurai has revisited poster design in his latest paintings—which were included in a 2020 solo exhibition at Goodman Gallery and bring slogans together with defiant figures.


Ettore Spalletti, Sfumato azzuro con oro, paesaggio (2018). Colour impasto and gold leaf on board. 100 x 150 x 4 cm.

Ettore Spalletti, Sfumato azzuro con oro, paesaggio (2018). Colour impasto and gold leaf on board. 100 x 150 x 4 cm. Courtesy of Marian Goodman Gallery.

Ettore Spalletti at Marian Goodman Gallery

Born in 1940 in Cappelle sul Tavo in the Italian province of Pescara, Ettore Spalletti attended art school in the region, where he would live an almost monastic life up until his death in 2019.

Sfumato azzuro con oro, paesaggio exemplifies Spalletti's meditative process of applying layers of colour at the same time each day so as to capture the sentiment of that specific moment over a prolonged period.

Spalletti is currently the subject of a solo exhibition at The National Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art in Rome, the first exhibition showcasing the artist's work since his death.


Maurizio Cattelan, RAW (2021). Taxidermied pigeons and artwork. Pigeons: 20 x 30 x 13 cm. Frame: 129.6 x 93.1 x 11 cm. Overall: 149 x 93.1 x 13 cm.

Maurizio Cattelan, RAW (2021). Taxidermied pigeons and artwork. Pigeons: 20 x 30 x 13 cm. Frame: 129.6 x 93.1 x 11 cm. Overall: 149 x 93.1 x 13 cm. Courtesy of Marian Goodman Gallery.

Maurizio Cattelan at Marian Goodman Gallery

Italian conceptual artist Maurizio Cattelan has carved a reputation as one of the most controversial figures on the international art scene.

RAW, which features taxidermied pigeons sitting atop an artwork styled upon a traditional still-life scene, continues Cattelan's confrontation of death, art history, and the commercialisation of art production in his highly satirical manner.

The artist's first solo exhibition in China is currently on view at UCCA Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing. Running until 20 February, Maurizio Cattelan: The Last Judgment presents 29 works including installation, sculpture, and performance pieces, showcasing Cattelan's provocative three-decade-long practice.


Carmen Herrera, Untitled (Cadmium #15) (1961). Acrylic on canvas with painted frame. 66.7 x 51.4 x 4.1 cm. © Carmen Herrera.

Carmen Herrera, Untitled (Cadmium #15) (1961). Acrylic on canvas with painted frame. 66.7 x 51.4 x 4.1 cm. © Carmen Herrera. Courtesy Lisson Gallery.

Carmen Herrera at Lisson Gallery

Born in Havana, Cuba in 1915, Cuban-American painter Carmen Herrera is a pioneer of geometric abstraction.

Untitled (Cadmium #15) (1961) is particularly notable for the year in which it was created, when all diplomatic ties between the U.S. and Cuba were severed and Herrera was attempting to liberate her brother who had been arrested as a political prisoner.

Rendered in cadmium red—a colour she favoured throughout her career—this acrylic on canvas work demonstrates her mastery of representing balance and tension within tight, off-kilter frames.


Camille Henrot, Story of a Substitute (2020). Bronze. 110 x 70 x 40 cm. © ADAGP Camille Henrot.

Camille Henrot, Story of a Substitute (2020). Bronze. 110 x 70 x 40 cm. © ADAGP Camille Henrot. Courtesy the artist and kamel mennour, Paris/London.

Camille Henrot at kamel mennour

Henrot's sinuous bronze sculpture taps into the fraught relationships between children and their parents, specifically the fear of abandonment.

On this theme, she explains, 'In a way, I think of a sculpture as an object you can cuddle with, or would like to cuddle with... It has the potential of being an object of emotional protection, a substitute object'.

It was announced this week that Hauser & Wirth will represent Henrot in the U.S., a move prompted by the closure of her former U.S. gallery Metro Pictures at the end of the year. Kamel mennour continues to represent the Berlin-based artist in London and Paris, alongside König Galerie in London, Berlin and Seoul.


Sonia Gomes, Intervalo (2020–2021). Acrylic, gouache, acrylic marker, threads, different fabrics on canvas and different fabrics and rope. 219 x 80 x 20 cm (painting); 340 x 20 x 20 cm (pending).

Sonia Gomes, Intervalo (2020–2021). Acrylic, gouache, acrylic marker, threads, different fabrics on canvas and different fabrics and rope. 219 x 80 x 20 cm (painting); 340 x 20 x 20 cm (pending). Courtesy Mendes Wood DM.

Sonia Gomes at Mendes Wood DM

Sonia Gomes takes an almost alchemical approach to sculpture, recording Afro-Brazilian experience through dynamic, biomorphic forms.

Featuring both a canvas and hanging installation, Intervalo adheres to her familiar technique of stuffing, wrapping, and sewing fabric onto found objects, in this case, canvas and rope.

Los Angeles-based gallery Blum & Poe is currently presenting the São Paulo-based artist's first U.S. solo exhibition. When the Sun Rises in Blue is on view until 18 December.


Robert Colescott, Girl of the Golden West - Texas (1980). Coloured pencil and graphite on paper. 76.2 x 55.9 cm. © The Robert H. Colescott Separate Property Trust / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Robert Colescott, Girl of the Golden West - Texas (1980). Coloured pencil and graphite on paper. 76.2 x 55.9 cm. © The Robert H. Colescott Separate Property Trust / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Courtesy of The Trust and Blum & Poe, Los Angeles/New York/Tokyo. Photo: Dan Finlayson.

Robert Colescott at Blum & Poe

Robert Colescott's work comments on the historical representations of race, gender, and sexuality through paintings and drawings that satirise art history.

Produced in 1980, Girl of the Golden West - Texas (1980) is part of his 'Girl of the Golden West' series, a group of works responding to the way women were portrayed in popular culture in 1930s and 40s America.

Personifying each state of the West, every work features a version of a sexually suggestive cowboy, highlighting the cultural clichés and attitudes of the American Dream.

In 1997, Colescott was the first African American artist to represent the United States with a solo exhibition at the Venice Biennale.


Noah Davis, Congo #7 (2014). Private Collection © The Estate of Noah Davis.

Noah Davis, Congo #7 (2014). Private Collection © The Estate of Noah Davis. Courtesy The Estate of Noah Davis and David Zwirner.

Noah Davis at David Zwirner

Congo #7, depicting three male figures loitering in a street doorway, exemplifies Davis's tender portrayal of everyday life, specifically the Black experience, in Los Angeles.

Included in the late artist's recent solo exhibition at David Zwirner, Congo #7's muted tones and sensual representation of African American figures brings to mind the painterly techniques of fellow Zwirner artists including Kerry James Marshall and Henry Taylor.

In 2012, Davis founded The Underground Museum in Arlington Heights. An ethnically diverse neighbourhood in Los Angeles, the art space was run by, and dedicated to exhibiting, the work of individuals from surrounding African American and Latinx communities.

Main image: Teresita Fernández, Dark Earth (Eclipse) (2021). Solid charcoal and mixed media on chromed panel. 95.25 x 120.65 x 7.62 cm. Courtesy the artist and Lehmann Maupin, New York, Hong Kong, Seoul, and London.

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