FITZ & CO CEO Sara Fitzmaurice's Guide to Art Basel Miami Beach 2019

Heading to Miami for Art Basel this year? From well-established fairs and annual parties to new festivals and activations, there's no shortage of art, design and cultural events to have on your radar. With so much on this year, we asked Sara Fitzmaurice, CEO and President of FITZ & CO—which has represented Art Basel since 1996, and helped to launch Art Basel in Miami Beach in 2002—for her guidance on what not to miss. 

Art Basel is settling into its second year in the massively renovated Miami Beach Convention Center, which was revealed last year opening up new spaces within the 21st century facility. There’s lots of buzz around the debut of Meridians, Art Basel Miami Beach’s new sector for large-scale installations and performances, which will occupy one of those large new spaces. Meridians will undoubtedly be a special highlight of this year’s fair and is sure to add an exciting new dimension to the show (both literally and figuratively). While there are several standout projects to look out for, I’m particularly keen to see the array of new works in the sector, including: a ceramic work by Miami-based artist Woody De Othello, co-presented by Jessica Silverman Gallery (San Francisco) and Karma (New York); the latest iteration of an ongoing installation by Laure Prouvost presented by Lisson Gallery (London, New York, Shanghai), and a major painting by John M. Armleder presented by Almine Rech Gallery (Paris, Brussels, London, New York, Shanghai).

David Castillo Gallery presents Varla TV (2018 - 19), a monumental installation by Pepe Mar at Meridians

Having served on the board of the Public Art Fund in New York for the last 15 years, I am a big supporter of public art because it allows general audiences to “happen upon” and experience art in an authentic and sometimes surprising way. There are a number of public art projects happening during Miami Art Week and below are two that stand out:

Les Lalanne at The Raleigh Hotel | Free and open to the public through February 29, 2020

Visitors to Miami Beach’s boardwalk can discover a lush, new tropical garden designed by architects Peter Marino and Raymond Jungles, filled with the whimsical sculpture of the late French artists Claude Lalanne and François-Xavier Lalanne. Presented by real estate developer, investor and philanthropist Michael Shvo, Les Lalanne at The Raleigh Gardens is a nod to the Raleigh Hotel’s epic past as an icon of culture and style, and a tribute the profound artistic legacy of Les Lalanne. The exhibition and gardens are free and open to the public through to February 29, 2019. It is the second time Shvo has collaborated with renowned architect and fellow Lalanne collector Peter Marino on a public art project celebrating Les Lalanne, following the much-loved Getty Station project in West Chelsea, New York in 2013. The exhibition brings together more than 40 exceptional Lalanne works from the collections of Michael Shvo, architect Peter Marino, Andy Warhol muse Jane Holzer, and gallerists Paul Kasmin (New York), Ben Brown (London and Hong Kong) and Jean-Gabriel Mitterrand (Paris).

Les Lalanne at The Raleigh Gardens, Courtesy SHVO Douglas Friedman

Order of Importance by Leandro Erlich | Commissioned by the City of Miami Beach, curated by Ximena Caminos in collaboration with Brandi Reddick; Beachfront at Lincoln Road, December 1 – 15

If you ever needed an excuse to get to the beach, then Leandro Erlich’s monumental new work for the City of Miami Beach is it. Curated by artistic visionary Ximena Caminos in collaboration with the City of Miami Beach, Order of Importance is a playful and surreal installation, which recasts the 21st century traffic jam on the beach as 66 life-sized sculptures of cars-cum-sandcastles on an imaginary highway. It’s the City’s first temporary art commission and will be on public view through December 15.

Order of Importance, Courtesy Greg Lotus

BMW x Miami Art Week

Miami Art Week is always stimulating visually but also intellectually, and BMW is always a leader in that field. At the 2019 edition of Art Basel in Miami Beach, BMW Art Journey winner Zac Langdon-Pole will present new artwork, and will also celebrate his book premiere at Soho House Art Talks; Langdon-Pole will be joined by visual artist Sanford Biggers and former NASA Astronaut Terry Virts for a panel discussion at Soho Beach House. Later in the week, street artist Spencer Mar Guilburt, joined by visual artist Alexandre Arrechea, will embark on the BMW 8 Series Mural Tour throughout the city of Miami, documented digitally on Instagram via @bmwgroupculture. As a long-term global partner of Art Basel, BMW will again offer its VIP shuttle service.

Museum Highlights

Miami’s public and private museums are some of the best in the world, and this year is no exception with prominent women artists headlining: PAMM has a major show of Teresita Fernández’s works from the mid-90s through today. The Bass is presenting Mickalene Thomas: Better Nights, in which the artist transforms the galleries into a 1970s apartment reminiscent of that of her mother. The immersive experience transports the visitor back to 1970s aesthetic with wood-paneling, faux fur, and period furniture. Mickalene has organized a parallel roster of events including concerts and appearances by guest DJs.

Rubell Museum

I had the opportunity 10 days ago to preview the much-anticipated new Rubell Museum campus in the Allapattah neighborhood of Miami, less than a mile from its original museum in Wynwood, and it is truly astonishing. Designed by Annabelle Selldorf, it is one of the best art viewing spaces I’ve seen. The opening installation presents some 300 works by 100 artists drawn from the Rubell’s collection of more than 7200 works acquired over 50 years. Highlights include seminal works from today’s art stars that the Rubells acquired early in their careers in the 1980s such as Cindy Sherman, Jeff Koons, Keith Haring, Cady Noland and George Condo; outsider artists like the late Miami artist Purvis Young; artists who have been selected over the last 10 years by the Rubells for their residency program including Jonathan Lyndon Chase, Lucy Dodd, Cy Gavin, Sonia Gomes, Oscar Murillo, Sterling Ruby, and Allison Zuckerman; and this year’s artist in resident, the rising star—Ghana-born artist Amoako Boafo. 

And for those who want to get around to all of these highlights, Miami Beach-based Bolt electric scooter offers an easy way to beat traffic. Download the Bolt app, and hop on. With the wide base, you can even ride in heels.

Trending Travel Destinations

With the holidays fast approaching, everyone has vacation on the brain. From festive getaways to adventures abroad, there’s something exciting for every type of traveler. Whether you're looking for a place to celebrate or are already thinking ahead to 2020, check out these trending travel destinations for inspo before you book.


Grotto Bay Beach Resort 

Enjoy a holiday in the sun on Bermuda’s pink sand beaches. The holidays happen to occur at the height of spiny lobster season (from September to March), so you'll find this island favorite in nearly every restaurant. The festivities are unique, too: have a special Christmas Eve by candlelight at St. Peter’s Church or ring in the New Year with The Big Onion drop in the historic town of St. George's. Finally, relax at the stunning Natura Spa at Grotto Bay Beach Resort. 


Trinity College Library

Dublin fills with twinkling lights and seasonal celebrations come December. Do a little holiday shopping before you visit iconic spots like the Trinity College Library, Guinness Storehouse and St. Patrick’s Cathedral. A holiday trip to Dublin wouldn’t be complete without visiting the city’s cozy pubs, and experiencing true Irish hospitality. Pro tip: Aer Lingus, the flag carrier airline of Ireland, has 14 routes from the US to Dublin.


Intrepid Travel Greenland Expedition

Greenland’s tourism industry is still quite young, and the nation is one of the few places left on Earth that can be described as truly remote and wild. Because tourism is still in its infancy in the country, and with demand for Greenland increasing, it’s really imperative for trailblazers to set a precedent to visit the country in a responsible and sustainable manner for those who may follow in their footsteps. Responsible tour operator Intrepid Travel has just launched a brand-new eight-day Greenland Expedition for 2020, during which travelers will stay on the edge of the famed Ilulissat Icefjord, hike through archaeological sites and gorges, explore Greenland’s modern capital of Nuuk, and see why the rising destination has the world’s attention.


Chedi Lustica Bay

Montenegro is becoming the “It” destination for those seeking affordability in Europe, beautiful national parks, river rafting, culture and of course yachting. Major developments are taking place as multiple marinas and hotels are under construction and they are poised to join the European Union soon. Here, Adriatic Sea views surround you and bring you fresh delicious fish and the old cities of Kotor and Budva boast unrivaled nightlife. The best season to travel here is summer, so start planning for that, and check out Chedi Lustica Bay and The Ananti for accomodations.

New York City

NYC is well-known for its holiday magic, with its window displays and strings on strings of lights. The Chatwal and FAO Schwarz are partnering up for a special holiday package, including exclusive early access to the FAO Schwarz flagship store for a one of a kind private shopping experience--led by one of the store’s toy soldiers. You can also enjoy the stunning views of the legendary New Years Eve ball drop from your very own private rooftop terrace at The Chatwal.


Parlio Hotel

The In the Know Experiences team suggests a visit to Paros, one of Greece's lesser-known islands that’s starting to have some serious buzz. It’s like Mykonos was, but 20 years ago — all of the beauty and a smidge of the scene! The super-chic Parlio hotel opened last summer, which was a high-end (yet authentic!) hotel that the island really needed. The hotel is in a super desirable location and is just a quick drive from the charming fishing village, Naoussa, where you can explore tons of authentic shops, bars and restaurants!



Thrill seekers and nature lovers alike will find an exciting and adventurous trip during Taiwain’s “Year of Mountain Tourism,” to come in 2020. Enjoy magnificent landscapes on Taiwan’s island-mountains, situated at the intersection of two tectonic plates and include the tallest mountain in Northeast Asia, Mt. Jade. End days of climbing with a peaceful spa experience at HOSHINOYA Guguan, located in Taiwan’s Taichung valley famed for its natural hot springs. The 4.7-acre resort is surrounded by lush forests, and picturesque landscapes, an ideal serene retreat.


Caldera House

Wyoming is a beautiful destination that is currently enjoying the spotlight following many recent celebrity visits that have included everything from a vacation with friends, to a wedding celebration, to a second home retreat. Gear up for a ski getaway at the sophisticated Caldera House, Jackson Hole’s most coveted hot spot since opening last year. Think: sprawling suites, fire pits and stunning mountain views.


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