Without a cloud in the sky and temperatures in the low 70’s at Art Basel Miami Beach, I made a conscious effort not to get stuck inside the main fair’s convention center and to get outside to see some art. Though I wouldn’t be able to see everything (who ever can), I decided to run to the Design District with a tightly edited list in hand. First up was Jim Drain’s solo show titled “Saturday’s Ransom” at Locust Projects. Among the works, Drain displayed powder coated stainless steel benches that looked like melted down Peter Halley paintings and conjured up thoughts of the 80’s: Memphis furniture, Lego constructions and video game arcade buttons. They are made in an edition of 25 (each bench with a unique color combination) and can be purchased for $8,000 at cumulus-studios.com
Next on my list was the De La Cruz Collection, but on the walk there in the blistering sunshine, I came across more Jim Drain—an outdoor public piece of vinyl measuring 455 feet long and titled “Small Reprieve.” Installed on a fence in the Design District, the work was inspired by the melted-crayon drawings Drain used to make growing up. Drain teamed up with students from the Design and Architecture Senior High School to produce the melted crayon drawings that when collaged together mimic stained glass church windows. Attached to the façade of an empty parking lot, the way the sunlight hit and played with the vinyl was pretty spectacular.
I finally made it into the de la Cruz three-story, 30,000 square- foot building to see the latest acquisitions and to find out what would be on their annual “Hot” list. Art darlings such as Kelley Walker, Sterling Ruby, Isa Genzken, Nate Lowman and Rachel Harrison were displayed alongside more permanent installations by Felix Gonzalez-Torres and Ana Mendieta.
—Adam Shopkorn, isitartorfart.com