We caught up with local Miami artist, Kiki Valdes at the helm of Miami’s busiest week – Miami Art Week. We asked his thoughts on this years’ Art Basel, Miami’s art scene, and his new exhibition at X Contemporary, opening tonight, November 29th through December 4th.
x contemporary
Third Dream Media: What are your thoughts on Miami Art week?
Kiki ValdesExciting time to see art, meet people from all over the world who enjoy art as well. Best part is I live 20 minutes from all of the action.
What other artists are you excited to see at X contemporary?
I’m looking forward to see the small, never before seen works by Basquiat curated by Al Diaz. There’s also gonna be a great show of women art dealers from the 1950’s. The work will focus on the artists the dealers championed like Philip Guston, Robert de Niro Jr., Elaine de Kooning etc. It’s curated by Michael Klein.
Kiki Valdes at X contemporary

Kiki Valdes at X contemporary

How differently did you prepare this year for Art Basel than in the last few years?
Past few years I know what I’m doing months in advance which is a nice thing for any artist to have the privilege of experiencing.
X Contemporary  announced its historically key exhibition for its second edition this December 2016 timed with Art Basel Miami Beach.  The Women Who Made Art Modern, curated by X Contemporary’s Consulting Curator Michael Klein, explores the careers and programs of some sixteen art dealers all of whom women and all of whom were great innovators in their day, supporting and championing the new in American art.
The dealers include Betty Parsons, Eleanor Ward, Martha Jackson, Beatrice Perry, Terry Dintenfass, Antoinette Krashhaar, Virginia Zabriskie, Gertrude Kasle, Jill Kornblee, June Kelly, Edith Halpert, Grace Borgenicht, Virginia Dwan, Peggy Guggenheim, and Marian Willard.
50 – 60 works of art will be on view by artists including Grace Hartigan, Agnes Martin , Dan Flavin, and Malcolm Morley.  European artists include Alberto Burri, Alan Davie, and William Scott.
“We’re investigating the women in business behind Modern American art,” says X Contemporary Director Crystal Curtis.  “Very few people know that Eleanor Ward gave Andy Warhol his first New York City show in 1962 after Leo Castelli turned him down.”
X Contemporary believes that highlighting the achievements in art business is one of their main jobs as an art fair. 
“In our first edition,” Curtis continues, “Our advisory board member Michael Klein brought the Perry family collection of Grace Hartigan paintings from the early 1960s. Beatrice Perry was Hartigan’s primary dealer out of Washington D.C.  Personally, I was struck by these large Abstract Expressionist paintings dripping in moody magentas and reds.  Michael pointed out to me that maybe that was Beatrice’s preference in Hartigan’s work.”
Michael Klein’s approach to sourcing the work in this exhibition depends on over forty years of relationships in art business.  The artists these women dealers promoted, supported, and exhibited now represent the pantheon of American art and artists. 
Klein adds, “This might be an untold story or even an unchartered history of the many small entrepreneurial businesses and personalities that help develop and promote American visual culture both here and abroad.”
Basquiat
 
FEATURE EXHIBITION: NEPTUNE’S PLACE: EARLY WORKS BY JEAN-MICHEL BASQUIAT
Curated by Al Diaz — AKA SAMO

Brooklyn’s Bishop Gallery will show a collection of never-before-exhibited early works by Jean-Michel Basquiat. Over 20 pieces were made by Basquiat between 1979 and 1981 in the Manhattan apartment of his friend Lonny Lichtenberg, and the body of work is curated by the artists’s onetime collaborator, Al Diaz. (They worked together on the SAMO graffiti that could be spotted throughout New York in the late 1970s.)

Prior to being sold directly from Lichtenberg’s apartment to a friend and collector, these works have only been seen by a handful of individuals.
EXHIBITORS:
{9} The Gallery
Phoenix, AZ
Robin Austin
Connecticut
AC Gallery
Los Angeles, CA
Art of Traderhorn
Toronto, Canada
Art Wanson Group
Marbella, Spain
Barbara Rosene
New York, NY
Barbarian Art Gallery
Zurich, Switzerland
Belen Moreno Studio
New York, NY
The Bishop Gallery
Brooklyn, NY
Boccara Art
NY/Monaco
Buzz
Connecticut
Cadogan Contemporary
London, UK
Catherine Ahnell Gallery
New York, NY
CityArts Factory
Orlando, FL
Emillions Art
Naples, Florida
Imago
Palm Springs, CA
Keyes Art Consulting
Hamptons/NYC
Lewis Martin / Art Engineer
Brooklyn, NY
Michael Klein Arts
New York, NY
NeoIllusionist Gallery
Brooklyn, NY
OCP
Brooklyn, NY
Redefine Gallery
Orlando, FL
Rachel Rampleman
Brooklyn, NY
Salomon Art Gallery
New York, NY
SPENGLISH
New York, NY/Mexico City
TIMEBAG
Medellin, Colombia
Robin Van Arsdol
Orlando, FL
Ruvan Wijesooriya
New York, NY
The Urban Art Group CAL
Los Angeles, CA
Urbaniza
Miami, FL
FASHION INSTALLATION
Spenglish
New York/Mexico City
ARTIST PROJECTS
Custom phone charging station by Rachel Lee Hovnanian.
FILM SCREENINGS
Film Screenings on view in the Nobu Hotel Miami Beach guest rooms and in the event by Sundance Award Winning Film maker Terrence Nance and internationally exhibiting visual artist Rachel Rampleman.
For tickets to X contemporary, click here.