Artists chosen for revamped Miami Beach Convention Center

Joep Van Lieshout's "Humanoids" sculptures
Joep Van Lieshout's "Humanoids" sculptures

Sculptures, glass panels, a tile installation and a mural will adorn a revamped Miami Beach Convention Center when it completes its two-year expansion project.

Six international artists have been selected to create site-specific works of public art for the convention center, Miami Beach City Manager Jimmy Morales announced on Wednesday during a pre-opening press conference for Art Basel Miami Beach. The event kicked off the world’s largest contemporary art show, with 267 galleries representing 32 countries this year.

The artists for the public works include: Franz Ackermann from Berlin; Elmgreen & Dragset from London and Berlin; Ellen Harvey, from Brooklyn; Joseph Kosuth from London and New York; Sarah Morris from New York and Joep Van Lieshout from Rotterdam, the Netherlands. They were selected by the Miami Beach Art in Public Places Professional Advisory Committee from more than 500 applicants from around the world, Morales said.


Sarah Morris’ “Sans Souci”

Kosuth is creating “Located World, Miami Beach,” a neon and text installation for the main lobby that shows Miami Beach as the center of the world.

Elmgreen and Dragset will place “Bent Pool,” a sculpture that turns a swimming pool into a monumental arch, in the greenspace at the west entrance.

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Harvey’s “Waterways,” a series of glass panels that reference Miami Beach’s connection to the many bodies of water that are are part of Florida’s ecosystem, will grace the grand ballroom.


Elmgreen and Dragset’s “Bent Pool”

Morris will design the exterior walls of the northeast entrance with “Sans Souci,” a large-scale tile installation that references Morris Lapidus’ first Miami Beach architectural work in 1949.

Ackermann will create a mural emblematic of Miami Beach in the southeast corner of the convention center.

And Van Lieshout will create an installation of “Humanoids,” a series of sculptures for the northeast ballroom park, that draw inspiration from nature and mankind’s roots.

Morales assured Art Basel, the convention center’s highest profile tenant, that it will have all four of its halls for each of the next two years during the renovation work. And Noah Horowitz, Art Basel Director of the Americas, voiced his support for the expansion and Portman Holdings‘ proposed convention center hotel, which will go up for a public referendum in March.