Miami Art Week 2022: your guide to the 6 best shows in town

As Miami Art Week 2022 enters full swing, explore our preview guide to the highlights, from Art Basel Miami Beach 2022 art fair to the best shows in town

Leandro Erlich Swimming Pool Miami Art Week 2022
Leandro, Erlich, Swimming Pool, installation view at PAMM.
(Image credit: PAMM. Photography: Lazaro Llanes)

It’s beginning to look a lot like Art Basel Miami Beach 2022. As the art world glitterati flocks to the city for one of the mega-moments on the art calendar, it’s all systems go for Miami Art Week 2022. 

This year, for the 20th anniversary of Art Basel Miami Beach, there’s a lot to see, hear and talk about, before we even get to the parties (and afterparties). Fortunately, we have you covered with our guide to the art exhibitions we're most excited about during Miami Art Week 2022.

And if you're in the mood for a bit of art fair-related fun, try our art fair personality test to suss out what type of Art Basel Miami Beach 2022 visitor you are.

Miami Art Week 2022: a guide to the highlights 

Archival image from the inaugural edition of Art Basel Miami Beach 2002

Archival image from the inaugural edition of Art Basel Miami Beach in 2002 

(Image credit: Art Basel Miami Beach)

1. Art Basel Miami Beach 2022 20th-anniversary edition

Sung Tieu Exposure To Havana Syndrome, Brain Anatomy, Coronal Plane, (Sample 17), 2022 laser engraving on stainless steel mirror

Sung Tieu, Exposure To Havana Syndrome, Brain Anatomy, Coronal Plane, (Sample 17), 2022 laser engraving on stainless steel mirror

(Image credit: Courtesy the artist and Emalin, London © Sung Tieu. Photography: Nick Ash)

Miami’s success as an art destination has no doubt been bolstered by Art Basel selecting the city in 2002 as its sole US location. It was conceived 20 years ago as a platform to bridge the North and South American art markets, championing local and international art, as well as elevating the position of Latin American art on the global stage. The biggest edition of Art Basel Miami Beach yet, 2022 will see 282 galleries will participate, hosted at the Miami Beach Convention Center (AKA the centre of the art universe during Miami Art Week 2022).

This year, we have our eye on the fair’s Positions section. Among the 19 solo presentations are Sung Tieu’s thought-provoking project, ‘Anomalous Incident,’ a culmination of the artist’s research into the psychological dimensions of warfare, specifically the mysteries surrounding Havana syndrome, and abstract paintings by Leslie Martinez which bridge notions of queerness and border politics.

2. Nina Chanel Abney, ‘Big Butch Energy’ at the ICA, Miami  

Nina Chanel Abney, Mama Gotta Have A Life Too . 2022 Diptych collage on panel

Nina Chanel Abney, Mama Gotta Have A Life Too, 2022 Diptych collage on panel

(Image credit: Courtesy Nina Chanel Abney and Pace Prints)

Nina Chanel Abney’s ‘Big Butch Energy’ (until 12 March 2023) uses bold colours, stylised forms, graphic design traditions and cubic motifs to draw views into a web of complex political narratives. Drawing on cinematic and media representations of Greek student life, the artist highlights racist systems and sexual desire in the United States and explores how gender perception and performance are inspired by the legacies of social ritual and the dissemination of visual culture. ‘Instead of just rewriting Greek life narratives with queer Black characters, I wanted to highlight the implicit flamboyance and homoeroticism of frat house and sorority house environments,’ Abney says. 

3. Leandro Erlich ‘Liminal’ at Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) 

Leandro Erlich Swimming Pool 1999 at Art Basel Miami Beach 2022

Leandro Erlich, Swimming Pool, 1999. Installation view: 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, Japan, 2004

(Image credit: Noriko Inomoto)

In another Miami Art Week 2022 mega-moment, Argentine artist Leandro Erlich will unveil ‘Liminal’ his first North American survey at Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM), spanning two decades of the artist’s career, with sixteen interactive works and site-specific installations. In what’s set to be one of the most Instagrammed moments of Miami Art Week 2022 (if the artist’s sand-covered traffic jam on Miami Beach in 2019 is anything to go by), the show (on until 4 September 2023) will feature Erlich’s acclaimed Swimming Pool (1999), rising out of PAMM’s car park. 

4. Alex Prager, ‘Part 2: Run’ at Lehmann Maupin Palm Beach

Alex Prager’s Palm beach show will probe the root of cultural ambivalence and uncertainty. Through new photographs, films, and sculptures, LA-based artist offers an uncanny look at everyday anxieties through meticulously staged but ambiguous scenes that nod to cinematic techniques such as noir and the Western. The Palm Beach exhibition builds upon a solo presentation at Lehmann Maupin London earlier this year and will culminate in the debut of Prager’s ambitious new film at the gallery’s New York location in January 2023.

Alex Prager Part Two: Run November 19 – December 11, 2022 Lehmann Maupin, Palm Beach

Alex Prager: 'Part Two: Run', November 19 – December 11, 2022. Lehmann Maupin, Palm Beach

(Image credit: Courtesy Alex Prager Studio and Lehmann Maupin, New York, Hong Kong, Seoul, and London)

5. Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Pulse Topology with BMW i at Superblue Miami 

Lozano-Hemmer's ongoing series of 'Pulse Artworks' capture and make tangible the heartbeats of participants. Titled Pulse Topology, the first Miami presentation of the artist’s series draws on conversations with engineers and designers of the new BMW i7. Composed of 3,000 lightbulbs, suspended at different heights, the artwork creates a flickering, memento mori landscape that offers a deeply human approach to technological innovation. Pulse Topology will be staged at Superblue Miami until 4 December. 

6. Random International debut Living Room, an immersive installation commissioned by Aorist, in partnership with Faena Art

Random International Living Room 2022

Render of Living Room, an immersive light-installation by Random International 

(Image credit: Courtesy of Artist, Aorist and Faena Art)

In another immersive vein, experimental art collective Random International will debut Living Room, housed in a purpose-built pavilion at Faena Beach. The installation will explore how blockchain technology can revolutionise how visitors experience and collect art and builds on the group’s iconic Rain Room. Living Room has been commissioned by Aorist, the cultural institution supporting artists creating at the edge of art and technology, who was also behind Refik Anadol’s much-acclaimed Machine Hallucinations: Coral at Miami last year, and the first-ever indoor drone performance by Drift during the Venice Biennale 2022. 

Art Basel Miami Beach, 1-3 December (invitation-only preview days on 29 and 30 December) at Miami Beach Convention Center.

Harriet Lloyd-Smith was the Arts Editor of Wallpaper*, responsible for the art pages across digital and print, including profiles, exhibition reviews, and contemporary art collaborations. She started at Wallpaper* in 2017 and has written for leading contemporary art publications, auction houses and arts charities, and lectured on review writing and art journalism. When she’s not writing about art, she’s making her own.