Design Miami/ Basel returns in September with international gallery lineup and new hybrid exhibition format

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Design Miami/ Basel returns in September with international gallery lineup and new hybrid exhibition format
Unique coffee table, ca. 1970 by Ado Chale at Gokelaere & Robinson, courtesy of Gokelaere & Robinson.

BASEL.- Design Miami/ Basel returns to the Basel Messeplatz for the fifteenth edition of the fair from 21-26 September 2021. The 2021 fair signals a strong return with 27 international gallery presentations and 14 Curio exhibitions as well as a reimagined Design at Large program with large scale works and installations. The upcoming edition will also introduce the hybrid physical / digital event format for the fair first unveiled in Miami in 2020, this will allow collectors to view and shop works from the show floor directly online as well as engage in digital programming including virtual tours, talks and more. In an international first, Superblue will partner with Design Miami/ to present Shylights by DRIFT, Dutch artist duo Lonneke Gordijn and Ralph Nauta. Taking over the expansive downstairs space in Hall 1, the mesmerising work features sculptures that unfold and retreat in a fascinating choreography, mirroring the “sleeping” pattern or nyctinasty of real flowers.

“Design Miami/ is looking forward to coming together again in-person in Basel, while also bringing the very best parts of our fairs to a wider audience through our new hybrid format. We are delighted to be offering an enhanced online event and shopping experience for the Basel edition through our expanded digital platform, The galleries and partners that make Design Miami/ so exceptional are already exciting us with what they have planned for September and we look forward to revealing more details over the coming months.” said Jennifer Roberts, CEO of Design Miami/.


Curated by current Curatorial Director, Aric Chen, this year’s Design Miami/ Basel will explore the thematic of Human Nature, examining the evolving relationship between humans and the increasingly constructed natural world— a dynamic that has been brought into stark focus over the past year. The dichotomy between humans and nature, once considered distinct, whether in conflict or harmony, has collapsed. Chen asks us to examine what role might design play in responding to this new reality? How might we look to both the past and future to rethink the interactions between humans, nature—and human nature?

Design Miami/ Basel’s Curatorial Director, Aric Chen said: “Design Miami has always been the global forum for design, and as the Basel fair returns this year, we hope Human Nature will continue to prompt lively discussion through our talks and programming while offering another lens for looking at the work of our galleries and designers.”


Taking over the 2500 sqm Event Hall 1.0 at this year’s edition of Design Miami/ Basel, Design Miami/ and Superblue will present Shylights, a multi-sensory experience by DRIFT. The installation will be the first international presentation by Superblue, the new venture dedicated to producing, presenting, and engaging audiences with experiential art, which opened its first center in Miami in May, 2021. Setting the giant space in motion, Shylights is a poetic, upside-down forest of moving flowers that evokes the impermanence of nature and sense of wonder that comes from being immersed in it. The flowers mimic the process of ‘nyctinasty’, the cyclic movement of plants in response to the arrival of dusk or dawn.

Dutch artists Lonneke Gordijn and Ralph Nauta founded studio DRIFT in 2007. With a multidisciplinary team of 64, DRIFT creates experiential sculptures, installations, and performances that raise fundamental questions about the origins, processes, and meaning of life, and explore positive scenarios for future realities. The Shylights installation investigates the perception of space and movement as an element of embodied cognition and offers a place of calm and contemplation. The presentation will be accompanied by a series of multidisciplinary activations across the fields of science, music, architecture, and poetry as well as collective yoga and meditation sessions with leading practitioners from the region and abroad.


Design Miami/ Basel welcomes six new galleries to the fair in September, including AGO Projects, Geoffrey Diner Gallery, Morentz, and Hemmerle alongside founding galleries Galerie kreo, Galerie Patrick Seguin, Jousse Entreprise, and LAFFANOUR-Galerie Downtown.

Debuting for the first time at Design Miami/ Basel, Geneva-based Bailly Gallery will present works by Picasso and the Giacometti brothers in dialogue, exploring the relationship between the artist and designers from the 1930’s through WW2 and beyond, and investigating their similar desires to push the limits of representation. Showcasing works in bronze and terracotta, Bailly Gallery will bring Madoura ceramics by Picasso along with art objects and furniture signed by Diego and Alberto Giacometti. Another Swiss gallery debut from Angela Weber M÷bel will exhibit works by masters such as Gio Ponti, Osvaldo Borsani, Oscar Nilsson, Axel Einar, and Paul Laszlo that demonstrate the intriguingly similar approaches to form and function from designers in Italy, Sweden, Finland and the United States. Works presented will include crafted furniture, lighting and ceramic pieces.

Also presenting for the first time at Design Miami/Basel, Munich based Hemmerle will exhibit around 100 contemporary jewellery creations within their sculptural booth conceived by Amsterdam based spatial design studio, Tom Postma Design. The creations strike a balance between traditional techniques passed down through generations, and extensive experimentation with new processes.

At Geoffrey Diner Gallery, the impressive Reception House table and chairs by George Nakashima will take centreplace in the booth. Built in 1981 for a close friend of Nakashima, the table is one of the earliest of the Sanso forms, a design later adapted by George Nakashima for his even larger Altars for Peace. These Altars were meant to be placed on every continent, tables around which George envisioned people from all over the world coming together "for prayer, meditation and contemplation.” Returning Thomsen Gallery will again present a collection of historic Japanese bamboo baskets made by some of the greatest bamboo artists of the modern era. These delicate pieces will be complemented by Japanese ceramic jars from the 15th-17th centuries; Japanese gold lacquer boxes from the 20th-21st century; and Japanese folding screens.

Exceptional contemporary works will also be unveiled at Design Miami/ Basel including The Black Hole Mirror by Atelier Van Asseldonk at French gallery Galerie SCENE OUVERTE. This new piece commissioned especially for the fair has taken over seven months to realize and is crafted from over 600 individual pieces of mirror that each capture and reflect the light in different ways, creating an abstract sculptural piece that also has a practical, everyday function. At Etage Projects, select new works by contemporary designers including FOS and Sabine Marcelis will be unveiled. The gallery will also bring new works by bahraini—danish, the design collective established in Bahrain in 2016 by architects Batool Alshaikh, Maitham Almubarak, and Christian Vennerstr°m Jensen to explore using cultural differences, both social and professional, as a means to create.

September will also see the largest Curio program in Basel to date with 14 presentations from international galleries and designers including new work from Harry Nuriev and the debut of Carpenters Workshop Jewellery.

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