X Contemporary Art Fair Moves to Nobu Hotel for Sophomore Outing

A one-year-old fair moves to Miami Beach from Wynwood.

Crystal Curtis, director of X Contemporary. Photo by Laurel Golio
Crystal Curtis, director of X Contemporary. Photo Laurel Golio.

X Contemporary art fair will move to a new home, Miami Beach’s soon-to-open Nobu Hotel, for its sophomore outing this December. The fair’s 2015 debut, under the leadership of founder Matthew Eck (who has since left), took place in a bespoke tent in Miami’s Wynwood district.

“We looked to Miami Beach to solidify our vision and direction under new leadership,” executive director Crystal Curtis told artnet News via email. “The new Nobu Hotel Miami Beach is an elegant solution. You can be 100 percent proprietary with your program in a tent, but partnering with the hotel opens up exciting cross-promotion opportunities.”

X Contemporary, which bills itself as “more than an art fair,” will present two exhibitions this year. “Neptune’s Place: Early Works By Jean-Michel Basquiat,” presented by The Bishop Gallery, Brooklyn,  will include over 30 never before seen works from Basquiat’s early years, curated by the artist’s long time friend and collaborator Al Diaz, aka SAMO.

Meanwhile, “The Women Who Made Modern Art Modern” aims to tell the story of women art dealers who helped shape the careers of the 20th century’s most important artists. The latter show is curated by Michael Klein, former dealer and onetime curator of the Microsoft art collection.

Said Curtis: “X Contemporary will be everywhere on site, such as outdoor installations in the resort gardens with beach access, film screenings on the guest room televisions, welcome letters with invitations to donate to our cultural partners, as well as yacht slips for our opening party right outside the hotel property on Collins Ave.”

This year, X Contemporary came under the ownership of artist and professor Crystal Curtis, who helped Eck launch the fair. Curtis earned an MFA from New York University, where she also taught, before joining the faculty of LIM College in 2006.

Explaining his decision to leave the fair he co-founded, Eck told artnet News via email: “After the first run of X Contemporary,  I took the experience and relationships I’ve fostered over the past five years to start a new venture. After several months of development, I launched UNLIMITED with Kevin Mullins, an agency veteran.  With UNLIMITED, I now have the freedom to work with several art fairs and brands to see my talent for event planning through. ”

Taking a page from the Armory Show’s book, where exhibitors can rent private viewing rooms to show works to potential buyers, X Contemporary today announced “Private Vault” as an option for dealers to show their wares.


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