10th PULSE Miami Art Fair Moves on Up to the Beachside

Pulse Art Fair's director Helen Toomer is breathing new life into the middle market fair as it enters its 10th year in Miami, a long time for any fair, pairing down the exhibitors list to 60 galleries and 150 artists

A rendering of Pulse Miami Beach's new tent for Indian Beach Park.
A rendering of PULSE Miami Beach’s new tent for Indian Beach Park. (Image courtesy of PULSE Contemporary Art Fair)

This has been, and continues to be, a big year of changes for PULSE Contemporary Art Fair, and they’ll be visible in abundance at PULSE Miami Beach in December. The fair’s director Helen Toomer, formerly director of the Collective Design Fair, is trying to breathe new life into the middle-market fair as it enters its 10th year in Miami — a long time for any fair. The biggest news: Pulse this year abandons it’s inconvenient taxi-ride-away-if-you-can-get-one headquarters in Miami’s Ice House for a beachside tent (shades of the Untitled fair) adjacent to the Fontainebleau Hotel and not far from SoHo House. Toomer promises “an oasis of calm in the middle of Miami madness.”

The exhibitors list has been paired down to 60 galleries and 150 artists, and Toomer is integrating IMPULSE (emerging gallery booths) and POINTS ( a special curated section for alternative spaces and non-profits) with the rest of the fair’s programming.

“Around a third of the exhibitors are new, a quarter are from this past PULSE New York edition, and the rest are returning, whether from last year or years past,” Toomer told The Observer.

At her inaugural run with PULSE at last spring’s New York Frieze Week, the fair was condensed into a single floor at the Metropolitan Pavilion. (The smaller, more curated model was easier to digest, and gave exhibitors breathing room on the fair floor.) It’s an approach that seems to have pleased galleries, with a number of familiar names from New York on the list trying their luck at the fair’s new tent location at Indian Beach Park, including Art Mûr, Catinca Tabacaru Gallery, Davidson Contemporary, De Buck Gallery, gallery nine5, GUSFORD | los angeles, LMAKprojects, and Tyler Rollins Fine Art.

And for the first time ever, the fair has simultaneously released the names of its exhibiting artists. There’s a wide range, with recognizable names like Edward Burtynsky, Sam Messenger, Jim Campbell, Jay DeFeo, Dawoud Bey, and Matthew Brandt next to up-and-comers like Maya Hayuk, and Joana Vasconcelos, among others.

For the milestone year, the focus for PULSE is turned inward, looking back at what made the fair successful in the first place. “I think we are getting back to our roots–the art and the artists. And although the tent and the food and the parties are all important–they are not the main focus for me… I want PULSE to be a place where they can stop, look, listen and develop relationships with our galleries and artists,” said Toomer. “Although we are a commercial entity, we don’t want to focus solely on that, when so many opportunities arise from the fairs in the form of future collaborations and curation.”

As for what’s changed in Miami over the last 10 years, “There is more competition now and I think people are being more selective, which requires us to be more selective,” and added, “We are definitely continuing that same curated approach and over half the fair will contain focused booths of three artists or less.”

Here is the full list of galleries and artists coming to PULSE Miami Beach:

Art Mûr, Montreal, Canada: Jinny Yu

Ballast Projects, New York, NY: Russell Tyler (POINTS)

Beers Contemporary, London, UK: Faig Ahmed, Janneke Von Leeuwen, Tony Romano, Pawel Sliwinski

Black & White Gallery/Project Space, Brooklyn, NY: Michael Van den Besselaar

Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery, New York, NY: Yorgo Alexopoulos, Edward Burtynsky, Jim Campbell, Robert Currie, Airan Kang, Jimmy Nelson, Jose Parla

Catinca Tabacaru Gallery, New York, NY: Yapci Ramos

CC Gallery, Berlin, Germany: Maya Hayuk

Danziger Gallery, New York, NY: Christopher Bucklow, Susan Derges, Hendrik Kerstens, Karen Knorr Jim Krantz, Corinne Vionner

Davidson Contemporary, New York, NY: Kiel Johnson, Darren Lago, Sam Messenger, Thomas Witte, Ghost Of A Dream

De Buck Gallery, New York, NY: Simon Vega, XOOOOX

De Soto Gallery, Venice, CA: Amelia Bauer, Brian Paumier, Ramona Rosales (IMPULSE)

DIA Galería, Mexico City, Mexico: César López-Negrete, Ricardo Paniagua

Elizabeth Leach Gallery, Portland, OR: Ann Hamilton, Sean Healy, Isaac Layman, Julia Mangold, Anna Von Mertens

Front Room Gallery, Brooklyn, NY: Mark Masyga, Sasha Bezzubov

galerieKleindienst, Leipzig, Germany: Corinne von Lebusa, Christoph Ruckhäberle

Galerie Simon Blais, Montreal, Canada: Jean-Sébastien Denis, Alexis Lavoie, Yann Pocreau

Gallery Joe, Philadelphia, PA: Mia Rosenthal

gallery nine5, New York, NY: Soojin Cha, Jessica Lichtenstein, Ignacio Muñoz Vicuña

Gallery Poulsen, Copenhagen, Denmark: Barnaby Whitfield, Aaron Johnson, Jean-Pierre Roy, Eric White

Greg Kucera Gallery, Seattle, WA: SuttonBeresCuller, Chris Engman, Margie Livingston, Whiting Tennis

GUSFORD | los angeles, Los Angeles, CA: Genevieve Chua (IMPULSE)

Heskin Contemporary, New York, NY: Doreen McCarthy, Jennifer Riley

Horrach Moya, Palma de Mallorca, Spain: Aníbal López, Jorge Mayet, Joana Vasconcelos

Hosfelt Gallery, San Francisco, CA: Jim Campbell, Jay DeFeo, Jutta Haeckel, Emil Lukas, Marco Maggi, Andrew Schoultz

James Harris Gallery, Seattle, WA: Karin Davie, Gary Hill, Alexander Kroll, Cameron Martin, Alwyn O’Brien, Akio Takamori

junior projects, New York, NY: Guy C. Correiro, Stuart Elster (IMPULSE)

LAMONTAGNE GALLERY, Boston, MA: Gil Blank, Jeff Perrott, Joe Warwell

LA NEW GALLERY, Madrid, Spain: Cristina de Middel, Santiago Talavera, Jorge Fuembuena

LMAKprojects, New York, NY: Jonathan Calm, Popel Coumou, Claudia Joskowicz, Erika Ranee

LYNCH THAM, New York, NY: Carlo Ferraris, Walter Robinson (IMPULSE)

MA2Gallery, Tokyo, Japan: Ken Matsubara

Miller Yezerski Gallery, Boston, MA: Evelyn Rydz, Nathalie Miebach, Deb Todd Wheeler

New Image Art, West Hollywood, CA: Cleon Peterson, Retna, Maya Hayuk

Nohra Haime Gallery, New York, NY: Natalia Arias

Nuova Galleria Morone, Milan, Italy: Felix Curto, Mariella Bettineschi, Domenico Grenci, Sadegh Tirafkan

Paci contemporary, Brescia, Italy: Michal Macku, Teun Hocks

Patrick Heide Contemporary, London, UK: Pius Fox, Hans Kotter, Reinoud Oudshoorn, Dillwyn Smith

Paul Loya Gallery, Los Angeles, CA: Tom Fruin

Philip Slein Gallery, St. Louis, MO: Andrew Masullo, Gary Stephan, Chuck Webster, John Zinsser

Purdy Hicks Gallery, London, UK: Sue Arrowsmith, Jonathan Delafield Cook, Claire Kerr, Susan Derges, Sandra Kantanen, Jorma Puranen

Rena Bransten Gallery, San Francisco, CA: Dawoud Bey, Joe Cunningham, Bovey Lee, Nathan Lynch, Vik Muniz

Rick Wester Fine Art, New York, NY: Alyse Rosner, Laurie Lambrecht, Lilly McElroy

ROCKELMANN&, Berlin, Germany: Florian Japp, Jeffrey Teuton (IMPULSE)

Rosamund Felsen Gallery, Santa Monica, CA: John Mills

Rosa Santos, Valencia, Spain: Andrea Canepa

SENDA, Barcelona, Spain: Oleg Dou, Anthony Goicolea, Sandra Vásquez de la Horra, James Clar

Shoshana Wayne Gallery, Santa Monica, CA: Phil Argent, Kathy Butterly, Rachel Lachowicz, Izhar Patkin, Berverly Semmes, Michal Rovner, Kiki Smith

Schroeder Romero, New York, NY: Lisa Levy

Shulamit Gallery, Venice, CA: Kamran Sharif, Shahab Fatouhi, Tal Shochat

Sienna Patti Contemporary, Lenox, MA: Lauren Fensterstock, Susie Ganch

taubert contemporary, Berlin, Germany: Adrian Esparza, Markus Linnenbrink, Markus Weggenmann, Beat Zoderer, Jan von der Ploeg, Dionisio González, Sylvan Lionni

Tyler Rollins Fine Art, New York, NY: Arahmaiani, Heri Dono, FX Harsono, Agus Suwage

Uprise Art, New York, NY: Eric LoPresti, Erin O’Keefe

Walter Maciel Gallery, Los Angeles, CA: Tm Gratkowski

WAGNER + PARTNER, Berlin, Germany: Erwin Olaf, Mona Ardeleanu, Peter Dreher, Ruud van Empel

WATERHOUSE & DODD, New York, NY: Kim Keever, Jean-François Rauzier, Xavier Guardans

X-Change Art Project, Lima, Peru: Alessadra Rebagliati, Ana Cecilia Farah, Marian Riveros, MOHO Collective (POINTS)

Yossi Milo Gallery, New York, NY: Marco Breuer, Lorenzo Vitturi, Alison Rossiter, Matthew Brandt, Assaf Shaham

YUKI-SIS, Tokyo, Japan: Katsutoshi Yuasa, Kohei Kawasaki (IMPULSE)

Zhulong Gallery, Dallas, TX: Alexandra Gorczynski, James Geurts (IMPULSE)

10th PULSE Miami Art Fair Moves on Up to the Beachside