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Vito Schnabel Hosts a "Happy" Show

The art world scenester Vito Schnabel curates an exhibit at the W hotel in Miami during the Art Basel fair.

Every inch of Miami will be covered with art this week during the Art Basel fair. The Rubell family and Rosa and Carlos de la Cruz are throwing open the doors on their private collections, the high-end Webster boutique is becoming a showroom for Aaron Young’s tire swings — and even the beach is going to be crowded with performance artists and screenings (courtesy of nonprofit organization Creative Time).

So it makes sense the brand new W hotel, co-owned by megacollector Aby Rosen, is also getting into the swing of things. Alongside Warhols and Basquiats from Rosen’s own collection will be an exhibit curated by Vito Schnabel.

“[Vito and I] realized right away that we have a shared passion not only for the arts, but for supporting artists that don’t always have the resources to stage traditional shows and market themselves,” Rosen says.

For the show, Schnabel tapped art-world bad boys (and girls) the Bruce High Quality Foundation, an anonymous collective of artists whose core group are Cooper Union graduates. Titled “Happy Endings,” the show opened Wednesday night, followed by a party on the hotel’s lawn.

“We had been talking about doing a show together for a long time,” said Schnabel, who met the group through his older sister, Lola. “I thought Art Basel would be sort of their coming out party.”

Schnabel, who met with Rosen earlier in the year, brought the idea to the developer, and he was game. “We had a perfect convergence of elements,” Rosen explains. “One of the most talked-about, unique properties in Miami; Art Basel, which draws a mix of art world denizens, budding collectors and the social set; an inspiring, fresh show with a group of young artists that have something important to say, and Vito, who really championed this effort.”

This show consists of about 20 sculptures, which catalogue the group’s largely satirical work for the last 10 years. “Each sculpture represents a film that they’ve made until now and they all have TV monitors in them,” explains Schnabel. (The collective’s press materials describe the exhibit’s themes as “commercial comeuppance, memorial monumentalism, patterns of patronage, gustatory art history, corporate sculpture, arts and leisure, gender, power, materiality, future fascism, urban colonialism, ambulatory services and the impossibility of doing anything in the first place.”)

Up next, Schnabel will be staging an exhibit at one of Rosen’s New York City properties, 350 West Broadway, followed by another collaboration with the BHQF.

But for now, Schnabel is focusing on this opening. He’s also cohosting the opening of the W’s nightclub Wall with scenesters Alex Dellal and Stavros Niarchos. “Just pace yourself,” Schnabel warns of all the Art Basel festivities. “It’s a long week.”

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