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Miami's Top Art Shows 2016: The Collector And Artist’s Oeuvre
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Miami's Top Art Shows 2016: The Collector And Artist’s Oeuvre

Picture of Lisa Morales
Updated: 8 January 2016
Now that 2016 is here, start the new year off by broadening your cultural knowledge and exploring some of Miami’s public and private museums. Here are the top four exhibitions that highlight the collector and/or artist’s oeuvre.

Waldfrau, getarnt, 2002, limewood, larch tree and camouflage fabric, 62 x 169 x 45 in. by Paloma Varga Weisz (Germany), acquired by the Rubell Family Collection in 2003 | © Lisa Morales

Waldfrau, getarnt, 2002, limewood, larch tree and camouflage fabric, 62 x 169 x 45 in. by Paloma Varga Weisz (Germany), acquired by the Rubell Family Collection in 2003 | © Lisa Morales

No Man’s Land: Women Artists from the Rubell Family Collection at the Rubell Family Collection

Situated in Wynwood, The Rubell Family Collection (in Miami since 1993) is one of the world’s largest, privately owned contemporary art collections. The Contemporary Arts Foundation (CAF) was created in 1994 by Don and Mera Rubell with their son Jason Rubell to expand the RFC’s public mission inside the paradigm of a contemporary art museum.

Within the 45,000-square-foot space (that was once the Drug Enforcement Agency) are works by more than 100 female artists from 28 countries — there’s no room for men in this discourse! All art belongs to the collection and represents the first days the Rubells began collecting in the 1960s through to the present day. Indeed, the oil paint is still drying on new works by Brazilian artist Marina Rheingantz found on the second floor. At the entrance, two large rooms house installations by Brazilian artist Solange Pessoa. Catedral, made of human hair, leather and fabric, is an expansive work that begins (or ends) from the ceiling and lays snake-like throughout its own room. Catedral, acquired by the RFC in 2015, took 13 years to complete. Pessoa says in an interview featured in Artnet News, ‘I feel the work connects to Ana Mendieta, Robert Morris, and Eva Hesse. It took a while to be appreciated with this type of work that challenges conventions and the market. I’m glad to see it here.’

Set aside a few hours or plan on a couple of visits since art will be interchanged periodically until the exhibition closes on May 28th. It is a collection that not only provides insight into a diverse range of artistic visions but also exposes the Rubell’s passion for art: ‘Over time, we connect more and more artists to this group, until there is some kind of ‘whole’ that feels right, even if the artists’ practices are diverse, their age range wide, and on the surface they have little in common.’

Wednesday-Saturday: 10AM-5:30PM

The Rubell Family Collection, 95 NW 29th St, Miami, FL, USA, +1 305 573 6090

“Sprache der Vogel,” 1989 (lead, steel, wood, oil, plaster, resin and acrylic) by Anselm Kiefer | © Lisa Morales

‘Sprache der Vogel,’ 1989 (lead, steel, wood, oil, plaster, resin and acrylic) by Anselm Kiefer | © Lisa Morales

Anselm Kiefer and Susan Philipsz Installations at Margulies Collection at the Warehouse

Established in 1998 by real-estate developer and art collector Martin Z. Margulies and his longtime curator Katherine Hinds, The Margulies Collection at the Warehouse is a 45,000-square-foot space located in the Wynwood Arts District. On view until April 30th are Anselm Kiefer: Paintings, Sculpture, and Installation and Susan Philipsz: Immersive Sound Installation.

Music gently seeps through the walls of the building, drawing visitors to a large room that houses the Margulies Collection’s very first sound art installation. Immersive Sound Installation is created by acclaimed European artist Susan Philipsz, winner of the prestigious Turner Prize in 2010, Tate Britain.

To fully experience the installation, the viewer should stand positioned between speakers suspended from the ceiling, facing each of the 12 large prints of musical scores layered with FBI documents. Influenced by the German artists who fled to America in the 1930s in anticipation of freedom of expression, Philipsz’ work expresses feelings of alienation, loss, and exhile that migration failed to heal because of censorship in the McCarthy era.

The Anselm Kiefer exhibition includes major sculptures, an installation and paintings from 1986 to 2014 spread across four large rooms, which include 53 paintings and four monumental sculptures.

Once positioned at the entrance of the Margulies Collection, Kiefer’s Sprache der Vögel, a three-ton sculpture, is now contained in its own room — a fitting tribute to a magnificent work. The text written on the wall, Sprache der Vögel — Fulcanelli, in graphite above the sculpture not only references a poem by Paul Celan of the same title but also shows Kiefer’s longtime interest in alchemy and its transformational qualities.

Geheimnis der Farne (Secret of the Ferns, 2007) is situated in a 2500-square-foot room. It is made up of two monumental concrete sculptures and 48 framed pictures that are installed in a composite configuration to form two 55-foot-long parallel walls of connected images. The concrete structures imply both invincibility and invisibility, a concept associated with the fern in Northern European myth. ‘What interests me is the transformation, not the monument,’ he explained in a New York Times interview. ‘I don’t construct ruins, but I feel ruins are moments when things show themselves. A ruin is not a catastrophe. It is the moment when things can start again.’

Wednesday-Saturday: 11AM-4PM

The Margulies Collection at the Warehouse, 591 NW 27th St, Miami, FL, USA, + 1 305 576 1051

Sun Splashed is the largest and most significant exhibition of Nari Ward’s work to date. | © Perez Art Museum Miami

‘Sun Splashed’ is the largest and most significant exhibition of Nari Ward’s work to date. | © STUDIO LHOOQ/Perez Art Museum Miami

Nari Ward: Sun Splashed at the Pérez Art Museum Miami

On view through February 21st, the Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM), in Downtown Miami, presents a mid-career retrospective of Nari Ward, a Jamaican-born artist now living in New York. Sun Splashed is the largest survey of Ward’s work to date.

It will take some time to navigate through the exhibition’s three large rooms in order to gain an understanding of the many aspects of Ward’s creative spectrum. Ward uses familiar objects and restructures them to create a new discourse. In an interview with the Miami Rail, Ward states: ‘I think that level of thought and actualization can be meaningful in lots of ways — in a social justice way, and it’s such a relevant time to address things of that nature, even in the contemporary art world. And then also just aesthetics, and the joy of looking at something. For me, it’s about finding a way to negotiate between those realities: the luxury of looking and the need to have a kind of activist mode within the thought process of the work.’

Giant snowmen, Mango Tourist (2011), are a juxtaposition of the industrial and organic with mango seeds, battery canisters, and Sprague Electric Company resistors and capacitors embedded in the weaves of yellow foam.

Burned wooden bats, oven pans, and ironed sterilized cotton are the materials used in Ward’s Iron Heavens (1995), meticulously arranged to form a starry, night sky. A signature material for the artist, the bats have been burned and applied with cotton, gestures that suggest impending violence and, in particular, racial violence in the context of the history of the South. Cotton implies healing.

Shoe laces drilled into a wall of nearly half the length of the room appear like drips of different colored paints from up close but from afar clearly read, ‘We The People’ — also the title of this work produced in 2011. This work was made during a residency at the Fabric Workshop and Museum in Philadelphia, the city where the Constitution was drafted, debated, and signed in 1787. Attuned to this history, Ward sees the assembly of multiple parts as the many citizens who make up a democracy. However, the words only seen from a distance imply that the values of democracy are not available to everyone at all times.

Monday, Tuesday, Friday to Sunday: 10AM-6PM; Closed Wednesday; Thursday: 10AM-9PM

Pérez Art Museum Miami, 1103 Biscayne Blvd, Miami, FL, USA, + 1 305 375 3000

Untitled by Gustavo Pérez Monzón, 1986, mixed media | © CIFO: Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation

Untitled by Gustavo Pérez Monzón, 1986, 73 x 57.5 cm, mixed on cardboard | © Rodolfo Martinez CIFO: Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation

Gustavo Pérez Monzón: Tramas at the Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation

Established in 2002 by Cuban-born art collector, philanthropist, and entrepreneur Ella Fontanals-Cisneros and her family, CIFO fosters cultural understanding and educational exchange through three primary initiatives: an exhibitions program showcasing international contemporary art from the Ella Fontanals-Cisneros Collection at the CIFO Art Space located in the Arts and Entertainment District; a Grants and Commissions Program for emerging and mid-career visual artists from Latin America; and foundation-initiated support for other arts and culture projects.

Tramas (Wefts) is Cuban artist Gustavo Pérez Monzón’s first exhibition in the U.S. Curated by Elsa Vega and René Francisco Rodríguez, it brings together nearly 70 works (drawings, installations, and site-specific works) created between 1979 and the late 1980s, providing a close look at the artist’s practice during the final decade that he lived and worked in Cuba. The exhibition, on view through May 1st, first opened at the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes de La Habana, where it was on view in conjunction with the 2015 Havana Biennial.

‘In a general sense,’ says Pérez Monzón (who stopped painting in the late 1980s and moved to Mexico where he currently teaches), ‘I created works that functioned like systems sustained by a logical order and that were at the same time perceived emotionally with all the arbitrariness and depth that a work of art allows…I don’t see that the works I made are based on parameters associated with science or technical knowledge, but on arithmetical concepts, or rather, on numerological concepts. In numerology, numbers do not only express quantities; they also enclose meanings and, consequently, relations that give them an ordering.’

Thursday-Friday: 12PM-6PM; Saturday-Sunday: 10AM-4PM

CIFO: Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation, 1018 N Miami Ave, Miami, FL, USA, +305 415 6343


By Lisa Morales