Saturday, October 23, 2010

ArtsPreview 2010-11: The season in Broward-Miami art

Poster No.‭ ‬4‭ (‬2010‭)‬,‭ ‬from the Miami Poster Project,‭ ‬
by Philip Brooker.

By Emma Trelles

Each fall,‭ ‬it is the labor of arts writers everywhere to forge connections between the many exhibits about to snap open and‭ ‬clamor for the eye’s attention.‭ ‬There is much excitement after many hot and slow months of student art shows and sweetly presented orchid photos at community centers.

September marks the beginning of the real pageant,‭ ‬or so we write,‭ ‬the onslaught of serious and money-minded mega fairs,‭ ‬the lockstep march of masters and up-and-comers,‭ ‬sculpture and paintings from exotic continents,‭ ‬the panache of New York canvases,‭ ‬the dioramas strewn with Pop surrealist kitsch.‭ ‬Arts writers strive to say how individual shows are,‭ ‬in fact,‭ ‬subtly linked through form or era,‭ ‬through tradition and culture,‭ ‬or even perhaps through the sweat of sheer intention.

But the truth is‭ ‬--‭ ‬they are not.‭ ‬Each art season and its body parts arrive as beautifully disarrayed as the last.‭ ‬When it comes to this and every season’s exhibit roster,‭ ‬there is no pattern,‭ ‬no unity,‭ ‬no invisible reed joining the twilight penumbra of one cityscape to the charcoal clavicle of another nude drawing.‭ ‬Why pretend there is some overarching story‭? ‬What is the point in making everything so tidy‭? ‬

No fun in that,‭ ‬we say,‭ ‬so this year,‭ ‬we’ll dispense with the alleged themes and continuity.‭ ‬Let’s just say that there is much to see in South Florida.‭ ‬The eye is ready.‭ ‬

Fast Sketch Still Life with Fruit and Goldfish‭ (‬3-D‭)‬ (1988-89‭)‬,‭
‬by Tom Wesselmann.

In what promises to be a rich retrospective,‭ ‬Tom Wesselmann Draws opens the season at the‭ ‬Museum of Art:‭ ‬Fort Lauderdale,‭ ‬Nova Southeastern University.‭ ‬The show includes more than‭ ‬100‭ ‬cutout still‭ ‬lifes,‭ ‬found-art collages,‭ ‬and‭ ‬mixed-media paintings and constructions‭ ‬made over‭ ‬45‭ ‬years by the late American Pop artist.‭ ‬Included are the some of the large-scale drawings and initial sketches for Wesselmann’s color-sensual‭ ‬Great American Nude‭ ‬series.

Vatican Splendors:‭ ‬A Journey Through Faith and Art arrives in January and teems with‭ ‬paintings,‭ ‬mosaics,‭ ‬sculpture,‭ ‬papal jewels,‭ ‬embroidered silk vestments and the armor and swords of‭ ‬the‭ ‬Swiss Guards.‭ ‬One of the grandest gatherings of art and historically significant objects from the Vatican that has toured North America,‭ ‬the exhibit also boasts the compass and tools used by Michelangelo while making the frescoes of the Sistine Chapel.‭ ‬

The Art and Culture Center of Hollywood has already begun its seasonal offerings with‭ ‬Sinisa Kukec:‭ ‬And Yet Another Wayward Landscape‭ ‬and‭ ‬Stephan Tugrul:‭ ‬En Masse.‭ ‬The former sprawls across the center’s main gallery and considers shape,‭ ‬light,‭ ‬and movement through a host of sculptural,‭ ‬and in places sexual,‭ ‬elements,‭ ‬some of which include a turntable,‭ ‬ornate frames,‭ ‬a‭ ‬rehabilitated dresser drawers,‭ ‬a ghostly fox,‭ ‬and swirling mirrors.‭ ‬Tugrul presents an energetic surge of collage and appropriated landscapes.

Colby Temple Healing I‭ (‬2009‭)‬,‭ ‬by Christiaan Lopez-Miro.

‭ ‬This year,‭ ‬the ever-rotating Projects Room welcomes the primordial,‭ ‬plastic vistas of‭ ‬Cristina Lei Rodriguez:‭ ‬Forever,‭ ‬the mythic banner paintings of‭ ‬Lisa Rockford:‭ ‬The She-Monster Sideshow,‭ ‬and‭ ‬Christiaan Lopez-Miro:‭ ‬All Roads Lead to Cassadaga,‭ ‬an assembly of photographs that chronicles a‭ ‬115-year old Central Florida community with poetic attention to stillness and space.‭ ‬

Frances Trombly:‭ ‬Paintings arranges the Miami artist’s first solo exhibition at the‭ ‬Girls‭’ ‬Club,‭ ‬which regularly features fiber and traditional craft media works by internationally renowned female artists including‭ ‬Kiki Smith,‭ ‬Ghada Amer,‭ ‬Ellen Gallagher,‭ ‬Amparo Sard and Tara Donovan,‭ ‬as well as prominent South Florida artists such as Carol Prusa,‭ ‬Jen Stark,‭ ‬Kevin Arrow,‭ ‬Dinorah de Jesus Rodriguez,‭ ‬and Kerry Phillips.‭ ‬Known for handcrafting ordinary objects such as grocery store receipts and mops from fiber,‭ ‬Trombly expands on her oeuvre‭ ‬with these sculptural canvases made specifically for this downtown Fort Lauderdale art space.‭ ‬

The Bear and Bird Boutique‭ ‬+‭ ‬Gallery (‬inside/upstairs at TATE’s Comics+Toys+Videos‭)‬ continues its always lively arts roster with‭ ‬Monsters Under My Bed,‭ ‬a multi-medium group show spotlighting South Florida artists and the assorted ooogah-boogahs of childhood nightmares.‭ ‬Also on deck:‭ ‬the gallery’s‭ ‬fourth annual‭ ‬Small Stuff‭ (‬works‭ ‬8‭ ‬x‭ ‬10‭ ‬or smaller by local,‭ ‬national,‭ ‬and international visual artists‭) ‬and‭ ‬The Super Punch Tarot,‭ ‬a wholly original tarot collection fashioned by dozens of artists and curated by pop toy-and-product blogger John Struan.‭ ‬

Yves Saint Front:‭ ‬The Kaufman Collection‭ ‬shows the luminous canvases of the‭ ‬20th century French painter at‭ ‬The Coral Springs Museum of Art.‭ ‬A concurrent exhibit shows bronzes,‭ ‬sepia-toned marine-inspired photographs,‭ ‬and landscape paintings by,‭ ‬respectively,‭ ‬Jim Rennert,‭ ‬Michael Kahn,‭ ‬and Nicholas Berger.‭ ‬The new year brings watercolors by Miles Batt and figurative and abstract sculpture by Lothar Nickel,‭ ‬followed by‭ ‬Tools in Motion:‭ ‬The Hechinger Collection,‭ ‬a sampling of visual art that honors the design and function of everyday tools.‭

At the‭ ‬Museum of Contemporary Art,‭ ‬North Miami,‭ ‬everyday objects and thrift store attire are bundled to form the installations found in‭ ‬Shinique Smith:‭ ‬Menagerie.‭ ‬This is the New York-based artist’s first large-scale U.S.‭ ‬museum show,‭ ‬and it also assembles paintings,‭ ‬drawings,‭ ‬and video inspired in part from abstract expressionism,‭ ‬color field painting,‭ ‬and Japanese calligraphy.

During Art Basel Miami Beach,‭ ‬the museum conflates the oeuvre of an international fashion and street photographer with the toil of one of Miami’s Caribbean communities in‭ ‬Bruce Weber:‭ ‬Haiti‭ ‬/‭ ‬Little Haiti.‭ ‬Shot from‭ ‬2003‭ ‬to the present,‭ ‬approximately‭ ‬75‭ ‬photographs frame the lives of Haitian immigrants,‭ ‬and recent pictures capture the aftermath of Haiti’s earthquake.‭ ‬In‭ ‬2011,‭ ‬the museum brings in statues and dioramas from‭ ‬Jonathan Meese:‭ ‬Sculpture and works on paper by British artist Chris Ofili.‭

Folded Buddha‭ (‬1987-88‭)‬,‭ ‬by Susan Rothenberg.

The Miami Art Museum organizes‭ ‬Susan Rothenberg:‭ ‬Moving in Place,‭ ‬the artist’s first museum show in more than 10 years and her debut in South Florida.‭ ‬Twenty-five paintings include early horse pictorials from the mid‭ ‬70s to more recent canvases which address her daily life in New Mexico and the desert's disjointed perspectives.‭ ‬Tomas Saraceno's‭ ‬Galaxies Forming Along Filaments,‭ ‬Like Droplets Along the Strands of a Spider's Web,‭ ‬is on view through the new year‭; ‬the artist was the Argentine representative to the‭ ‬2009‭ ‬Venice Biennale,‭ ‬and this installation was the prototype for his work in Italy‭ ‬--‭ ‬a conceptual installation that likens the universe to a lattice of floating elastic cords.‭ ‬A selection from the MAM's own diverse holdings fills out both‭ ‬Focus Gallery:‭ ‬Robert Rauschenberg‭ ‬and‭ ‬Between Here and There:‭ ‬Modern Contemporary Art from the Permanent Collection.‭ ‬

In a fresh twist on tourism trends,‭ ‬the‭ ‬ArtCenter of South Florida unveils the‭ ‬Miami Poster Project,‭ ‬five super-sized posters by illustrator Phillip Brooker which stylize Miami's tropical spaces,‭ ‬abundant bird life,‭ ‬and urban and arts centers.‭ ‬Curated by artist-in-residence Kristen Thiele,‭ ‬Art Basel:‭ ‬Good n‭' ‬Plenty places the ArtCenter front and center,‭ ‬with works by past and present residents flanking exhibit spaces and corridors,‭ ‬including efforts by Gavin Perry,‭ ‬Luis Gispert,‭ ‬William Cordova,‭ ‬Beatriz Monteavaro,‭ ‬and Ellie Schneiderman.‭ ‬Next spring,‭ ‬architects and University of Miami professors Jacob Brillhart and Errol Barron display their sketchbooks and illustrations in‭ ‬Visual Thinking in the Digital Age.‭ ‬

The Frost Art Museum focuses on one narrative arc of abstract painting in‭ ‬Embracing Modernity:‭ ‬Venezuelan Geometric Abstraction.‭ ‬Covering the late‭ ‬1940s through the‭ ‬1960s,‭ ‬landmark works by Carlos Cruz-Diez,‭ ‬Gertrude‭ (‬Gego‭) ‬Goldschmidt,‭ ‬Mateo Manaure,‭ ‬Alejandro Otero,‭ ‬Jesus Rafael Soto and several others consider the genesis and history of this country's modern art movement.‭ ‬In‭ ‬Sequentia,‭ ‬artist Xavier Cortada visually depicts the four bases of a DNA strand through large-scale oil portraits‭; ‬he also works with a microbiologist to create a living model of the famed double‭ ‬helix.‭ ‬Arnold Mesches,‭ ‬whose works are included in the collections of the Met,‭ ‬the National Gallery,‭ ‬and the Whitney,‭ ‬is featured in the‭ ‬Florida Artists Series:‭ ‬Selections from Anomie‭ ‬1492-2006,‭ ‬an assemblage of‭ ‬48‭ ‬large acrylic paintings and‭ ‬150‭ ‬collages that blend postmodern thought with‭ ‬Old Master techniques.‭

At The Wolfsonian-Florida International University,‭ ‬Speed Limits‭ ‬celebrates of the role of velocity in modern-day life and showcases more than‭ ‬200‭ ‬works from the collections of The Wolfsonian and the Canadian Centre for‭ ‬Architecture.‭ ‬Some of the fare‭ ‬includes photographs of the construction of the Eiffel Tower and the Irving Trust Building in New York‭; ‬films of early‭ ‬20th-century American workers,‭ ‬paintings,‭ ‬drawings,‭ ‬and books.‭ ‬Art and Design in the Modern Age:‭ ‬Selections from the Wolfsonian Collection‭ ‬views cultural and political arenas through ceramics,‭ ‬handmade and mass-produced furniture,‭ ‬graphic design,‭ ‬ephemera and household objects.‭ ‬Highlights include a bas-relief produced for the‭ ‬1933‭ ‬Chicago World’s Fair and a sculpture by Alexander Stirling Calder for the Panama-Pacific Exposition of‭ ‬1915.‭ ‬

New York artist Ellen Harvey‭ ‬exhibits oil paintings inspired by nudes from the permanent collection of the‭ Bass Museum of Art.‭ ‬Also on display:‭ ‬Florida’s only ongoing Egyptian gallery,‭ ‬which includes a sarcophagus and mummy,‭ ‬and rotating selections from the museum’s archives,‭ ‬which span more than five centuries and contain North American sculpture,‭ ‬landscapes from the‭ ‬19th and‭ ‬20th centuries,‭ ‬paintings from Latin America and the Caribbean,‭ ‬contemporary photography,‭ ‬and Asian art.‭ ‬

The Jaguar’s Spots:‭ ‬Ancient MesoAmerican Art from the Lowe Art Museum,‭ ‬University of Miami displays masterpieces from ancient Mexico and Panama that examine the dynamics between art and the natural world.‭ ‬In‭ ‬T‭he Changing Face of Art andPolitics,‭ ‬32‭ ‬works consider political imagery through an aesthetic lens that ranges ‬from an early‭ ‬16th-century engraving by Hieronymus Hopfur to a late‭ ‬20th-century print by Stanley William Hayter.‭ ‬Frank Paulin:‭ ‬An American Documentarian brings‭ ‬30‭ ‬photographs from the mid-century American artist.

And finally,‭ ‬in its ninth and glittering incarnation,‭ ‬Art Basel Miami Beach‭ ‬descends on South Florida Dec.‭ ‬2-5,‭ ‬with satellite fairs,‭ ‬gallery events,‭ ‬art talks,‭ ‬pop-up shops,‭ ‬installations,‭ ‬street murals, bands,‭ ‬bars, velvet ropes,‭ ‬and all the usual accompanying spectacle.‭ ‬Get a head start here:‭ ‬

Emma Trelles is an arts writer in South Florida.

Untitled‭ (‬2010‭)‬,‭ ‬by Vincent Hemphill,‭ ‬at ArtCenter of South Florida’s
Art Basel:‭ ‬Good‭ ‘‬n‭’ ‬Plenty.

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