By Michael Mills
Like Santa Claus, Art Basel comes but once a year – and for only a few days. The rest of the year museums do the heavy lifting for the cultural life of Miami-Dade. Remember that galleries in the Wynwood District and elsewhere often schedule solo and group exhibitions with short notice. Museum schedules also typically fill in over time.
Here are some highlights of the upcoming art season:
Art Basel Miami Beach: Has it really been 15 years since the internationally famous art festival added Miami Beach to its lineup? More than 250 galleries from all over the world, representing more than 4,000 artists, participate in this sensory overload of art, with annual attendance now estimated at more than 70,000.
The main event, which runs Dec. 1-4 this year, is at the Miami Beach Convention Center (1901 Convention Center Drive), but there are also satellite events and shows that overflow into surrounding areas. By-invitation-only activities abound, but the public is welcome from 3 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 1; from noon to 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 2 and 3; and from noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 4. Tickets start at $50 for a one-day pass.
Pérez Art Museum Miami: The big permanent-collection show at the Pérez Museum, or PAMM, is a yearlong extravaganza that started back in June and runs through July 18 next year. Routes of Influence explores several themes – “Shifting Cartographies,” “Perceptive Geometries,” “Ideological Circuits,” “Ornament and Empire,” and “On the Road” – through works by many artists in many media.
The beginning of the season is dominated by three female artists. A Universe of Fragile Mirrors (through Nov. 13) features films and videos by the Puerto Rican artist Beatriz Santiago Muñoz. S-281913 (through April 30) is an ambitious project by American artist Sarah Oppenheimer, commissioned by PAMM and incorporating the museum’s distinctive Herzog & de Meuron architecture as an element. And the Florida-born, London-based Susan Hiller’s Lost and Found (through June 4) is a video collage exploring multiple cultures and languages. New York colorist painter and conceptual artist David Reed is also the subject of a solo show that runs from Nov. 29 through June 25.
PAMM is at 1103 Biscayne Blvd.; 305-375-3000. Hours are Mon. and Tues., 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Thurs., 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; Fri.-Sun., 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; closed Wednesdays. Admission is $16/ages 18+; $12/students, seniors, and ages 7-18. Free for members, ages 6 and under, and active military. Free every second Saturday and first Thursday, 10 a.m.-9 p.m.
Frost Art Museum: The human body and its adornments are the focus of two provocative shows at the Frost, one of Florida International University’s art venues. Narciso Rodriguez: An Exercise in Minimalism (Oct. 16 through Jan. 8) marks the first museum show for the Cuban-American fashion designer, who will provide 50 designs from his couture lines. Rodriguez is a Calvin Klein veteran known for the wedding dress Carolyn Bessette wore when she married John Kennedy Jr., as well as the red-and-black dress Michelle Obama wore on Nov. 4, 2008, when her husband was elected president.
Pierce, Mark, Morph (Oct. 22-Feb. 12) features the work of artists who use the body as their medium, subjecting it to such modifications as piercings and tattoos and even surgery. Artists included are Lauren Kalman, Carlos Martiel, Hiromi Moneyhun, Tatiana Parcero, and Cecilia Paredes.
The Frost is at 10975 S.W. 17th St., Miami; 305-348-2890. Hours are Tues.-Sat., 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sun., noon-5 p.m.; closed Mondays. Admission is free.
The Wolfsonian: Over in Miami Beach, FIU’s other art venue, the Wolfsonian, has several exhibitions scheduled. From Nov. 18 through June 11, the museum offers Modern Dutch Design, an exhibit that draws from the Wolfsonian’s own collections of Dutch furniture, drawings and decorative arts to explore the response of Netherlands artists to the pressures of the years 1890-1940. Showing during that same period is the museum’s own façade and lobby as decorated by the contemporary Dutch artist Christie van der Haak, who is known for her elaborately patterned, colorful work inspired by batik.
The Pursuit of Abstraction (through April 16), which just opened, features fine and decorative art with a spiritual or mystical bent. Also now under way and running through Nov. 8: Thoughts on Democracy: Freedom to Vote 2016, described as a “graphic remix project.” The show is built around new posters by four contemporary designers, each doing his or her own take on Norman Rockwell’s famous Four Freedoms posters. An adjunct library installation of historic ephemera, The Politics of -Isms, will explore aspects of American political campaigns of the 20th century.
The Wolfsonian is at 1001 Washington Ave., Miami Beach; 305-531-1001. Hours are Mon., Tues., Thurs., and Sat., noon-6 p.m.; Fri., noon-9 p.m.; Sun., noon-6 p.m.; closed Wednesdays. Admission is $10/ages 12+, $5/students, seniors, and ages 6-12; free for members, children under 6, and students, faculty, and staff of the state university system of Florida.
Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami: Having survived some mean, lean, and turbulent years, MoCA is still working to beef up its exhibition schedule. Going on now through Nov. 13, Rolando Peña: Black Gold filters modern culture through the metaphor of oil. The show encompasses dance, theater, cinema, video, photography, installation, architecture, and design. Peña is a veteran Venezuelan artist active since the late 1950s.
The spring show is Viktor and Ekaterina Khromin: Under the Sun (Mar. 9-May 7), featuring the work of an artist couple who emigrated from the Soviet Union, followed by a summer show, Macho Enterprises (June 8-Aug. 6), in which Cuban artist Elio Rodriguez explores ideas of identity and its social construction.
MoCA is at 770 N.E. 125th St., North Miami; 305-893-6211. Hours are Tues.-Fri., 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sat., 1-9 p.m.; Sun., 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; closed Mondays. Admission is $5/ages 12+; $3/students and seniors; free to members, under 12, North Miami residents, city employees, and veterans.
Lowe Art Museum: Already halfway through its yearlong run at the Lowe is Blasted Allegories: Photography as Experience (through April 2), the seventh annual University of Miami student-curated exhibition. This edition includes 30 images from the museum’s permanent collection. Also currently under way: Highlights from The Fairholme Unlimited Foundation (through December), featuring works by Andy Warhol, Jackson Pollock, Henry Moore, Deborah Butterfield, Duane Hanson, Claes Oldenburg, Frank Stella, and many others.
Titus Kaphar: The Vesper Project (through Dec. 23) presents the New York artist’s work exploring the imaginary history of a 19th-century New England family. Also through Dec. 23, Donald Sultan: The Disaster Paintings, works from 1984 to 1990 from the American painter, sculptor, and printmaker. And from Oct. 27 through June 25, the Lowe will offer Sean Cavanaugh: Under the Elders’ Gaze, documenting the artist’s fascination with trees.
The Lowe is at 1301 Stanford Drive, Coral Gables; 305-284-3535. Hours are Tues.-Sat., 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Sun., noon-4 p.m.; closed Mondays. Admission is $12.50/adults; $8/students and seniors; free to members and University of Miami students, faculty, and staff, children under 12, and military.