By Sandra Schulman
It’s sure to be a long hot summer, so the cool quiet of museums and galleries offer a welcome retreat. With more of a year-round population in South Florida, cultural centers are offering up more top-notch shows with a lighter touch. The new Norton Museum in particular, with its shady sculpture garden, gleaming new restaurant and water-inspired art, is a sure bet. Comics, movie posters and kites are just some of the summer fun inspired art shows to be explored.
Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach
The best cultural things to do in the summer are museums and movies, so the new exhibit of classic movie posters titled Coming Soon: Film Posters from the Dwight M. Cleveland Collection, fits both bills at once. More than 200 posters from the genres of comedy, musicals, Westerns, sci-fi thrillers, dramas, and more from the turn of the 20th century to the late 1980s will be featured. Movie poster art is in a class by itself, with stylized depictions of the thrills, chills, spills and glamour of Hollywood. Posters from Casablanca, Singin’ in the Rain, and North by Northwest get wall time along with cult classics Barbarella and Attack of the 50 Foot Woman. Coming Soon makes an art of the ad posters themselves and how they burn their way into popular culture. (July 12-Oct. 29)
Boca Raton Museum of Art
Kapow! Blam! Bazoom! Beyond the Cape!, Comics And Contemporary Art, the headline show for the museum’s summer and early fall season, features multimedia presentations of video, photography, sculpture, prints, drawings, and even tapestries. Rare comics, contemporary animation paired with classic cartoons and a hands-on reading room zoom this exhibit into orbit. (Through Oct. 6) Two sculptors from opposite sides of the pond, American artist Sam Anderson and British artist Michael Dean, exhibit together to create a dialogue of what sculpture can be now. Dean’s abstract works use commercial and industrial materials — concrete, cable ties, paper, and books. Anderson sticks to more traditional representation using the human figure in clay, wood, and wire. Their classic versus abstraction methods makes for a creative interaction. (Through Oct. 6)
Taking its name from Giorgio Vasari’s 16th-century book about the artists of his time, the title of John Ransom Phillips exhibition, Lives of the Artists, exhibits watercolors that use poetry, figures, abstraction and symbols to fuel his unique visual language. (Through Aug. 11)
Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens, Delray Beach
Falling Water, Soaring Kites: This exhibit draws from the permanent collection of the Morikami to explore Japanese culture and the way it exalts humble objects like a kite and the natural wonders of waterfalls. They both radiate joy in their own way to the earth and to the heavens as depicted in 19th- and 20th-century prints, paintings, and lacquerware. (Through Aug. 11)
Cornell Museum, Delray Beach
Seven Solos gives seven regional artists space to whip up immersive, site-specific installations that encompass six galleries as well as the atrium space. Curator Melanie Johanson tapped Miya Ando to create hanging moons in gold; Giannina Dwin, who uses salt as pixels to make mind-blowing recreations of waves and clothing on the ground; Frank Hyder shows his inflatable heads that have graced several art fairs; and Alex Trimino works wonders with fabric and neon to make glowing chandelier-like artwork among others. (Through Oct. 6)
The Projects Contemporary Arts Space, Fort Lauderdale
These are hectic headline times indeed, and artists can take on the hot-button issues with the best of them. Ripped from the Headlines, curated for The Projects Contemporary Art Space in FATVillage Arts District, Fort Lauderdale, by eagle-eyed Elle Schorr, an artist, curator and organizer of art salons at the Armory Art Center, this screaming-out-loud show features 18 artists from throughout South Florida. The goal is to expand awareness, and get a dialogue going as the news continues to evolve and assault us in ever stranger ways.The Projects Contemporary Art Space is an enormous 8,000-square-foot warehouse space with room for a participatory interactive exhibition, allowing people to view the art and engage with artists regarding issues being addressed. Join the ArtWalks on Saturday May 25 and June 29 with a curator walk-through June 9. (Through June 29)
The owner of the ICA and the Design District, Craig Robins, is also the man behind the annual Design Miami Fair, so in keeping with that aesthetic, the ICA is launching the first in ICA Miami’s design series dedicated to showcasing the tactile overlap of art, design, and ideas. Ettore Sottsass and the Social Factory surveys the work of the Italian architect and designer, focusing on his large-scale furniture, conceptual photography, and drawings. This exhibit connects Sottsass’s life work and how it reflects the postwar economic and social changes. (Through Oct. 6) Also at ICA is the first solo U.S. museum exhibition for Paulo Nazareth. Nazareth uses performance and sculpture to examine his colonial experience in his native Brazil and the Americas. Drawing from his dual African and Indigenous heritage, he highlights history, and ways of co-existing. (May 16-Oct. 6)
Wolfsonian-Florida International University, Miami Beach
A noteworthy show, Cuban Caricature and Culture: The Art of Massaguer (June 8-Feb. 2) explores Cuban graphic designer, illustrator, publisher, and caricaturist Conrado Massaguer’s almost 100 magazine and advertising illustrations, celebrity caricatures, and Cuban tourist material created from the 1910s to the 1950s. Massaguer had a profound influence on design in both Cuba and the U.S. in his 40-year career.
The Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU, Miami Beach
The late photographer Andy Sweet now has the trifecta, a documentary – The Last Resort, a book and a museum show by the same name – Shtetl in the Sun: Andy Sweet’s South Beach 1977-1980. Thought to be lost for decades, his thousands of photos of the colorful elderly Jewish community in South Beach during the 1970s have been found and retouched. The exhibition has the book along with vintage films to celebrate the photographer’s work before his tragic death at a young age. (Through June 23)
Pérez Art Museum Miami
Several new shows kick off the PAMM summer season in Miami as the museum seeks to lure visitors and residents with its cool, spacious galleries, breezy patio and gorgeous views of the bay. Bogotá-based artist Beatriz González at 81 gets the full treatment with a large-scale look at her work. Beatriz González: A Retrospective shows this internationally celebrated Colombian artist as one of the “radical women” generation from Latin America. Mostly unknown to American audiences, this colorful, occasionally politically charged show introduces her with 150 works, from the early 1960s to the present, all of which embody the full scope of González’s oeuvre. (Through Sept. 1)
Zhao Gang is the youngest member of the Stars Group—China’s first modern art movement. For more artistic freedom, Gang left China in 1983 to pursue art in Europe and the U.S. Returning to China in 2007, Gang showcased his provocative painting practice, which mashes up Western and Eastern influences to ruminate on the global changes in China, including an entire art economy. Zhao Gang: History Painting has 14 paintings that bring together the radically multicultural aspects of Gang’s art and identity. (May 14-Jan 5)
A group show, The Other Side of Now: Foresight in Contemporary Caribbean Art sets its sights on a picture of the Caribbean art movements towards a present-future. For a full picture, the Caribbean and its traumatic, colonial past continue to color the present and foreseeable future. Artists include Deborah Anzinger, Charles Campbell, Andrea Chung and Deborah Jack. (July 18 to June 7, 2020)
Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami
On view from to August 11 and in conjunction with Haitian Heritage Month, MOCA presents a powerfully raw exhibit PÒTOPRENS: The Urban Artists of Port-au-Prince. The work of over 20 artists working in the gritty Haitian capital draw from turbulent history, spiritual roots music, frenzied politics, Santeria religion, mucho magic, architecture, art, and literature that creates a boiling melting pot unlike anything else in the world, giving insight to the way artists make sense of their rich, complicated life there. A recreation of a barbershop and a film series add to the mojo. Co-curated by Haitian-American artist Edouard Duval-Carrié and British curator Leah Gordon, this exhibition of sculptures, photographs, and films is accompanied by a recreated Port-au-Prince barbershop as well as extensive public film and talk programming.