By Larry Schwingel
Miami-Dade County is rich in diversity, and that tradition shines no brighter than through the prism of extraordinary works provided by artists from around the world, particularly Latin America. The opportunity to view pieces of distinction can be seen at multiple venues, and this season’s schedule of exhibitions offers plenty for any art lover.
Art Basel Miami Beach: This annual sensory overload, affectionately referred to as “The Show,” runs from Dec. 7 to 10 at the Miami Beach Convention Center. Works from more than 200 of the leading galleries in North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia, and Africa are on view, totaling something in the neighborhood of 4,000 artists. Visitors may also find works that range from editioned pieces by young artists to museum-caliber masterpieces. Ambitious large‐scale artworks, films, and performances are also part of the city’s outdoor landscape at nearby Collins Park and SoundScape Park, and there is any number of ancillary art shows happening that same week that you can also check out. [www.artbasel.com/miami-beach]
Coral Gables Museum: Running now through Nov. 19 is Annette Turrillo: Sublimations, the Venezuelan-French artist’s look at women in history, as part of the Coral Gables’ International Artist Series. Each installation in the exhibition refers to a woman’s inner self, revealed through her face. Almost holographic in its mesmerizing countenance, the face is inspirational. Also now on view through Oct. 22 is Between the Real and the Imagined: Abstract Art from CINTAS Fellows, in which visitors can explore the varied definitions of abstraction, form, and color through the eyes of Cuban artists from the 1950s to the present day.
Curated by Elizabeth Cerejido, selections feature the works of Rafael Soriano, Mario Carreño and José Mijares, as well as Carmen Herrera, Zilia Sánchez, and Fernando García. More recent multi-dimensional installations can be viewed through the works of Cuban-American artists María Martínez-Cañas, Leyden Rodríguez Casanova, and Vanessa Díaz.
The international refugee crisis is explored in Sheltering Survivors (Nov. 3-May 27), which takes a look at shelter designs that have been used for the more than 65 million people worldwide who have been displaced. Patrons will be able to walk through some of these structures and hear recorded testimony from refugees. Also upcoming is a retrospective of paintings by the late Spanish abstract expressionist Juan Antonio Guirado (Dec. 1-Feb. 18). [305-603-8067; coralgablesmuseum.org]
Pérez Art Museum Miami: Running now through Jan. 7 at the former Miami Art Museum is the second part — Abstracting History — of a three-part exhibit called On the Horizon devoted to contemporary Cuban art, and the idea of a horizon line, from the collection of Jorge Pérez. Several paintings in this exhibit explore geometric abstraction through compositions — involving the play of simple forms and primary colors. The third part, Domestic Anxieties (Jan. 18-April 8), presents questions regarding everyday life and its attendant insecurities, stresses, and anxieties. The selection includes works that explore architectural spaces as emotional sites. Several works, present images that map domestic interiors or intimate locations, while others reference details taken from the street or public buildings.
Other current exhibits include Spots, Dots, Pips, Tiles: An Exhibition About Dominoes (through Oct. 29), featuring the work of 19 artist that use the game of dominoes to explore concepts that speak to a larger social consciousness and important notions about contemporary art. Some of the artists address race, identity, religion, and social struggles, while others investigate the formal and conceptual aesthetics of the game. On view through Jan. 14 is John Dunkley: Neither Day nor Night, a retrospective of the work of one of Jamaica’s most important artists (1891-1947). Paintings from the 1930s and 1940s will be alongside a smaller selection of carved-wood and stone sculptures. Dunkley has not been the focus of a solo exhibition since the 1970s, and never before outside Jamaica.
The German artist Dara Freidman, a video and film installation specialist who lives in Miami, gets her first major career survey in Perfect Stranger (Nov. 3-March 4); meanwhile, perspectives on that now-obsolete office mainstay the typewriter by 15 artists and poets are featured in From the truer world of the other (Nov. 17-April 15).
The Words of Others: León Ferrari and Rhetoric in Times of War (Feb. 16-April 12) examines the literary collages of this major Argentinian artist, who died in 2013 and gets his first U.S. solo show with this exhibition. Included in these works from the 1960s to 1980s is Palabras ajenas (The Words of Others), a collage written in the form of an anti-war script that will be performed. And the game Americans call soccer is called football everywhere else, and in The World’s Game: Fútbol and Contemporary Art (April 6-Sept. 2), 20 artists provide paintings, sculpture, photos and video about this most popular of sports. The exhibit will overlap with the 2018 FIFA World Cup, which will be played from June 14 to July 15 in Moscow. [305-375-3000; pamm.org]
Bass Museum of Art: Under the guidance of Executive Director Silvia Karman Cubiñá, the museum has undergone a major renovation, and has just reopened. The new season will include solo exhibitions by Ugo Rondinone (Good Evening Beautiful Blue, Oct. 8-Feb. 19), Pascale Marthine Tayou (Beautiful, Oct. 8-April 2) and Mika Rottenberg (Dec. 7-April 30). The Argentina-born Rottenberg’s self-titled solo exhibition of video and sculpture that comments on global capitalism by making absurd comparisons, opens in alignment with Art Basel Miami Beach.
The museum’s programmable space has been extended by nearly 50 percent and includes a 5,200-square-foot Creativity Center (curated by Prem Krishnamurthy of Project Projects). It is a designated wing for educational programming, and includes new classrooms, a multimedia lab, administrative offices, and a reception lobby. Exhibition space is now 12,800 square feet and eight new galleries, plus six additional exhibition spaces.
Five artists — Moniker, Emmett Moore, Amanda Season Keeley, Katie Stout and Rafael Domenech — were commissioned to develop site-specific works that chart the overlap between existing functions, and new opportunities for both the artists and museum visitors. [305-673-7530; thebass.org]
The Wolfsonian-FIU: Julius Klinger: Posters for a Modern Age (Oct. 6-April 1) focuses on the work of the Austrian designer and Holocaust victim (1876-1942) who was recognized as one of the leading graphic artists of the modern age. His designs often shared a signature style characterized by graphic simplicity and directness — whether in the form of illustrations, graphic ornament, or his most famous posters. The exhibition features examples of his work that explores issues of identity—personal, corporate, and national — as well as the impact of cultural displacement on the history of design, and the role of commercial art in the modern city.
To further explore the nature of graphic identity, the Klinger exhibit will run concurrently with Double Vision, in which the Vienna-based design studio Seite Zwei transforms The Wolfsonian’s façade and lobby with typefaces, abstract forms, and color schemes derived from the work of Klinger. The installation applies the “graphic DNA” of Klinger’s work through a mix of printing techniques, including perception-shifting lenticular prints — in which interlaced images appear to change, based on the viewing angle, giving it an effect of animation — inviting viewers to recognize the layered meanings in the simplest of images.
Two ongoing exhibits can also be seen at the Wolfsonian: Art and Design in the Modern Age, an overview of American and European artifacts from the late 19th to mid-20th century comprising nearly 300 works that range from books, posters, and postcards, to decorative arts, architectural models, paintings, and sculptures. And in Americans All: Race Relations in Depression-Era Murals, viewers can see how the public art of the 1930s attempted to reckon with the nature of the United States as a racially diverse nation. In their representations of blacks, whites, American Indians, and Asian immigrants, these works reflect the contentious and unsettled state of American race relations in the early 20th century. (305-531-1001; wolfsonian.org)
The Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami: The contemporary Haitian artist Edouard Duval-Carrié is the subject of Metamorphosis (through Nov. 5). The artist’s themes are variations on the symbolic and the historic life of the Caribbean. His paintings and sculpture Loas of Vodou, showcases how people migrated from the Caribbean to North America, and in these and other works, Duval-Carrié is preoccupied with history, the creation of memories without histories, and the politics of history and knowledge. [305-893-6211; mocanomi.org]
Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum: Lewis Hine was one of the most influential social documentary photographers of the 20th century. He dedicated his practice to capturing images of children toiling in factories, and those powerful photographs told the story of child abuse as workers and helped influence the creation of labor laws in the United States. Lewis Hine: Social Justice and Child Labor runs through Dec. 10.
A major donation from television network Univision makes up the substance of Reflections of the Americas (through Jan. 3): Recent of serigraphs, paintings and mixed media works from 40 artists including Cundo Bermudez, Humberto Calzada, Wifredo Lam, Guido Llinas and Coqui Calderon. One of the others featured is the Cuban painter Rafael Soriano, who died in 2015. An overview of his work, Rafael Soriano: The Artist as Mystic (Oct. 28-Jan. 28), features more than 90 paintings, pastels, and drawings by an acclaimed master of geometric abstraction and a global figure in 20th-century art.
Latin American perspectives are the focus of Continental Abstraction (Oct. 8-Feb. 18), a collection of more than 40 works drawn from the collection of the Organization of American States’ Art Museum of the Americas in Washington, D.C. More than 30 artists hailing from 20 different countries experiment with form and materials and investigate through an abstract lens, themes of migration, exile, poverty, freedom, and creativity to examine the wide spectrum of social, cultural, and artistic concerns of countries throughout Latin America. [305-348-2890; thefrost.fiu.edu]
Lowe Art Museum: The University of Miami’s art museum takes a look at the world of Warhol, Rauschenberg, Indiana, Lichtenstein and others in Pop Art Prints (now through Dec. 17), a Smithsonian-organized exhibition of 37 prints, largely from the 1960s. A collaboration with UM’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science led the American artist Michele Oka Doner to create 55 photographs from the school’s Marine Invertebrate Museum. The exhibit, Into the Mysterium (Oct. 12-Jan. 14) also includes a 10-minute video installation by Oka Doner that promises to further immerse the viewer in this exotic underwater world.
The New York-based sculptor Herbert Ferber (1906-1991) is surely one of the few artists in history to have doubled as a dentist. But as he was studying dentistry at Columbia, he also was taking night art classes, and focused for the majority of his career on abstract sculpture. Space in Tension (Oct. 26-Jan. 14) presents some of his metalworks as well as his minimalist paintings. Small sculptures are the focus of Stone Levity (Nov. 16-April 29), a collection of intimate works made of natural materials by the contemporary American artist Del Geist.
In our politically fraught time, in which our country’s painful race history has come to the fore, there might be no more salutary show than Dignity: Tribes in Transition (Jan. 25-April 22), a series of black-and-white photographs of indigenous peoples, taken when their traditional cultures were colliding with the new. [305-284-3535; lowemuseum.org]