By Sandra Schulman
The return of the art fairs is the big news down south, though how much of the international set will fly in remains to be seen. The buzziest show of the season will undoubtedly be Bob Dylan’s expansive multimedia exhibit at the Frost Art Museum. Will the elusive Mr. Zimmerman make an appearance? The answer is blowing in the wind.
Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM)
Jedd Novatt is known for his sculptures of cubes teetering on top of one another, and PAMM has two of them: Chaos Bizkaia (2012) and Chaos SAS (2013). His new show, Monotypes and More, features small-scale sculptures, works that inform his works on paper, such as the Kármán Line series, released earlier this year. The show takes place in a gallery overlooking Chaos SAS, giving a spatial retrospective of this artist’s work. (Oct. 14-June 26)
The flotsam and jetsam of our daily lives is whimsically gathered in Zhivago Duncan’s installation Pretentious Crap (2010-11). Supposedly curated by Duncan’s alter ego Dick Flash, the sole amnesiac survivor of a global apocalypse who collects the remnants of now-lost civilizations, putting them in a display cabinet where he can mull over what they were about. It’s a smart way to comment on how difficult it is to draw meaning from a chaotic contemporary culture. (Nov. 30-Sept. 25)
Frost Museum of Art
Who knew the Bard of Duluth had so much visual art in him? Bob Dylan’s fans, that’s who, since the singer-songwriter has been making drawings, paintings and ironworks sculpture for six decades. Now comes Bob Dylan: Retrospectum, which premiered in Shanghai in 2019, which introduces that art to a wider audience and ties it in with his musical and literary work. He’s a painter of people in dive bars, a chronicler of street scenes filled with trains and skyscrapers, an ideal visual accompaniment to his songs.
Running along with Retrospectrum, The Wolfsonian Public Humanities Lab, FIU’s humanities and arts hub, will present Dylan@FIU: A symposium exploring the facets of Dylan’s career and cultural influence, timed to coincide with Miami Art Week in the beginning of December. (Through April 21)
The Israeli-born artist Naama Tsabar, now based in New York, is an explorer of the intersection of architecture and music, focusing on how sound waves interact with buildings. Her large-scale sculptures and installations can be played by musicians and patrons. For Perimeters, Tsabar will transform the Miami Beach museum itself into a musical instrument, immersion on an exceptional scale. (Nov. 28-April 17)
Most of us have indelible memories of our mothers speaking to us — or scolding us — and the Miami artist Najja Moon’s sculpture Your Mommas Voice in the Back of Your Head takes it to the next level. This outdoor exhibit features speakers surrounded by glass in which we hear Moon’s mother voicing rebukes and folksy colloquialisms. Moon has also gathered the voices of mothers speaking in English, Spanish and Creole. (Through January 2022)
The Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU
Speaking of Jewish musical icons, the Jewish Museum of Florida celebrates Babs herself in Hello Gorgeous, an exclusive exhibit dedicated to mega-star Barbra Streisand. The exhibition includes the legendary singer’s 1959 high school yearbook and pages from her first nightclub contracts, plus the original clothing from her TV special My Name is Barbra, her breakthrough role in the musical Funny Girl, and her film Yentl. There’s so much more, but we’re getting all verklempt just thinking about it. (Oct. 14-Feb. 20)
The Museum of Graffiti
The single-named artist known as Saber rose to fame early for his graffiti installation on the Los Angeles River in his hometown, a piece so huge it was documented by space satellites. In Escape From Los Angeles, the artist-activist presents work he created in isolation during the COVID pandemic. Drawings and paintings will be presented along with a large-scale mural made with modified fire extinguishers. (Through mid-November)
Institute of Contemporary Art Miami (ICA)
The American artist Betye Saar has taken Black identity, feminism and gender as her focalpoints, and ICA presents some of her rarely seen installations from the years 1980 to 1998 in Betye Saar: Serious Moonlight. Saar first came to wider attention in the 1960s and 1970s with pieces like The Liberation of Aunt Jemima (1972), in which she added a machine gun and a raised fist to the commercial emblem, now itself consigned to history. (Oct. 28-April 17)
Another perspective comes from an exhibition of drawing by the Inuit artist Shuvinai Ashoona. This marks the Canadian artist’s first U.S. museum exhibit, and features drawings and prints documenting life among the indigenous people of the Arctic as they transitioned from living off the land to settled communities, incorporating images such as seal cleaning with references to pop culture and horror films. (Nov. 30-May 1)
Look, up in the sky: It’s a new way of seeing. Aerial Vision explores the changes wrought by two early 20th-century inventions, airplanes and skyscrapers, and the impact they had on artistic visions. Drawing from the Wolfsonian’s own collections, the show presents paintings, posters, furniture and other creations inspired by our new perspective on the sky. (Nov. 19-April 24)
Running at the same time is Shameless, an exhibit of work old and new by the Dutch artist Bas van Beek, a commentator on functional design who repurposes objects such as teapots into multi-floor structures with three spouts. Van Beek is making his American debut with this exhibit, and will create an immersive jewel box for it. Included in the show will be
Wolfsonian-inspired 3D-printed objects — produced in collaboration with the artist’s students from FIU and the Royal Academy in The Hague. (Nov. 29-April 24)
The biggest fair of the season, Art Basel Miami Beach, will be returning this year from Dec. 2-4. It will open first for two days of invited VIP guests and will close on Saturday, a day earlier than usual, which makes sense as the Sunday fair has usually felt like the party is already over. It remains to be seen how much of the international art world will descend on the Miami Beach Convention Center for this annual event, which arguably has done more than any other single happening to raise Miami’s global profile.
The second largest fair, Art Miami, will return as well to the Miami waterfront, featuring works from more than 170 international galleries. Art Miami Show Group, the fair’s organizer, will also present Art Wynwood in February. (Nov. 30-Dec. 5).