Many things can be said of Miami Art Week, none the least of which is that along with being an art world mecca for those few December days, it’s also one helluva ride! Below are 5 things you may have missed that you can always swing by and check up on should you head back down to enjoy the sun and sand in the coming days.
And if you are heading back down to Miami, I wish you more sunlight, more mimosas, and less Uber traffic!
**Top Pick: Laura Kimpton’s Myths, Words and Fire at SLS South Beach
Laura Kimpton with her centaur, in situ at SLS South Beach Miami, Dec. 2015 (courtesy the author)
Laura Kimpton’s expressive and evocative sculptures embrace mythological influence, just as her use of fire as a key artistic element embraces the supernatural. Dating back to such rituals as the Vestal temple fire of ancient Rome and echoed in the creative fires of today’s Burning Man festival, fire is a formative element and as such plays a generative role in Kimpton’s Myths, Words and Fire at the SLS South Beach hotel. Kimpton herself is a longtime collaborator at Burning Man, and her skills as an artist working across various media—sculpture, painting, photography, and mixed media—show in this current exhibit on view at the SLS South Beach. A compendium of the staggering breadth of contemporary arts practice, the exhibit consists of a dizzying array of video, sculpture, installation, so-called “junk art” composed of found objects, and photography. Not to be missed when in South Beach (through December 31, 2015).
*Pick: PUBLIC : Art Basel Miami Beach
Hank Willis Thomas, “Ernest and Ruth”, in situ by Bass Museum for PUBLIC: Art Basel Miami Beach, Dec. 2015 (courtesy the author)
For this year’s iteration of the public art installation that brings crowds to the park by the (currently closed) Bass Museum of Art, 20 artworks ranging in scale from large to momentous have set up shop for selfie-seeking tourists along Collins Ave between 21st and 22nd Streets. From a dynamic, tornado-shaped bronze work by Tony Cragg to this introspective, quirky word bubble by Hank Willis Thomas, this park is a fun jaunt for art lovers and casual observers alike. Up through January 2016.
*Pick: Wynwood Walls Official
Logan Hicks’ creation as part of Walls of Change, featuring Art Nerd’s Lori Zimmer, Wynwood Walls Miami, Dec. 2015 (courtesy the author)
Wynwood Walls in Miami’s still-semi-gritty Wynwood district is an incredibly polychromatic neighborhood where every corner reveals seemingly more radical and lively street art. Wynwood Walls Official, however, is a carefully controlled corner amidst the chaos in which street art is put front and center. This open air museum is transformed annually as artists are invited to cover the interior walls and doors leading to this graffiti oasis, with current featured artists including Kenny Scharf, Ron English, Logan Hicks, Aiko, Swoon, and many more. The most recent artworks on view were created for this year’s Miami Art Basel, with intermittent rains forcing a prolonged opening. All works were finished during the fair so any that you missed the first time around, be sure to go and see them now before next year’s new works come in! Wynwood Walls are on view year-round.
*Pick: Nari Ward at PAMM
Nari Ward, in situ at Perez Art Museum Miami (PAMM), Dec. 2015 (courtesy PAMM)
As they say, PAMM’s got a brand new bag: new direction under the well-respected guidance of Franklin Sirmans (of LACMA and Prospect New Orleans fame), a sharpened focus on modern and contemporary Latin American art, and a blockbuster show in the form of Nari Ward. Dubbed as a “mid-career retrospective” (a somewhat dubious term), Ward is a Jamaican artist living in New York City. Here he takes a look at the dynamic power of migration, movement, and mixed materials to trace the mixture of experiences he has while living in Jamaica and in America. While at PAMM to experience this encompassing survey of Ward’s works be sure not to miss Firelei Baez, an artist from the Dominican Republic also working now in New York City whose lush and sensuous canvases often subtly betray the complex impact that colonial histories exude on contemporary culture. Ward’s exhibit is on view through February 21, 2016 while Baez is up through March 6, 2016.
*Pick: Martha Friedman’s PORE at Locust Projects
Installation for Martha Friedman’s PORE, in situ at Locust Projects, Dec. 2015 (courtesy Locust Projects)
Brooklyn-based Friedman is associated with playful and irreverent sculpture, incorporating unorthodox materials in her installation work. Now for her first solo show in Miami she presents PORE at Locust Projects, a nonprofit based in Miami’s Design District, where visitors can examine her large-scale tactile pieces. Occupying Locust Projects literally from the floor to the ceiling, these oversized works cascade down the length of the space. Each makes a reference to one of the four humors from ancient Western medicine. On view through January 9, 2016.