ArtCentric

Winter 2010

MIAMI CURATORS SPARKLE THIS SEASON

CREATIVE CURATORS THRIVE IN MIAMI. THEY CREATE A COMPELLING THEME AND STORY TO PIQUE THE...

...interest of people looking at an art exhibit in a museum, gallery, private collection, or art fair. Creative curators thrive in Miami. They create a compelling theme and story to pique the interest of people looking at an art exhibit in a museum, gallery, private collection, or art fair. They select art and artists to illustrate related aspects of that story, in all its intriguing variety. Smart curators find stories to tell with art and imagery that linger in our minds.

By looking at exciting exhibits developed by Miami curators, we see it’s the season for culture to sparkle like stars on clear Miami nights. “We wanted to know who we were and how do we relate to each other,” reflects independent curator and artist Gean Moreno. He thinks exhibitions, especially those curated by Rene Morales and Ruba Katrib, answered those questions. “Now we want to know: how do we stand together in a globalized world?”

In Miami, Moreno investigates the local community and world at large, noting how they intermingle. There’s a grandly “glocal” spectrum of talent here. For Dennis and Debra Scholl collection, at World Class Boxing in Wynwood Arts District, he’s curated “Drawn and Quartered.” It offers an engaging look at photographs from this collection. Reflecting an international focus, artists range from Thomas Demand to Cindy Sherman.

Moreno draws inspiration from talent in Miami, as well as New York, Bogota, and London. For the MIA Art Fair www.mia-artfair.com he’s curated “Improvised Architectures,” placing Miami at the evolving nexus of an expanding art world network. No other city is as widely represented in his show as Miami. It includes artists Christy Gast, Adler Guerrier, Nicholas Lobo, Ernesto Oroza, and Viking Funeral. Caribbean culture, re-invented in Miami, is a rising global star: Oroza hails from Cuba and Guerrier from Haiti.

Miami curators create opportunities to shine online. Anthony Spinello of Spinello Gallery www.spinellogallery.com curates “Littlest Sister,” the smallest art fair in town, www.littlestsister.com, emphasizing Miami. Ilana Vardy curates “Arts for a Better World” www.artsforabetterworld.com . Both website and Wynwood Arts District exhibit, this project resolves to make a difference in our digital age. Vardy’s show unites artists from across the Americas, Europe and Africa, and includes painting, photography, sculpture, and video.

Yes, ‘tis the season for Wynwood Arts District to sparkle, especially for its private collections. Katherine Hinds curates shows for Margulies Collection at the Warehouse www.margulieswarehouse.com. Highlights: “Africa: Photography and Video,” with over 250 works, and “Michelangelo Pistoletto: Broken Mirror Paintings.”

ease the luster. At Alejandra von Hartz Gallerywww.alejandravonhartz.net, von Hartz presents “New Paradigmes: Marta Chilindrón,” art inspired by geometry and games, and “Colagens: Henrique Oliveira,” paintings inspired by his work at the 29th Sao Paulo Biennial in 2010. Von Hartz challenges old-hat assumptions regarding Latin American art by placing sculptural, abstract work within a global context. Then there’s Nina Johnson of Gallery Diet www.gallerydiet.com . She’s curating a show of paintings, also sumi ink drawings, by Nathlie Provosty. See www.nathalieprovosty.com.

This season, curatorial energy transforms Museum of Contemporary Artwww.mocanomi.org.

Consider “Bruce Weber: Haiti/Little Haiti,” part of the museum’s vaunted Knight Exhibition Series, curated by Bonnie Clearwater. Timely and tumultuous, it offers about 75 photographs of Miami’s Haitian community by Bruce Weber, recording immigration struggles. Though Weber’s famous for fashion shoots for Vogue, he’s earned cred as a street photographer. Also for MOCA, Ruba Katrib curates “Open Process,” featuring young Miami artists Autumn Casey, Domingo Castillo, Jessica Laurel Arias, and Tatiana Varhan.

At Bass Museum of Art www.bassmuseum.org, Silvia Karman Cubina curates “Fabric Workshop: Selections from the Collection,” bringing to Miami textures from the unique Philadelphia museum.

Curators here develop shows beyond Miami. Indeed, creative thinking from the “Magic City” could rock the world. Arthur Dunkelman, curator for Jay I. Kislak Foundation www.kislakfoundation.org, puts together “Enchantress: Emma, Lady Hamilton” for Grolier Club in New York. Culled from Jean Kislak collection, it shows how a beautiful woman played a pioneering role in English history. Independent curator Tami Katz-Freiman plans show for Nivi Alroy for 4th Fresh Paint Contemporary Art Fair in Tel Aviv www.freshpaint.co.il.

In this shining season for Miami curators, the crowning moment: independent curator Rina Carvajal belonged to the curatorial team for the 29th Sao Paulo Biennial. Presenting work by 159 artists from several countries, the exhibit suggests how art spurs thinking about our time and place in history. We cannot ignore vital connections between art and politics.

The Biennial’s haunting title: “There is always a cup of sea to sail in,” from Brazilian poet Jorge de Lima. In Miami, there are always new curatorial perspectives to salute.

 

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