Janet Batet
2019 Art Circuits’ Critic’s Choice art writer 

(b. Havana, Cuba) is an independent curator, art critic, and essayist currently living in Miami. She is a former researcher and curator at the Centro de Desarrollo de las Artes Visuales (Development Center of Visual Arts) and a former professor at the Instituto Superior de Arte (Higher Institute of Art), both in Havana. She is passionate about contemporary art, Latin American art, and new technology. Her articles on art practices are regularly published in Art Nexus, Arte al Dia, Cuban Art News, Arts on Cuba, El Nuevo Herald, and now in Art Circuits.

Another summer is come and gone.

Committed to the education, presentation, and support of contemporary art in Miami, Dimensions Variable (DV) celebrates its first decade of work. The groundbreaking organization, founded in 2009 by artists Frances Trombly and Leyden Rodriguez-Casanova, has become one of the most dynamics spaces in town supporting challenging and experimental art practices meanwhile engaging in the local community they are part of. Opening on September 28th, 10—A DECADE, it’s the title of the group exhibition that celebrates both, the past achievements of the organization and its future projection. The show embraces two fused blocks of works. The first one, representing artists who had solo/two-person projects at DV in the past, includes the works of Felice Grodin, Fabian Peña, Jamilah Sabur, Tom Scicluna, and Agustina Woodgate; while the second one, with artworks by Nathalie Alfonso, Yanira Collado, GeoVanna Gonzalez, Francisco Maso, and Christina Pettersson represents a group of artists the organization projects to work with. The exhibition that is also the commitment to the organization to continue to push the boundaries of what a cultural space is and how it can better serve its artists and community will also function as an auction to support the participating artists, programs, and facilities managed by DV.

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Christina Pettersson, Oh Lucius, This Gastly Flooring, How it Wounds Me So, 2014, graphite on paper, 72 x 48 in.10—A DECADE. Dimensions Variable (DV).

 

 

Fabian Peña. Death of Printed Story. Solo show at DV, 2014. 10—A DECADE. Dimensions Variable (DV).
Agustina Woodgate, Endlessly falling. Solo show at DV, 2010. 10—A DECADE. Dimensions Variable (DV).

Presented by Emerson Dorsch Gallery, Alfonso Borragán: Bucarolito is the first exhibition in the United States of this enthralling Spanish multidisciplinary artist who lives and works in London. Interested in the fleeting momentum and processual practices, Borragan’s work seems to be always exploring the liminal space where intangible experiences generate a critical yet poetical discourse about contemporary existence. Opening on September 6th, Bucarolito (a fusion between búcaro – a Spanish word for vase- and lito –stone) is the continuation of the artist’s series Litofagos, a series of works based on stone absorption through the body. During the artist’s residency at the Gallery, Borragán and his collaborators Blanca Pujals, Santiago Reyes and Miami-based ceramicist Kira Tippenhauer will take as an axis and threat for the project the making of a series of búcaros from local clay. He will invite groups to participate in a private collective action and performative ingestion inside his installation at the gallery. By ingesting the clay, they absorb the place and become a part of it.

Alfonso Borragán: Bucarolito. Emerson Dorsch Gallery.

State of Mind is the title of Carlos Quintana’s solo show opening at Pan American Art Projects on September 21. Composed of large and medium format pieces and small portraits, the show is a continuation of the psychological yet fantastical depictions of reality that anime the work of this Cuban artist. Excellent painter, the renewed figuration and emotion-driven color that characterizes Quintana’s distinctive universe is the result of an intimate, personal symbolism.

 

Carlos Quintana.Untitled, 2019. Mixed media on canvas, 19 x 16 in. Pan American Art Projects.

Running through February 2, 2020, at The Wolfsonian–FIU in Miami Beach, Cuban Caricature and Culture: The Art of Massaguer presents the iconic work of influential Cuban graphic artist, and publisher Conrado W. Massaguer (1889–1965). Massaguer helped shape the visual culture of his island between the 1920s and 1950s. The pages of the prestigious Social magazine – founded by Massaguer himself – launched the careers of numerous Cuban artists and popularized a bold Art Deco aesthetic, particularly in its depictions of young women —the “Massa-girls”.  Renowned international illustrator, his scathing and sensual cartoons and illustrations appeared in prestigious international publications such as Vanity Fair, The New Yorker, Collier’s and Life, among others. Cuban Caricature and Culture: The Art of Massaguer is presented concurrently with the installation are: Cover Girls, a teaser along The Wolfsonian’s south facade on 10th Street displaying two of Massaguer’s Social covers in dialogue with two present-day reinterpretations by Miami artist Andres Conde; and Caricaturas, a library show of caricatures by some of Massaguer’s Cuban and other Latin American contemporaries.

 

Cuban Caricature and Culture: The Art of Massaguer. The Wolfsonian–FIU.Conrado Massaguer. Magazine clipping. Boy. From Social, June 1926.
Cuban Caricature and Culture: The Art of Massaguer. The Wolfsonian–FIU. Cover illustration for Life Magazine by Conrado W. Massaguer, 1928.

Coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the historic Stonewall Riots of 1969 at the Stonewall Inn in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of New York City, the Frost Art Museum at FIU presents on September 14 Art after Stonewall, 1969 – 1989. This groundbreaking survey features more than 200 works of art and related visual materials that explore the profound impact of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBTQ) liberation movement on visual culture. The exhibition focuses on both the work of openly LGBTQ artists as well as the practices of artists engaged with newly emerging queer subcultures.

 

Diana Davies, Gay Rights Demonstration, Albany, NY, 1971, 1971, Digital print. Art after Stonewall, 1969 – 1989. Frost Art Museum at FIU.

Remember to react II: Drawings and Prints from the NSU Art Museum Collection run through September 29 at the NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale. The exhibition, curated by Bonnie Clearwater, NSU Art Museum Director and Chief Curator, continues the theme of the institution’s 60th anniversary exhibition and is comprised of over 50 works from its permanent collection by artists including Nicole Eisenman, Helen Frankenthaler, Quisqueya Henriquez, Lee Krasner, Frank León, Ana Mendieta, Wangechi Mutu, Jorge Pantoja, Raymond Pettibon, Nancy Spero, Andy Warhol, and the Guerilla Girls.

Jorge Pantoja. Sketchbooks, 1993- 1997. Installation. Mixed Media, 9 x 6 in. Remember to React: Drawings & Prints. NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale.

 

Guerrilla Girls. Conscience of the Art World. Drawings and Prints from the NSU Art Museum Collection. NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale.