August 2008, Miami Season Preview

 Nicolas Lobo, Private Sculpture (Detail), 2008 (Detail of Jason Rhoades' Pearoefoam from the cover of
 Jason Rhoades: Pearoefoam (Hardcover), 2003).

Miami Season Preview: Fall 2008

The art and cocktail bacchanal known as Art Basel Miami Beach is still four months away but Miami artists, famous for their meteoric rise to international repute, and the institutions that showcase them are more than ready unleash their rested fury. Unlike cities with long artistic roots, Miami offers a unique blend of high and low brow culture; and being a new city it is vigorously intent on asserting itself. Having matured from a fleeting, skin-deep art showcase to a thriving community the constant fear that it was all just a flash in the pan is finally beginning to subside; and with each year that passes the sense grows stronger that Miami stands on the verge of real importance as a diverse, if not unlikely cultural oasis.

The previews listed below are arranged by date (individual exhibitions are separated by paragraph) and on the occasion that more than one event is listed for the same date the events appear alphabetically by venue first name.

 Robin Griffiths, Title image for A Mechanical Advantage at Dorsch Gallery
 Sept 13 – Oct 4, 2008.

On September 13th – October 4th, 2008 Dorsch Gallery will kick of the fall season with two solo exhibitions. In the East Gallery, sculptor Robin Griffiths presents A Mechanical Advantage. In the West gallery, painter Brandon Opalka unveils a new series of paintings in an exhibition he calls Yonder. Both exhibitions will have an opening reception Saturday, September 13, 7:30-11pm. The shows will run September 13-October 4. The closing reception for both exhibitions will be Saturday, October 4, 7:30-10pm.

Robin Griffiths, a mid-career sculptor, personifies the mad scientist/artist. Indeed, Griffiths teaches math at Miami Dade College, is an electrician, and maintains a sculpture studio whose creative chaos rivals that of Jean Genet’s descriptions of Alberto Giacometti’s. His sculptures demonstrate Griffiths’ knowledge of physics and his sense of dangerous beauty. On Saturday, September 20th at 2 pm, in the spirit of his teaching career and the scientific aspects of his artistic practice, Griffiths will give a lecture on the mechanics and physics of his sculptures. Griffiths will play himself. There will be a blackboard and chalk. Visitors are asked to observe, linger and learn. Chairs, desks, pencil and paper will be provided.

In his solo show at Dorsch Gallery this September, Brandon Opalka meditates on the place where he paints, a space he calls “Yonder.” A sun rises in the background, illuminating an assemblage of model animals and clay. By intertwining imagery from his life, in particular his studio in the morning, Opalka calls on how, in art history, light represents thought. Painted on canvases and walls his work of late has been dreamlike and seemingly abstract. In this show, the artist returns to recognizable forms.

No news yet from Dorsch with regard to their Basel exhibition but from October 11th - November 8th, 2008, Mark Koven will enjoy a solo exhibition. Opening Reception: Saturday, October 11th, 2008, 7th – 10pm. Closing Reception: Saturday, November 8th, 2008, 7 – 10pm.

 Aramis Gutierrez, Triangle, 2006. Oil on Canvas, 35 x 51 inches. courtesy David Castillo Gallery

David Castillo Gallery also begins on September 13th this time with an interesting group show entitled Tuttle for which participants are making work inspired by artist Richard Tuttle. Featured in the exhibition will be Nick Lobo, Jenny Brillhart, Frances Trombly, Leyden Rodriguez-Casanova, Tom Scicluna and Molly Springfield. Exhibition runs through October 4th; opening reception September 13th, 7-10pm.

Following Tuttle will be The Continuing Adventures of our Heroine; another interesting group show, this time all female. Co-curated by gallery artists Pepe Mar and Aramis Gutierrez the exhibition will feature Lee Materazzi, Natalya Laskis, Susan Lee-Chun, Francie Bishop Good and Michelle Weinberg. Open October 11th through November 1st, 2008; vernissage on October 11, 7-10pm.

On November 8th the Castillo Gallery opens with a solo show by Glexis Novoa in the main gallery and a project room show by Jay Ore. Opening reception November 8, 7-10pm, exhibition runs through December 1, 2008.

Castillo’s main gallery exhibition for Basel consists of Four Solo Shows- Wendy Wischer, Glexis Novoa, Frances Trombly and Aramis Gutierrez. Opening on December 1, 2008, between 7-10pm and running through until January 3, 2009. No hints as to what might be in Castillo’s booth this year but you can find him at the convention center December 4th – 7th 2008.

 Clifton Childree, Title image for DREAM-CUM-TRU at Locust Projects Sept 13 – Oct 31st, 2008.

Winner of the first Annual Hilger Artist Project Award, Clifton Childree, opens his site-specific installation DREAM-CUM-TRU at Locust Projects on September 13 between 7-11 p.m. The installation, which the artist has been working tirelessly on since July, will take patrons on a journey through the ruins of an old and abandoned adult-themed amusement park. This is the first year that Austrian-based dealer and private collector Prof. Ernst Hilger has teamed up with Miami’s alternative non-profit space Locust Projects to support emerging artists. Childree was selected for the award out of 32 applicants to receive a $2,000 cash prize and the opportunity to create a seminal work within the artspace.

“Nature has scraped away at the glossy paint and decomposed the wooden collapsed structures to release a new texture, an inner life of freaky self-sufficient automata,” said Childree.

A local Miami artist and experimental filmmaker, Childree is best known for his black-and-white vaudeville slapstick horror movies. DREAM-CUM-TRU, a singular world of burnt-out roller coasters and sadistic arcade games will bring the irreverent hallucinatory spirit of his films to life. The opening will feature live performances by the artist at 8 and 10 p.m. Exhibition closes October 31st, 2008.

Following Childree on November 1st is Locust Projects annual fundraiser Smash & Grab. Each ticket sold ($425 for 1, $825 for 2,$1200 for 3) guarantees a work of art from a selection contemporary artists including Daniel Arsham, Bhakti Baxter, R and R, Behar and Marquardt, Carlos Betancourt, Elisabeth Condon, Julie Davidow, Natasha Duwin, John Espinosa, Adler Guerrier, Vincent Johnson, Mark Koven, Georges LeBar, Michael Loveland, Jordan Massengale, Lee Materazzi, Christopher Miro, Beatriz Monteavaro, Martin Oppel, Vickie Pierre, Bill Radawec, Ricky Rayns, Bert Rodriguez, Marina del Rosario Huang, Michelle Weinberg, a site specific piece by Tom Scicluna and newcomers Gonzalo Fuenmayor, Typoe and Leandro Vazquez. The evening will feature a “Stars and Stripes” theme – as only Locust Projects can imagine it – with Americana food and cocktails.

Opening on November 8th will be Locust Projects long awaited 10th anniversary exhibition Inevitable Continuum. Celebrating a decade as Miami’s landmark not-for-profit alternative artspace, Inevitable Continuum pulls together Chris Buening, Mariana Palma, Ivan Reyes-Garcia, Seamus Harahan, Ronald Cornelissen, Paul Cherwick, Jaime Gili, K8 Hardy, Nikos Arvanitis and Justin Hansch and looks back at 10 years of exhibitions in the Wynwood artspace. The event promises to be dynamic mix of new work from a diverse line-up of emerging national and international talent. The exhibition runs from November 8 – December 31, 2008.

This year Locust Projects will also play host to a party of colossal proportions thrown by Whitehot Magazine on Saturday December 6th, 7-11pm in conjunction with the Wynwood Art Walk!

 David Altmejd, Untitled, 2004, Mixed Medium, courtesy The Moore Space

Hurricane Projects II: Fantasy and the Macabre opens at The Moore Space on Saturday September 13th, 2008; 7 -10 pm. Hurricane Projects is an annual event at The Moore Space loosely gathering artists' works under an informal concept. This year's subtitle is borrowed from Dark of the Moon: Poems of Fantasy and the Macabre, a 1947 anthology of weird poetry from the Middle Ages to the present day. Here, a selection of works refer to the psychological edge where fantasy and macabre meet and play out; either through the use of pathetic fallacy or by making references to historical events, or, as in some cases, allude to transformation by deformation and mutation. Artists include among others: Nicole Eisenman, David Altmejd, Darren Almond, Justin Leiberman, Pepe Mar, Jim Drain, Naomi Fisher, Jon Pylypchuk, Paul McCarthy and Gregor Schneider.

The Space of the Work and the Place of the Object (December 2nd, 2008 - March 1, 2009)

Courtesy of Guest Curator Mary Ceruti, Executive Director, Sculpture Center, New York, will be The Moore Space’s contribution to the Basel vista. The opening reception (Tuesday December 2nd, 2008, 7 - 10 pm) promises to reveal an exhibition which seeks to articulate an area of contemporary art in which the art object is acknowledged and presented as something that is generated within, and determined to varying degrees, by an interconnected world economy. The artists in this exhibition all make objects that reflect the facts and fissures of their production. Building on the ideas and critical positions of Process Art, the artists employ methods that range from documentary to literary but which all place emphasis on a direct engagement with the materiality of the object. The artists in this show are concerned with the conditions in which art and meaning are made and circulated, turning them to their own advantage, or sometimes ignoring or disrupting them. Artists included among others: Simon Starling, Karin Schneider and Christoph Buckel.

  Luis Gispert, Photograph from Smother (Piss Pool), 2006-2007. C-print, 40 x 50 inches.
 courtesy Fredric Snitzer Gallery

Seasoned veteran Fredric Snitzer Gallery, having recently made some exciting changes to their books has three great solo shows lined up for the fall. Opening on September 13th 7 – 10pm and running through October 4th, Loriel Beltran delivers an exhibition of her signature dissected forms. Resembling organic matter such as tree branches, fallen logs and large tangled broom heads; the artist creates sedimentary structures by layering acrylic, enamel and oil paint patiently on top of each other. Often finishing with a coat of white, the pieces are then sliced in two to reveal their multi colored insides.

Following Beltran is Hernan Bas (October 11th through November 19th, opening reception October 11th, 7- 10pm). Arguably Miami’s most successful young artist, Bas’ paintings have been celebrated since very early on in his career. Often featuring waif-like boys engaging with fantastical landscapes his unique style and uncommon dexterity with the medium never fail to draw crowds.

Snitzer’s Basel exhibition will be Luis Gispert (December 6th – January 3rd, opening reception December 6th, 7 – 10pm). Fairly new to the gallery, photographer/videographer Gispert is already very well known in the wider art world. Graduating from Yale with a sculpture MA in 2001, Gispert made a name for himself behind the camera. A Miami native, Gispert’s tropical palette and confidently underworked narratives of domestic/nostalgic insecurities have been included in exhibitions at the Whitney, MOCA North Miami and Mary Boone, New York.

 Federico Nessi, Untitled, 2008, Video Still, courtesy Spinello Gallery

Among the first commercial galleries to open for the season is Spinello Gallery with a highly anticipated solo exhibition by Miami based artist Federico Nessi entitled Emotional Response Can be Deconditioned (September 13th – October 4th. Opening reception is 7 – 10pm). Taking its name from a controversial statement in the 1970’s defending the practice of aversion therapy [including shock therapy] the exhibition questions the notion that feelings can be controlled. Through the crystallization of his own poetic idioms and the consistent use of familiar objects in unfamiliar ways, Nessi succeeds in creating a specific emotional environment that harks to the shame of loss. The exhibition, which will exercise unexplored aesthetic versatility by completely altering the interior of the gallery, will also be venturing onto the street for a special performance on Saturday, September 13th. Joining the artist will be a bevy of local talent and recurrent collaborators including Victor Barrenechea, Ricardo Guerrero, Ana Mendez, Alexander Puentes & Alex Senf.

 Stills from performance Sleeping Beauty. 15 min. Performance in the Snow.
 Music by Lucinda Chua in a Music Box, 2008., courtesy Spinello Gallery

Following Federico Nessi at Spinello Gallery will be an exhibition of performance and sculptural installation by Agustina Woodgate. The Argentinean Miami based artist’s relationships with the identity and behavior are manifest in a body of work that incorporates a wide variety of media. For Spinello’s Basel exhibition Woodgate has devised a continually changing scene composed essentially of two parts: a long Rapunzel-esq wig spun from human hair and a performance during which Woodgate both makes and wears the wig. The meticulous process of the wig’s creation is as significant as the final result which develops in an absurd paradoxical relationship with the materials. After the opening night, photographs of the creation/extension of the wig will be exhibited along side the relics of the performance. This will be Woodgate’s first solo show with the gallery for which, once again, the interior space will be renovated; this time decked out to resemble a theater - for such a comparatively small space, owner Anthony Spinello is certainly making the most of it.

 Mark Gibson, Deer, 2008. Pen on paper, 22 x 30 inches., courtesy Twenty Twenty Projects

Tucked away on a back street but always pulling large crowds, Twenty Twenty Projects has a jam-packed schedule through 2008, with an opening every month from now until December. First off, opening on September 13th, will be a solo exhibition entitled AND THEN by Mark Gibson. Featuring beautiful drawings that exemplify the fragility of existence whilst questioning notions of the afterlife and consequence, AND THEN will close on Sunday 5th of October.

Following AND THEN on October 11th through November 2nd will be a group show – no details yet.

After the unannounced group show, Miami luminary Jen Stark treats us to her second solo exhibition with the space. Using only construction paper and glue Stark succeed in creating sculptures and stop frame animation whose forms and the patience it must take to produce them simply defy belief. With any luck some of her drawings – equally beguiling – will be on view too. Twenty Twenty Projects’ Basel show is another group show; this time artists Daniel Newman, Nicolas Lobo, Tom Scicluna and Jay Hines come together.

 Daniel Arsham, Rising Beam, 2008. Gouache on Double Sided Mylar, frame, 20 x 28 inches.
 courtesy Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin

Miami giant Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin is set to open their season in the Wynwood Arts District with three solo exhibitions Saturated by KAWS, AXIOM by Conrad Shawcross and The Undoing by Daniel Arsham. (September 20th – November 15th. Opening reception is 7 – 10pm).

Currently represented by Gering & López Gallery in New York where he’ll have a show this November, the self styled cultural collaborator KAWS has recently sold paintings to rapper/producer, Pharrell Williams; designer/entrepreneur, Nigor; and international art star Takashi Murakami. Slipstreaming behind a wave of brand related super collectible cyber kitsch KAWS whose work epitomizes the recent renaissance in low brow street art is fast becoming the latest darling of the contemporary art merchandise movement; the work on view in Saturated however will be paintings.

Simultaneously alongside Saturated is AXIOM, an exhibition of new sculpture and installation by Conrad Shawcross. Although they first appear rational and functional, Shawcross’ complex structures and systems are in actuality not. An axiom is a fact that needs no proof. By presenting structures that offer no explanation of what they might be the artist casts doubt over our principle perceptions; the unidentifiable, unquantifiable quality to his nonexistent reasoning forces viewers into a rabbit hole of unfathomable philosophical quandaries. The Undoing by Daniel Arsham offers a new series of drawing and sculpture. Inviting the viewer to explore his romantic vision of architecture as a symbol of a man-made cityscape Arsham’s sculptural work merges with the gallery space by fluidly transforming itself into new shapes; creating illusions in natural formations. At the same time, fragments of architecture in his drawings hang suspended in space as though playing some part in the nature that surrounds them.

Coinciding with these three openings will be the launch of a new book Daniel Arsham Monograph. With text by Jane Rendell this will be the second book to be published by the gallery. Forthcoming publications include Aya Takano, Klara Kristalova and Farhad Moshiri.

Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin, Miami’s Basel line up features another two solo shows, this time from Viennese super group Gelitin and conceptual artist Paola Pivi – who now lives in Alaska. No details yet of a party or which band might be headlining Perrotin this time but with previous years boasting lavish buffets and the likes of Sebastian Tellier anything is possible.

 George Woodbridge, Appeals from Charities Through History, MAD MAGAZINE #212, 1980.
 Pencil and ink on paper

Opening on September 25th for two months will be SCHADENFREUDE, an exhibition curated by artist Daniel Newman in the Design District’s Collins Building; a late vernissage will be held on October 11th from 7 until midnight. SCHADENFREUDE, a Wunderkammer of voyeurism, will comprise a number of artists including: Jesper Alvaer (Norway), Brock Enright (NY), Christopher Russell (Los Angeles); Al Jaffee and George Woodbridge (both of MAD MAGAZINE); and a handful of South Florida talent.

Also premiering will be XIII, an unreleased sound landscape by Dino Felipe.

In addition, SCHADENFREUDE will double as a film set for Aiden Dillard's DEATH PRINT which is rumored to star Rubber Doll, Otto Von Schirach, and Notorious Nastie.

 Paulina Olowska, Zofia Stryjenska, 2008. Gouache on canvas, 90.55 x 157.48 inches.
 Courtesy of the artist and Metro Pictures, New York.

Dark Continents, on view at MOCA North Miami between the dates of September 26th and November 9th, 2008, challenges concepts of the “primitive” and the “exotic” in art history. Revisiting the modernist fascination with tropical locales and indigenous people prevalent during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, artists in the exhibition examine ideas and aesthetics that were popular during this time period and relate them to current views by challenging stereotypical relationships that associate femininity with nature. The exhibition also confronts the elements that impacted “primitivist” and “exotic” tendencies in art history, such as colonialist perspectives, industrialization, and the popularization of psychoanalysis. The exhibition features works by a group of international artists that includes: Ida Ekblad, Hadassah Emmerich, Naomi Fisher, Elke Krystufek, Marlene McCarty, Claudia and Julia Müller, and Paulina Olowska. Many of the artists are creating new works for this exhibition that include site-specific wall murals and installations in media such as painting, drawing, sculpture, collage and video. 

 Cory Arcangel, Apple GarageBand Auto tune Demonstration, 2007. Projection from a digital source.
 Dimensions variable. Courtesy the artist and Team Gallery, New York.

On View at MOCA’s Goldman Warehouse in the heart of Wynwood and exploring the poetic and philosophical aspects of science fiction literature will be The Possibility of an Island. (Opening for Basel on December 4th and running through March 21st, 2009) The exhibition will feature works by Cory Arcangel, Davide Balula, Tobias, Bernstrup, Heman Chong, Peter Coffin, Matias Faldbakken, Cao Fei, Kim Fisher, Claire Fontaine, Chris Kraus, Cristina Lei Rodriguez, Nicolas Lobo, Martin Oppel, Lisi Raskin, Julika Rudelius, Mungo Thomson and others. Taking as their point of departure the novel, The Possibility of an Island (2005) by provocative French author Michel Houellebecq, the artists pose existential questions about a never arriving future. Addressing anxieties about aging, death, irrelevancy, culture and destruction they contend with once fantastic hopes of transformation for the future and approach science fiction as a genre that provides insight into and diversion from the banality of everyday life. The exhibition is organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami and is curated by MOCA Assistant Curator Ruba Katrib.

 Horst Wackerbarth, Horst Wackerbarth, Photographer, Iceland, 2003. C-print, dimensions vary by edition.

In the Design District the newcomer Wolfgang Roth presents their inaugural exhibition, Horst Wackerbarth: The Red Couch. (October 4th - November 10th. Opening reception is 7 – 10pm). Through conceptualization ‘the interview’ and ‘the portrait,’ and drawing on a host of diverse cultural and societal influences the work exemplifies the differences but mostly explores the similarities between peoples. This acclaimed series of photographs and video interviews is thirty years in the making and documents over 600 people in 33 countries in 32 different languages ranging in class, race, and ethnicity from famous artists to Romanian street children. Using vintage techniques like Chromogenic Prints, Digital Pigment prints, Lambdas and Cibachromes Horst Wackerbarth: The Red Couch marks not only a continuation of this prestigious life work but seeks also to establish Wolfgang Roth’s presence within the Miami context. They aren’t committing yet but rumors are that their show for Basel will be photographer David La Chappelle with additional works by Richter and Schnabel available to view.

 GisMo,Gusanera, 2008. C-Print, 30 x 30 inches.

For their main exhibition in December opening November 14th, 2008, 7-10PM and running through Art Basel, Carol Jazzar Contemporary Art is planning a solo show of photography and performance by GisMo provisionally titled RAW. Presenting a panorama of the sincere pleasure that the duo derive from exploring the Everglades, the work speaks about our physical and emotional environments and limits. To GisMo the Everglades are a place to decompress from the repressive confines of the city; a sense of freedom. Concentrating on the mutation of urban identities through assimilation the artists submerge fictional personages into subtropical raw lands; liberating social pressures by compiling new norms through unconventional scenarios of survival. In addition to the main opening on November 14th there will be a special Basel vernissage of this exhibition on Friday December 4th.

The majority of openings in Miami happen on the second Saturday of the month when the Wynwood Arts District hold their Art Walk night. Miami’s Design District (which is a home for many art institutions and galleries – some listed above) also makes special events on second Saturday’s.

Art Basel Miami Beach takes place December 4 - 7, 2008. An exclusive selection of more than 220 leading art galleries from North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia and Africa will exhibit 20th and 21st century artworks by over 2,000 artists.

During Art Basel Miami Beach various satellite fairs such as SCOPE, Art Miami, PULSE, Design Miami and NADA take place throughout Miami’s Wywood Arts District and Design district.

Thomas Hollingworth

Thomas Hollingworth graduated with a BFA from London Guildhall University in 2003. He has since worked internationally as a freelance writer for art institutions such as The Margulies Collection at the Warehouse and Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin and publications such as Florida InsideOut, M/The New York Art World, map magazine, Miami Modern Luxury, NO MAD Paper, Whitehot Magazine of Contemporary Art, Wynwood - The Art Magazine, and ARTLURKER, an online contemporary art newsletter/blog that he runs.


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