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16 Must-See Shows at Art Week Miami 2016

Including secret bonus events, but you're going to have to read this for details...
Image courtesy of Night Gallery and the artist.

It's about that time of year again, and things in Miami are already popping off. While it's nearly impossible to catch everything the mega-festival-block-party-extravaganza that is Art Week Miami has to offer, with the help of GARAGE Magazine, we've put together a smattering of must-see shows for your perusal. The Creators Project will be in Miami, so make sure you tag us on Instagram and Twitter to let us know where you're catching art, rays, or that much-needed cortadita.


Awol Erizku's I Was Going to Call It Your Name But You Didn't Let Me at Nina Johnson

Codeine Crazy - Future, Acrylic on wooden panel, 72 x 84 x 12 in

Not since the days of Patrick Nagel have the fine arts turned an eye towards the Los Angeles nail salon, failing to find lyrical potential in acrylics and gels. Finally, Ethiopia-born, Bronx-raised artist Awol Erizku is giving the institution its due. From November 28 to January 17, Miami gallery Nina Johnson will mount an exhibition comprised of 20 paintings, a conceptual sound collage, and sonic ephemera from the artist. Erizku appropriated images from LA nail salon signage to create paintings of disembodied manicured hands. The titles derive from songs that remind Erizku of his past relationships and break-ups, turning the exhibition checklist into a playlist. Appropriately, pop songs and sound bites culled from YouTube and Soundcloud accompany the work. Of course, nail salons are about more than UV dryers and OPI colors—they're sites where women of all backgrounds converge, proponents of both self-expression and disguise. Erizku's work often addresses the absence of the black body in art history. Here, his images ask viewers to consider who his subjects are, beyond the wrist.

SMOKE BREAK poolside at NADA Miami Beach 

Ridley Howard, Midnight, 2016. Oil on linen. 6 x 6 inches. 15.2 x 15.2 cm. Courtesy of Feuer/Mesler, New York

It's no small secret that we're big fans of the New Art Dealers Alliance (NADA), so this one's a given. The triannual fair, which also hits New York and Cologne, returns to its previous home at the Deauville Beach Resort, bringing with it some of the best and brightest in young gallery talent the world over. This year in particular, the minds behind FOUNDATIONS magazine are hosting SMOKE BREAK, a four-day poolside chillout featuring talks (Chloe Wise in conversation with Loreta Lamargese), DJ sets (Pool Side with Sex Magazine, hosted by Asher Penn with live performance by Odwalla88 and DJ sets by Air Pop, Marcelline, and VICE's own Ezra Marcus), and a poetry reading (Rhett Jeffrey Brandt's Endless Winter with a reading by the author, Carly Mark, Ryder Ripps, and Angelina Dreem). Bring smokes.


High Anxiety: New Acquisitions at Rubell Family Collection 

Frank Benson Juliana (Prototype), 2014 - 2015 Painted Accura® Xtreme Plastic rapid prototype 54 x 48 x 24 in (137.2 x 121.9 x 61 cm)

Advance warning: The Rubell Collection's exhibition, High Anxiety (November 30 - August 25) has absolutely nothing to do with the Mel Brooks movie of the same name. Instead, the show presents art by 32 artists (all pieces acquired since 2014) that grapple with contemporary issues. Judging by the lined up (Isa Genzken, John Waters, Jordan Wolfson, and Jennifer Rubell are all featured), expect some wild multimedia stuff and perhaps some food, feminism, and a twerking doll. Maybe Andra Ursuta will mount a rock climbing wall with protruding phalluses, as she recently did at the New Museum in New York. Gotta go to find out.

Thomas Bayrle's One Day on Success Street at Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami

The Madonna figure has long captivated artists of all stripes, from Michelangelo and Botticelli to Matisse and Dali. At the Institute of Contemporary Art Miami (ICA) from November 29 through March 26, Frankfurt-based artist Thomas Bayrle takes his first whack at constructing the religious icon. A site-specific commission, Wire Madonna, provides the centerpiece to the artist's 150 work retrospective at the museum. Standing at a height of 33 feet, composed of welded steel tubing, the sculpture re-imagines the Madonna as a monumental, imposing, much larger-than-life figure—less mother than giant. Bayrle's show also concludes the ICA's programming in their current home, the Moore building. The institution will debut its new building in the Miami Design District late next year. A gargantuan lady who's seduced artists across centuries and oceans seems like a good send-off.

Julio Le Parc: Form into Action at Pérez Art Museum Miami

Julio Le Parc, Sphère rouge (Red Sphere), 2001–12 Plexiglas and nylon. Diameter: 122 11/16 inches. Courtesy the artist. Julio Le Parc © 2016 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris Photo: André Morin

No passive viewing allowed at the Pérez Art Museum Miami's (PAMM) Julio Le Parc exhibition (Julio Le Parc: Form into Action, November 18 - March 19). This first U.S. Museum survey of the Argentine artist's work will feature over 100 works, engaging many senses at once. In one section, Le Parc's labyrinthine installations lead viewers into disorienting, light-infused rooms. The strange, unnerving environments heighten viewers' awareness, once they leave, of the spaces and everyday world they inhabit. Le Parc and his Latin American contemporaries helped shape the Op and Kinetic art movements which celebrated illusion, motion, and machines. He also embraced a political role, joining international collaboratives that denounced totalitarian regimes and participating in the 1968 Paris uprising. Le Parc relocated to Paris as a young artist and eagerly involved himself with the turmoil of his day—no wonder his work explores movement.


tête-à-tête, Curated by Mickalene Thomas at David Castillo Gallery

Artist Mickalene Thomas is gathering a group of today's seminal artists into a conversation about  photography and video work that centers on the black body. Best known for her vivid, rhinestone-studded pictures of black women, the artist is curating an exhibition of work by 14 of today's most critical voices in the visual arts, from Carrie Mae Weems and Deana Lawson (who designed Blood Orange's most recent album cover) to Hank Willis Thomas (founder of the first artist-run super PAC). Entitled tête-à-tête, the exhibition at David Castillo Gallery (November 28 - January 31) will investigate the relationship between the photographer, subject, and viewer and ask what it means to gaze and be gazed at—especially in our particular political climate. In Wangechi Mutu's video Shoe Shoe, the artist travels down the sidewalk with a cart filled with shoes. As she tosses them one by one, she powerfully evokes a sense of anger, frustration, and ultimate futility. In Thomas' own photograph, "Sidra Sitting," the artist replaces the typically demure, white figure of the reclining female nude with a fully dressed black woman confident in her posture and looking at the camera head-on.

Reconstruction of the Universe by Sun Xun at Oceanfront Miami Beach

Woodcuts from the movie "Time Spy" by Sun Xun, Courtesy of Audemars Piguet Art Commission

After an interminable election season, Miami Art Basel promises a (temporary) distraction from the country's political woes. Sure, artists will be addressing contentious issues, but in invigorating new ways. Take Chinese artist Sun Xun, who often references his country's Cultural Revolution. He's developing an immersive multimedia installation for the Audemars Piguet Art Commission that will enchant and envelop viewers in his art. The iconic watch brand will mount the artist's 2D and 3D animations, scroll paintings, ink drawings, sounds, and architectural and design elements on a full city block across from Collins Park. With cutting edge technology, Sun Xun explores timeless themes of memory, culture, and the Five Elements—metal, wood, fire, water, earth--that structure the universe, according to Chinese cultural tradition. Finally, we can stop discussing what will happen on January 20 and immerse ourselves in an intricately-wrought investigation of global history.


Faena Art at Faena Forum 

The recently completed Faena Forum promises innovative programming and amenities beyond the scope of the typical art museum. Argentine hotelier and real estate developer Alan Faena envisions his new 50,000 square foot, Rem Koolhaas-designed building as a site for exploring the arts, sciences, technology, and urbanism. A project by star curator Claire Tancons gives the institution its first opportunity to deliver. Long engaged in public ceremonial culture, rituals, and performances, Tancons will organize a procession involving the Miami Gay Men's Chorus, Carnival Arts (which promotes carnival traditions), the Havana and Madrid-based artist collective Los Carpinteros, Italian visual artist Marinella Senatore, and more.

New Shamans/Novos Xamãs: Brazilian Artists at Rubell Family Collection

Paulo Nazareth, Untitled from the For Sale Series, 2011, color photograph, ed. 1 AP. 36 x 35 in. (90 x 67.5 cm)

This past October, Patricia Phelps de Cisneros and her husband, Gustavo A. Cisneros, donated 102 works of Latin American art to New York's Museum of Modern Art. The gift signifies a growing appreciation for artists from the region. Miami-based collectors Don and Mera Rubell have long been in on the secret--the pair travels extensively to Brazil (to Belo Horizonte, São Paulo, and Rio de Janeiro in particular) for research. At their Rubell Collection, they're mounting two shows that reveal the breadth of work coming out of the country. New Shamans/Novos Xamãs (November 30 - August 25) features work by 12 Brazilian artists who, through various media, explore environmental, social, and political concerns. Video Art in Latin America: Selections from Brazil (November 30 - February 4) highlights the development of one particular medium, nationwide, from the 1970s through the present.


SHoP Architects' Flotsam & Jetsam at Design Miami

Courtesy SHoP Architects

SHoP Architects staked out some prime real estate at this year's main fair. Along with Branch Technology, a firm that applies 3D-printing technology to real-world projects, SHoP will present Flotsam & Jetsam, a public plaza at the entrance. Design Miami/ and Italian watch brand Panerei will also present the New York-based architects with the Design Miami/ Visionary Award at a reception on November 29. Composed of biodegradable bamboo (supplied by Oak Ridge National Laboratory), the large arch will welcome visitors; host talks, performances, and cocktail events; and serve as a gathering place. The structure showcases the union of nature and mechanical ingenuity, appropriate for a hugely commercial enterprise that, at its core, celebrates human creativity. Watch out for SHoP's other major endeavors around the country--the firm is currently planning the highest building in Brooklyn, a 73-story residential tower that adapts to the borough's space constraints by growing into the sky.

Ugo Rondinone's Miami Mountain at the Bass Museum

Back in May, Swiss artist Ugo Rondinone's Seven Magic Mountains captivated Instagram's attention and inspired, for the first time, our desire to visit the secluded desert 10 miles south of Las Vegas. The seven sculptures of colorfully-painted, stacked boulders paired bright, attention-grabbing hues with natural elements. Now, witness Rondinone's work in more populated, humid environs. On November 30, the Bass Museum will unveil Miami Mountain, a 41-foot high version of Rondinone's boulder constructions. Situated in Collins Park, where the Bass is also located, the fluorescent sculpture heralds an exciting new era for the museum, which will reopen this spring after completing a $12 million renovation project. A Rondinone retrospective is slated for shortly thereafter.

Anne Spalter's Miami Marbles at PULSE Miami Beach Contemporary Art Fair

Courtesy of PULSE Miami Beach/Anne Spalter Studio

There's much more to Anne Spalter's Miami Marbles project for PULSE art fair than meets the eye. In fact, you'll need to download a special app to appreciate the large spherical objects that mark the fair tent's entrance at Indian Beach Park. Look at the sculptures through the custom Marbles app on an iPhone or tablet, and Spalter's kaleidoscopic video work will play. Additionally, virtual spheres will be visible throughout PULSE on the app--the art fair answer to Pokemon Go. Spalter herself is something of a Renaissance woman: she majored in mathematics at Brown University, received her MFA in painting from RISD, and founded the digital fine arts program at RISD in the 1990s. If, against all odds, the Miami art scene doesn't provide enough stimulation this December, perhaps adding another virtual dimension, another layer of reality, will finally satisfy.


Ground Control public art show in Collins Park 

From December 1-4, David Bowie's spirit (RIP, Starman) infiltrates Collins Park. Each of the 20 site-responsive installations in the Public Art Fund's newest project loosely respond to the idea of "Ground Control" as they explore physical, social, and psychic space. Nicholas Baume, Director and Chief Curator, has gathered work by 20 international artists, both emerging and established. The roster includes French artist Eric Baudart, whose sculpture Atmosphère (2015) comprises a clear tank filled with yellow peanut oil. Allergy-conscious room mothers beware. American Tony Matelli's Jesus will present a depiction of the eponymous figure cast in concrete…and adorned with painted bronze avocados. Together, the works repurpose old objects, present new totems and geometric forms, and ultimately reveal the enormous diversity of ways to work in sculpture today. Familiar names such as Camille Henrot, Sol Lewitt, and Magdalena Abkanowicz round out the roster.

Anselm Kiefer: Paintings, Sculpture & Installation at the Margulies Collection at The Warehouse

Anselm Kiefer, born at the end of World War II, is one of those artists who's been around so long and produced so much important work that sometimes, you forget he's still alive (never fear: he's still living and making art in France). Considering how long major museums have exhibited his work, it's a treat to access newer work that's inhabiting an institutional space for the first time. From November 28 through April 29, the Margulies Collection will show Steigend steigend sinke nieder (2009-2012). The installation (whose name translates to "rising rising falling down") comprises long-stemmed sunflower stalks, painted bone white, hanging upside down from the ceiling. Underneath, rough slabs of broken asphalt, rusty metal wire, concrete, earth, and stone from a demolished Paris street cover the floor, suggesting rubble and destruction. The white stalks hanging above, as though dropping from heaven, create a sense of hope amid the ruins. This work deepens the Margulies' already substantial Kiefer collection.

Kathleen Hudspeth's It Was to Be a Glittering City at Under the Bridge Gallery

Saltless, K. Hudspeth, 2016; ink pencil; trace-drawing monotype; Pronto Plate lithography, watercolor; unique;11" x 9.75"

The concept of an apocalypse, dark and full of fear-inducing potential, provides considerable material for artists. In recent years, Lars von Trier's film Melancholia and novels such as Edan Lepucki's California and Emily St. John Mandel's Station Eleven have all satisfied our taste for impending doom. This year at Under the Bridge gallery (November 20 - January 8), artist Kathleen Hudspeth take a local approach to the theme, imagining the city's decline. With unique, hand-pulled prints created using a variety of printmaking techniques and materials—monotype, lithography, intaglio, collagraph, watercolor, and gouache—she creates hazy, uncanny images of shapes and blocks of color that suggest a larger city, its people and structures, contending with their ephemerality. Hudspeth, also an arts writer, penned a story that accompanies the visual work inspired by The Invention of Morel, a novella by Argentine writer Adolfo Bioy-Casares.


BONUS: Mama Matrix: Most Mysterious at an undisclosed warehouse in Wynwood

Last but certainly not least, New York warehouse party maestros, RINSED, are bringing their particularly raucous flavor of conceptual art-rave blowout to Wynwood, where cosmic booty bass legend Otto Von Schirach will team up with Brooklyn-based artists Jubilee, Aquarian, Katie Rex, and RINSED residents Dan Wender and Blacky II to fill an as-of-now undisclosed warehouse with sounds appropriate to the mind-bending 2D and 3D artworks of James Moore, The Oracle, Chris Lunney, and Veronica Gessa. We're not going to say this will be the most fun dance party of the week and weekend, but we're not not going to say it either. Get your tickets here.

Where will you be for Miami Art Week? Let us know on Twitter and follow our travels on The Creators Project's Instagram.


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