Hey Art lovers! Who’s back from Miami with a fresh tan? I didn’t make it to Miami’s Art Week this year, but no worries, Remi Koukou did. Check out her visually stimulating diary from Miami Beach Art Week xx
Miami Art Week is a time when collectors, artists, celebrities, and insta-groupies unite to appreciate the best contemporary art the international community has to offer, and party like only creatives can. Art Fairs are a long-standing tradition in the art world, Miami Art Week has taken the artsy tradition a bit further. Miami was thriving with fairs, gallery shows, private collections, and museum exhibitions. As a contemporary art fanatic and art blogger, I was lured to Miami to experience the mania first hand and I was not disappointed. Here are my highlights from Basel and Miami Art Week.
The Lower East Side Gallery had an impressive booth this year. The booth was framed by a monumental painting by Rodney McMillian. The work titled “Many Moons” was a post apocalyptic landscape made from latex, acrylic, ink, on paper and mounted on fabric. The work drew you in as you a walked by and enveloped you in a hauntingly beautiful version of our world that may become more than a work of art in 20+ years.
Among my tops picks was definitely Victoria Miro Gallery. While they already have an impressive list of artists at their disposal, the selection of work was well curated and exciting. I will admit, I did wait on line to go inside the mini Infinity Room by Yayoi Kusama and I had to stop myself from sitting in Bathtub, Apartment A by Do Ho Suh. I am in awe of his work, and while it was not his best (or largest scale) it was a good taste of what he has to offer the average, albeit high-end, collector and not a museum. I also loved END a large-scale work by Doug Aitken and Conrad Shawcross’s geometric-abstract interpretation of rays of sunlight, The Dappled Light of The Sun (Study I). As you can tell, I spent a lot of time at this booth.
Galeria OMR is a gallery based in Mexico City, and while I never heard of them before, their booth drew me in. Most of the works bridged the gap between art and science, a combination that if you follow my instagram, you’d know transfixes me. My favorite in the booth was a light painting called All Colors White by Torolab, a collective from Germany whose work is socially and technologically engaged across all mediums; from paintings, photographs, architecture, and design. The booth projected a clear vision, from the ombré color field paintings by Matti Braun and the small James Turrell light installation.
It was clear the gallery is deeply engaged with the evolution of culture and everything it embodies.
This Berlin based Gallery housed a collection of installations, a rare find at the fairs. My personal favorite was an installation by Olafur Eliasson which featured a fountain of flowing water surrounded by white strobe lights. The calming sound of water combined with the intensity of the strobe lights made for the elemental and immersive experience that the artist is known for. Another highlight of the booth was the few large-scale neon marquis by Tobias Rehberger. Eye catching and oh so fun, the signs read “NEVER” on an out thrusting fist and “Nothing really Matters” on a bomb.
The Bass Museum is an outdoor sculpture park on Collins Avenue in the center of South Beach. The plot of land was the location of an amazing Sculpture Garden that included works by Ugo Rondinone, Erwin Wurm, Jean-Marie Appriou, and Tony Tasset.
The Rubell Collection opens a new selection of exhibitions every year in conjunction with Miami Art Week. This year’s exhibitions were a broad range of provocative works that ranged from Video Art in Latin America, High Anxiety, and New Shamans. While it wasn’t my personal taste, I’m glad work like those exhibited exist and are being bought by such influential collectors. They were loaded and significant works that delved deep into the current political, social, and economic climate of the globalized world.
The Perez Museum was probably my favorite art adventure of the week. The museum exhibited the first comprehensive survey of Julio Le Parc in North America and it did not disappoint. As a central figure in the Kinetic Art Movement, Julio Le Parc’s work is full of groundbreaking art innovations. The works ranged from highly saturated colored op-art paintings to large-scale light and glass sculptures that allow the viewer to activate and engage with the artworks. Not only was it a beautifully curated exhibition full of interesting artworks, but it was also fun. One of my highlights was a corridor of fun-mirrors leading to a forest of mirrored panels that reflected and displaced the viewer as they made their way through the space. Another fun work was a series of glasses that distorted your vision, making the world around you an op-art piece called Glasses for Another Vision. Last but certainly not least was a work titled Red Sphere, which is exactly what it sounds like but with a twist. The redwork was made of strings of red square glass pieces that formed a red sphere and reflected red hues of light throughout the room.
Stay up to date with Remi’s daily Art Adventures via her Instagram @mycuratedlife