Party Crashers

Malcolm Morley and jazz greats collide at MoCA

When the Museum of Contemporary Art raised its inaugural champagne toast during Miami’s leaner art years, few dreamed it would evolve into a consistent launch pad for homegrown talent or that it would come to bask in such far flung cultural impact.

Locals Teresita Fernandez (who recently won a MacArthur Genius Award), Robert Chambers, Mark Handforth, Hernan Bas, Bhakti Baxter, William Cordova, and John Espinosa all had their first museum shows at MoCA before moving on to wider acclaim. During the past decade, the museum has also organized exhibitions by some of the art world’s contemporary masters, including Annette Messager, David Smith, Frank Stella, Roy Lichtenstein, Yoko Ono, and Louise Bourgeois.

MoCA boasts Miami’s longest running free jazz series, offering music lovers a beefy diet of sensational sounds and providing one of the most popular venues in town for established and emerging musicians, not to mention recently opening a satellite space in Wynwood during Art Basel.

So what does one of South Florida’s favorite cultural institutions do for an encore as it cracks the piñata open on its tenth anniversary? How about unveiling Malcolm Morley’s first U.S. museum survey since 1984, sweetening the air with a concert by a duo of New Orleans musicians joined by a mystery guest billed as a legend, and putting on the ritz during its Pop 10 fundraiser classic with a riot of color.

Malcolm Morley: The Art of Painting features more than 30 works from the Sixties to the present, including spectacular superrealist paintings of athletes and racecar crashes from his most recent series. One of the sensational works, Death of Dale Earnhardt, based on a newspaper photo, depicts the tragic end of the popular NASCAR driver. Morley’s new paintings capture, in eye popping fashion, the excitement, chaos, and glamour associated with sports.

Tonight’s 8:00 Jazz at MoCA concert on the plaza will feature Kim Prevost and Bill Solley -- known for mixing their New Orleans jazz style with bebop, fusion, and Brazilian rhythms -- accompanied by a surprise performer who has won several Grammy and Billboard awards, in addition to an Emmy.

Saturday evening’s Pop 10 fundraiser touts cocktails, food, a silent auction, and an interactive exhibit. Tickets cost $150 at the door. Call 305-893-6211, or visit www.mocanomi.org.
Jan. 27-29
 
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