It takes a truly gifted artist to knock viewers on their tails. But during Art Basel Miami Beach 2006, Ivan Navarro accomplished the feat with a pair of beautiful purple neon chairs. The works were on exhibit in “Artificial Light,” a group show organized by North Miami’s Museum of Contemporary Art at its Wynwood satellite space at the Goldman Warehouse that year. When a female spectator spotted his neon-gas-and-glass creations, she fell under the spell of their treacherous buzz, climbed the platform on which they were displayed, attempted to sit on one of the chairs, and crushed Navarro’s dangerous-looking opus while landing hard on her ass. Now that’s what we call an endorsement of the electrifying artist, who has gone on to garner international acclaim for his sociopolitically freighted sculptures rendered from neon, fluorescent, and incandescent lighting. The Chilean talent has returned to the 305 with “Ivan Navarro: Fluorescent Light Sculptures,” a crackling solo show at the Frost Art Museum (10975 SW 17th St., Miami) featuring three floor sculptures, 14 wall sculptures, and three videos that illuminate his multilayered practice over the past ten years. Curated by Julia P. Herzberg, the show includes The Nowhere Man series, making its debut in a U.S. museum and inspired by the iconic pictograms created by Otl Aicher for the Olympics in 1972. Navarro is keeping his fingers crossed that visitors to the Frost will display some decorum and refrain from physically engaging his new stuff.
Sundays, 12-5 p.m.; Tuesdays-Saturdays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Starts: Nov. 18. Continues through Jan. 27, 2012