Wynwood Art Walk Guide: April's Best Gallery Shows
Since 2005 David Castillo has ruled the roost at his eponymous Wynwood gallery steering it to the forefront of Miami's booming art scene.
But starting next fall, Castillo will relocate his stable of local and national talent to South Beach, marking a notable changing of the guard as more and more galleries pull up stakes from Wynwood searching for greener pastures, what they hope will be more discerning audiences, better parking, and cheaper rents.
That's not to say you can expect a mass exodus of the spaces that have mightily contributed in making the artsy area the epicenter for the visual arts in the Magic City the past decade. As art spaces like Castillo's vacate Wynwood others will move in hoping to bank on its edgy cachet.
But there is no denying that Wynwood is in the throes of transformation, and if you want to catch Castillo's latest show, you'll have to make it there early during this weekend's edition of Second Saturday or miss his swan song to the nabe.
Here are our top shows on the marquee for what is shaping up to be an Art Walk you won't soon forget starting at 3:00 p.m. for most of the galleries looking to avoid the crush of later crowds instead.
This group offering at Castillo's contemporary emporium delivers a seamlessly-curated perspective of why the astute dealer has earned a reputation as an acute eye for talent and provocative program. It features works by stable stalwarts and recent new comers including: Sanford Biggers, Adler Guerrier, Lyle Ashton Harris, Quisqueya Henriquez, Susan Lee-Chun, Pepe Mar, Robert Melee, and Wendy White. Each of the participating artists explore issues of identity and gender through a challenging approach, the gallery says. The recently signed Biggers reinvents the quilting tradition inspired by Afrofuturism and the Tibetan Book of the Dead, while Henriquez - who has worked with Castillo since he first hung his shingle in Wynwood - places the geometric minimalism of Carmen Herrera inside the design of Russian avant-gardist Lyubov Popova, thereby "inserting herself into the lineage these women" and historical paradigms the gallery explains. David Castillo Gallery 2234 NW Second Ave., Miami. 305-573-8110, davidcastillogallery.com.
Wifredo Lam and the Great Cubans
If you make it to Wynwood early, don't miss this sprawling survey that's more like a museum than gallery show. It explores the unflagging influence Lam had on his contemporaries and succeeding generations of creative types from his homeland and beyond. The show boasts more than 150 important works opening a rambling window to the island's best know talent in a broad arsenal of media and styles conveying Cuba's cultural impact on a global stage. Lam's iconic presence serves as a bridge between participants that include everyone from Manuel Mendive to Luis Cruz Azaceta, Mario Carreño, Hernan Bas, José Bedia, Cundo Bermúdez and Amelia Peláez among others too numerous to mention here. Gary Nader Art Centre 62 NE 27th St., Miami. 305-576-0256, garynader.com.
Towards the Sky Again, 1997 - 2011
This collaborative presentation between the Dina Mitrani Gallery and the neighboring Screening Room features exhibition of photography and video by Chicago-based artist, Colleen Plumb. The Screening Room, operated by Rhonda Mitrani, is spooling a pair of Plumb's video works, Thirty Times A Minute and All Movement is Bound to be Towards A Perfect State. Next door, Plumb continues her exploration of real and artificial landscapes, at once poetic in nature while conveying humankind's ambivalence towards the environment and wildlife, capturing the complex and contradictory ways we connect with our surroundings, the organizers say. Dina Mitrani Gallery 2620 NW Second Ave., Miami. 786-486-7248, dinamitranigallery.com.
Also open early on Saturday is this intriguing show by Carolyn Kay Chema that features a collection of "digital photomontages accompanied by objects of ritual significance that access the undercurrents of the past," at the University of Miami's Wynwood art space. Chema's solo is the artist's Master of Fine Arts display and embodies stories or myths that have been swallowed by the inexorable tides of time; forgotten, neglected, or omitted by history. Chema's beguiling photomontages also evoke the gnarled roots of all things ancient through eclectic groupings of the strange. University of Miami Art Gallery at the Wynwood Building 2750 NW Third Ave., Suite 4, Miami. 305-284-3161, as.miami.edu/art.
Your Forest for My Trees
The Diana Lowenstein Gallery delivers a one-two punch to the peepers in this text-based offering by Michael Scoggins and Alex Gingrow. Opening tonight from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m., the duo's visual approach to language dovetails nicely with the April observance of National Poetry Month. Scoggins delivers familiar imagery of a page ripped from a notebook, with its iconic blue lines and spiral bound edges blown up to mammoth perspectives to tweak the senses in a fresh way. Often appearing torn, crumpled or folded, his works expand notions of traditional drawings in an eye-catching way. For her part of the equation, Gingrow crafts text-based paintings and drawings that are at turns witty, sardonic, poetic, self-deprecating, and revealing. At Lowenstein, you'll discover her works rendered on everything from gallery provenance stickers to a daily desk calendar that upend notions of painting the same way. Diana Lowenstein FineArts 2043 N. Miami Ave., Miami. 305-576-1804, dlfinearts.com.
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