Best Art Museum Miami 2007 - Museum of Contemporary Art
Jazz grooves on the lawn; flashing neon lights; donkeys fashioned from recycled shredded cloth; a puppetmaster's beguiling vision of an underwater kingdom; and a historic exhibit showcasing Merce Cunningham's collaborations with contemporary visual artists, celebrating the dance legend's first visit to South Florida. These are among the many reasons people were enticed to join MoCA's rollicking year-long tenth anniversary bash. Christian Holstad's first U.S. museum solo-show at MoCA's Wynwood annex (404 NW 26th St., Miami), featuring donkey sculptures based on nativity scenes and a snazzy jukebox, was a blast. Pablo Cano's City Beneath the Sea, a whimsical theatrical production of marionettes created from found objects and discarded debris, also featured a cast of dancers and live music to tell the tale of a young girl's magical quest to save her undersea world. Cano's holiday favorite brought the curtain down with a bang. "Elusive Signs: Bruce Nauman Works With Light" showcased the neon sign and fluorescent light installations of one of America's most influential living artists and was among the season's big box office draws. "Merce Cunningham: Dancing on the Cutting Edge Part I" presented actual sets and installations created for the avant hoofer's performances by some of the art world's top talent since 1998. The second part of the exhibit is currently on view at MoCA at the Goldman Warehouse in Wynwood, and spotlights the sets and costumes designed by Miami's Daniel Arsham for Cunningham's recent show here. MoCA complemented its season with a series of popular free outdoor jazz concerts on the last Friday of every month, along with provocative outreach programming, combining educational activities geared for kids with art talks and film screenings that consistently drew crowds. A recently announced $18 million expansion will triple the museum's exhibition space, elevating MoCA's already stellar reputation in the years to come.