Best Art Museum Miami 2010 - Bass Museum of Art
2100 Collins Ave.
Miami Beach, FL 33139
Last year, the Bass took a radical departure from the musty offerings of baroque paintings and uneven programming that led to the institution's decline. In spring 2009, museum visitors were greeted at the entrance by a local artist who had buried himself in the ground with only his head exposed like an Indian fakir. The neck-craning moment occurred during the opening of "The Best of Bert Rodriguez — Greatest Hits Vol. 1." The occasion loudly telegraphed that new director Silvia Karman Cubiñá was aggressively riding herd on a cutting-edge transformation of the museum. This past December, during Art Basel, Karman Cubiñá further cemented her reputation among the art world cognoscenti by landing "Where Do We Go From Here? Selections from La Colección Jumex," marking the stateside debut of the largest privately held collection in Latin America. Owned by Mexican juice mogul Eugenio Lopez Mendoza, the potent display featured 75 head-turning works in diverse media culled from a legendary collection that numbers some 2,000 pieces. Selections included a giant chicharrón, a decrepit wheelbarrow groaning under a mountain of gaudy Christmas ornaments, and a stainless steel door to nowhere and boasted some of the contemporary art world's top names. It was one of Art Basel's biggest draws, made funkier by a concurrent exhibit showcasing Carlos Rolon, AKA Dzine, whose wacky retrophilia included a tricked out low rider tricycle that looked like it was hijacked from Liberace's garage. With Karman Cubiñá firmly at the helm, the Bass shows steady signs all hands are on deck and sailing full steam ahead.