With all of the events and parties happening over the next week, it might be easy to forget what Art Basel is all about: the art. And while art galleries will be doing what they do best, local museums will also be debuting all new installations with works that touch on cultural identity, pop culture and more. Here’s what’s happening around town:
The Bass: "The Haas Brothers: Ferngully." This show, the first solo exhibition by the Haas Brothers, compiles new and recent work by the L.A.-based designers, exploring the precarity and regenerative possibilities of the natural environment. "Ferngully," named after a 1992 animated film of the same title, invites visitors into a utopic setting that exemplifies the Haas Brothers’ return to nature through design. "Ferngully" takes form as an immersive installation comprising diverse elements such as beadwork, ceramics, velvet, and blown glass. Woven tree trunks with copper leaves and blown glass coconuts illuminate biomorphic, sculptural seating elements and velveteen cacti. A padded floor evoking a forest floor, along with subdued lighting, further evince a sumptuous, yet fragile environment. Wednesday, December 5 through April 21, 2019, at The Bass, 2100 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; thebass.org. Admission costs $10, with discounts for students, seniors, and youth and free to Miami Beach residents, City of Miami Beach employees, and active duty military.
The Frost Art Museum, FIU: "The Writing on the Wall." Presented by Hank Willis Thomas and Dr. Baz Dreisinger, "The Writing on the Wall" is a collaborative installation that raises awareness about mass incarceration. The U.S. is the world leader in incarceration, followed by Rwanda and Russia. In the U.S. alone, there are 2.2 million people in the nation’s prisons and jails — a 500% increase over the last 40 years, according to The Sentencing Project. On the gallery walls are essays, poems, letters, stories, diagrams, and notes written by individuals incarcerated in prisons around the world, including the United States, Australia, Brazil, Norway and Uganda. During her years teaching in prisons, Dr. Dreisinger compiled these materials consisting of handwritten or typed messages by inmates. Through Sunday, December 9 at the Frost Art Museum, 10975 SW 17th St., Miami; frost.fiu.edu. Admission is free.
HistoryMiami: Miami Street Photography Festival. A Smithsonian Affiliate located in the heart of downtown Miami, HistoryMiami will capture photography lovers’ hearts during Miami Art Week by hosting one of the most popular art events in recent years: the Miami Street Photography Festival. An international event showcasing the best of contemporary street and documentary photography, the Miami Street Photography Festival features world-class photographers from over 45 countries, exhibitions, lectures, workshops, photo walks, and portfolio reviews. The festival’s mission is to give exposure to up-and-coming photographers from around the globe and highlight the best in international street photography. Featured speakers include Meryl Meisler, Peter van Agtmael, Stella Johnson, Nick Turpin, and Constantine Manos. In conjunction with the festival, the museum will exhibit the finalists of the Miami Street Photography Festival’s international street photography competition, the leading and most widely recognized contest in street photography in the world. Thursday, December 6 to Sunday, December 9 at HistoryMiami, 101 W. Flagler St., Miami; miamistreetphotographyfestival.org. Admission is free with registration by Tuesday, December 4, and $20 after December 4.
Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami: "Judy Chicago: A Reckoning." Just a year after its debut in the Miami Design District, which saw more than 100,000 visitors, The Institute of Contemporary Art presents presents “Judy Chicago: A Reckoning,” a major exhibition that will mark the largest survey to date of Chicago’s 50-plus year career as one of the past century’s most influential and celebrated feminist artists. This exhibition highlights Chicago’s iconographic transition from abstraction to figuration, and explores the way in which the artist’s strong feminist voice transforms our understanding of modernism and its traditions. The exhibition will showcase six major bodies of work dating from the 1960s to the ‘90s, including Chicago’s plates created for The Dinner Party (1979). Tuesday, December 4, through April 21, 2019, at the Institute of Contemporary Art, 61 NE 41st St., Miami; 305-901-5272; icamiami.org. Admission is free.
The Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU. Located in Miami Beach's SoFi neighborhood on Washington Avenue at Third Street, the Jewish Museum is housing three amazing shows under one roof during Art Basel. "The Art of the Lithograph," on view through March 3, features world-renowned modern masters. "Daniel Chimowitz: Walking Canvases," through February 3, is the first-ever museum show by the fashion designer/graffiti artist. "Edna Glaubman: Retrospective," through December, is a tribute to the late artist, one of Florida’s most revered painters. The Chimowitz show is the museum's Art Basel headliner, featuring seven murals by Chimowitz, 32 new fashion ensembles, two paintings by Chimowitz, two murals by Miami graffiti artist Freddy Aquino, and a selfie-booth by Miami artist Evo Love. 301 Washington Ave., Miami Beach; jmof.fiu.edu. Admission costs $12, with discounts for seniors and students.
Lowe Art Museum: "Elsi Kalstone: Imaginary Things." Closing out Miami Art Week festivities will be a brunch held Sunday from 10 a.m. to noon at the Lowe Art Museum, followed by a talk at the adjacent Storer Auditorium featuring American artist Hank Willis Thomas. While at the Lowe, be sure to enjoy "Elsi Kalstone: Imaginary Things," a micro-exhibition of paintings and drawings by one of mid-20th-century Pittsburgh's most promising female artists, who trained under the acclaimed painter Samuel Rosenberg. Through May 19, 2019, at 1301 Stanford Dr., Coral Gables; lowe.miami.edu. Tickets are $12.50 for general admission, $8 for students and seniors, and free for museum members, military, children under 12, and University of Miami students, faculty and staff.
Museum of Art + Design at Miami Dade College: "Superflex: We Are All in the Same Boat." Stop by MOAD to experience the latest piece by Danish artist collective Superflex, which has gained international recognition for its DIY and activist approach. The group's latest exhibition, "We Are All in the Same Boat," will be the first large-scale exhibition by Superflex in North America. The exhibit concentrates on a body of work touching on the economy, financial crisis, migration, and possible consequences of global warming. The exhibition will include two new commissions — We Are All in the Same Boat and When the Levees Broke — as well as a group of video, sculpture, and installation works selected for their relevance to Miami and Florida. Through April 21, 2019, at MDC MOAD, Freedom Tower, 600 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; 305-237-7700; mdcmoad.org. Museum admission ranges from free to $12.
Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami (MOCA): "AfriCOBRA." MOCA is presenting a groundbreaking exhibition that celebrates the founding of the AfriCOBRA collective, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. AfriCOBRA’s visual language is defined by the use of text, bright "Kool-Aid" colors; dynamic, gestural markings; and raw, emotive, celebratory images of confident black figures. The vision these artists created went on to define the aesthetic of the Black Arts Movement. The museum will introduce the foundational work of one of the longest-organized artist collectives and present how the AfriCOBRA founders used their artistic voices to contribute to the liberation and unification of the black community. Through April 7, 2019, at MOCA, 770 NE 125th St., North Miami; mocanomi.org. Tickets cost $10 for general admission, $3 for students and seniors, and free to North Miami residents and city employees, children under 12, veterans and museum members.
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Pérez Art Museum Miami. Miami Art Week 2018 celebrates PAMM’s 35 years of unique history as a collecting institution with an ongoing commitment to diversity — presenting art from Latin America, the U.S. Latinx experience, and the Caribbean while looking toward the African diaspora. Exhibitions include Christo’s documentary exhibition "Surrounded Islands"; Ebony G. Patterson’s immersive "...While the Dew Is Still on the Roses..."; José Carlos Martinat’s large-scale light sculptures that borrow signs and symbols ranging from historical images to popular internet memes; and artist and filmmaker Pedro Neves Marques’ first solo museum presentation, featuring speculative short films inspired by the Zika virus. 1106 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; pamm.org. Admission is $16 for general admission, $12 for students seniors and youth, and free for museum members, active military, and children 6 and under.
The Wolfsonian-FIU: Enter the Design Age. The Wolfsonian is presenting Enter the Design Age, an installation by the Paris-based creative studio H5. This installation is a response to a challenge. The Wolfsonian asked H5 to make a statement about the richness of the museum’s collection on the façade of the building. H5 chose its favorite medium, typography, to issue a giant appeal for people to enter and discover what’s inside. The installation highlights the richness of the Wolfsonian’s holdings — which date from 1850 to 1950, a century when design emerged as a profession and transformed the visual and material world — by embedding a timeline with information about key pieces in the lettering. Extending the installation is a video screened at night on the north side of the building, a kind of animated “Big Bang” that imagines the collection’s origins. Tuesday, December 4, through May 31, 2019, at the Wolfsonian, 1001 Washington Ave., Miami Beach; wolfsonian.org. Tickets are $12 for general admission; $8 for students, seniors, and children aged 6 to 18; and free for members, children under 6, and students, faculty, and staff of the State University System of Florida.