Miami Art Week 2020 Museum Exhibition Guide

Raúl de Nieves' "Eternal Return and the Obsidian Heart" at Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami
Raúl de Nieves' "Eternal Return and the Obsidian Heart" at Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami Photo courtesy of the Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami
The cancellation of Art Basel Miami Beach 2020 earlier this fall brought forth a deluge of reactions locally. The collective message: The city is much more than the art fairs that propagate across the beaches in the form of pop-ups. Miami is a continuous flow of creativity, not one that's limited to the temporality of a weeklong phenomenon.

That said, Miami Art Week is a major event, one that all the city's prominent art institutions museums take into account when scheduling and promoting their own exhibitions.

The list of exhibitions below represents just some of what you might want to seek out during this year's Miami Art Week.
click to enlarge
"Tomá Esson: The GOAT" at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami
Photo by Zachary Balber

Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami

The first solo museum exhibition of the artist’s work, “Tomás Esson: The Goat” at ICA Miami is a reflection of the painter’s creative trajectory over 30 years. Born in Cuba, Esson later migrated to New York City and eventually settled in Miami. The show encapsulates the bold, grotesque style that emerged early in his career as the artist broke free from government censorship. Esson's mastery shines through in works that include a site-specific mural and reinterpreted commissions done by hand at the time of installation, depicting the brazen and contradictory combination of political exile and unabashed sexuality. On view until early next summer, the showcase is a must to include in any Art Week itinerary. ICA Miami requires timed tickets, available free of charge in advance. Through Sunday, May 2, 2021, at 61 NE 41st Street, Miami; 305-901-5272; Open Wednesday through Sunday noon to 6 p.m. Admission is free.
click to enlarge
Fina Wisdom by Raúl de Nieves
Photo courtesy of the Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami

Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami

The physical palpability of texture and the act of performance are two elements of life that we've been starved of since March. Touch and live performance form the core of Raúl de Nieves' work as a multidisciplinary artist and performer, making his current exhibition, "Eternal Return and the Obsidian Heart," at the Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami (MOCA), all the more powerful as it throws the viewer into a celebration of the cyclical nature of life. From figurines cloaked in elaborate costumes to a carousel that spins continuously and a 60-foot, stained glass-like mural that flanks half the exhibition's length, the full spectrum of De Nieves' range as a multimedia artist is on display in the comprehensive survey. MOCA will host various exhibitions, extended museum hours, virtual conversations and tours, and family programs during the course of Miami Art Week. Through Sunday, March 21, 2021, at 770 NE 125th St., North Miami; 305-893-6211; Open Wednesday noon to 7 p.m. and Thursday through Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets cost $10, students and seniors $3.
click to enlarge
Carrie at Euro Salon, Eatonville by Deborah Willis
Photo by Deborah Willis

Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum at FIU

What is a "home," especially in 2020, when the very establishment can be seen as a refuge, a trap, or even an ambiguity? This year marks the centennial of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, a promise that the right to vote would no longer be denied based on gender. During a time when the home has been the most present space on everyone’s mind, “House to House: Women, Politics, and Place” at the Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum explores the reality of a home through various lenses and perspectives, from the domesticity of the private sector into the politicized public spaces where women have striven to have their voices heard. Bringing together works in different mediums from a multitude of artists of differing backgrounds, the exhibition acknowledges how the fight for equity has been neither fair nor inclusive, and how that must be continually challenged. Additionally, the museum's 17th annual Breakfast in the Park will take place virtually on Sunday, December 6, at 11 a.m. with a lecture by Jeffrey Gibson, a 2019 MacArthur Foundation fellow whose work blends his Cherokee and Choctaw heritage with pop and queer culture.) Through February 7, 2021, at 10975 SW 17th St., Miami; 305-348-2890; Open Friday and Saturday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. by appointment only. Admission is free. (Those unable to visit in person can avail themselves of a virtual walk-through of "House to House.")
click to enlarge
Nigerian Sands by Robin Rhode
Photo courtesy of Robin Rhode

Pérez Art Museum Miami

The PAMM reopened on November 7 with a multitude of exhibitions. “Allied with Power: African and African Diaspora Art from the Jorge M. Pérez Collection,” one of the newest exhibitions on display, features works from the Jorge M. and Darlene Pérez Collection highlighting international African and African-diaspora artists. A second exhibition, “Witness: Afro Perspectives from the Jorge M. Pérez Collection,” will open during Miami Art Week at El Espacio 23, PAMM's art space in Allapattah (2270 NW 23rd St.; 786-460-4790), featuring more than 100 works. PAMM continues to offer virtual programming, including online art talks and studio visits. Museum visitors may reserve timed tickets in advance. Through Thursday, July 1, 2021, at 1103 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; 305-375-3000; Open Thursday 2 to 9 p.m. and Friday through Sunday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tickets cost $16; students, youth, and seniors $12.
click to enlarge
Detail of "Say Their Names: A Public Art Memorial Project" at the Bakehouse Art Complex
Photo by David Gary Lloyd Photography

Bakehouse Art Complex

On view at the Bakehouse (BAC)'s indoor galleries: Amanda Linares’ “Between Islands and Peninsulas,” a reflection of the immigrant experience through artist books; Lauren Shapiro’s “Future Pacific,” an interactive sculptural installation that weaves together art, science, and technology to address the preservation and protection of endangered ecosystems in the sea; and Philip Lique and Najja Moon’s “Obscured Publications,” a construction of socially distanced book stations located throughout the BAC complex. The outdoor garden offers Clara Toro’s “Stakeholders — Wynwood Norte,” photographs that depict single-family homes in Wynwood; and large-scale murals by Maritza Caneca and Chire Regans (AKA VantaBlack). These represent just a fraction of the world-class work created by Bakehouse artists, but it speaks volumes about the BAC's ongoing mission to foster Miami’s art and culture scene. 561 NW 32nd St., Miami; 305-576-2828; Open Saturday and Sunday noon to 5 p.m. Admission is free.
click to enlarge
Still image from Honey Baby (2013) by Janine Antoni and Stephen Petronio
Photo courtesy of Locust Projects

Locust Projects

Locust Projects hosts an extensive series of exhibitions and installations on view by appointment only. Miami-based and Danish-born artist Mette Tommerup presents “Made by Dusk,” a large-scale reimagination of the Nordic goddess Freya's Sessrumnir, a mythological resting place of fallen warriors. Alongside Tommerup’s work: Honey Baby (2013), a collaborative video presentation by New York-based artist Janine Antoni and choreographer Stephen Petronio; and Paula Wilson's On High (2017). The former depicts a womblike space via a nude male body floating in honey, while the latter features Wilson dancing atop the base where a statue of Confederate general P.G.T. Beauregard on his horse stood in New Orleans until the statue was removed in 2017. With topics that range from the Black Lives Matter movement to solitude, death, and the afterlife, the exhibitions serve to reflect of our current pandemically altered realities. 3852 N. Miami Ave., Miami; 305-576-8570; By appointment only Wednesday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free.
click to enlarge
Installation image at the Margulies Collection at the Warehouse featuring works by George Segal, Imi Knoebel, and Magdalena Abakanowicz
Photo courtesy of the Margulies Collection at the Warehouse

The Margulies Collection at the Warehouse

The Margulies Collection at the Warehouse will offer extended hours and complimentary guided tours. A featured salon-style photography display contains more than 213 vintage and contemporary prints, plus more than 50 artworks available for purchase, with proceeds earmarked for the Lotus Village Shelter for homeless women and children. Catch the special programming through Saturday, December 5, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., with morning coffee provided on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. No reservation is required for in-person visits, but guided tours require an RSVP. 591 NW 27th St., Miami; 305-576-1051; Extended hours Monday through Saturday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets cost $10, $5 for out-of-state students, and free for in-state students.
click to enlarge
Yayoi Kusama, Narcissus Garden
Photo courtesy of Rubell Museum

The Rubell Museum

Where else can you find Hernan Bas, Yayoi Kusama, and Genesis Tremaine all lined up in the same space? The Rubell Museum kicks off a fresh series of formidable exhibitions and artists at its recently opened space in Allapattah. “Genesis Tramaine: Sanctuary” is a series of eight paintings created on-site by the museum’s 2020 artist-in-residence. The works express Tremaine's spiritual upbringing in Brooklyn via biblical figures rendered in oils and acrylics. On view in the museum's central hub: Yayoi Kusama’s Narcissus Garden, 700 stainless-steel spheres arrayed to physically and metaphorically reflect the self in a conversation about the ego and narcissistic tendencies; and a collection of Hernan Bas’ early works on paper. Advance admission tickets are recommended. 1100 NW 23rd St., Miami; 305-573-6090; Open Sunday, Wednesday, and Thursday 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Friday and Saturday 11:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Tickets cost $15, $12 for seniors, $10 for youth and students, and free for museum members and veterans.
KEEP MIAMI NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.