It may hog all the attention, but Art Basel and the satellite fairs are merely one facet of Miami Art Week. Galleries across the city also will be showcasing their most intriguing, immersive works for art-loving crowds. From an installation-turned-competitive sport to a sunken living room exhibition where you can both celebrate life and honor the dead, Miami's galleries are putting forth some of their material.
The following alphabetical list is by no means a complete list of the multitude of gallery exhibitions you'll be able to see during Miami Art Week.
The Bonnier Gallery presents "Green Creek," a solo exhibition of sculpture, oil paintings, and works on paper by Kathleen Jacobs. The American artist was inspired to create the works in this exhibition after reading a poem by eighth-century Tang dynasty poet Wang Wei in which the reflection of trees in a creek exemplifies the tranquil vastness of nature. Many of the works comprising "Green Creek" were formed in direct communication with nature, namely trees. Jacobs wrapped linen canvases around tree trunks — sometimes for up to three years — and also applied clay and porcelain to tree trunks. What resulted from this unique process is a series of paintings and sculptures whose dreamlike lines and curves — direct imprints from the trees with which the materials communed — evoke clouds in the sky or waves on the sea, reminding viewers of the beauty existing all around them. On view until February 4, 2023, at 3408 NW Seventh Ave., Miami; thebonniergallery.com.
Miami-based artist Clara Varas presents "Between Memory and Desire" in Dimensions Variable, an exploration of both the artist's personal history and the precarity of the human condition. Varas migrated to the U.S. and counts herself among the one-and-a-half generation who came of age in the U.S. and she utilizes personal household items, found objects, and industrial materials to illustrate the experiences of Miami's Latinx, Caribbean, and immigrant populations. "The Commonplace of Things" is a solo project from New York City- and Miami-based artist Marcos Valella that combines everyday objects like fishing lures, pushpins, and bed sheets with open-source, drip painting techniques to create hooded, handled paintings that raise the question of where's the line between art and other stuff you purchase. On view through January 10, 2023, at 101 NW 79th St., Miami; dimensionsvariable.net.
Emerson Dorsch Gallery presents the opening of "Be Wild. Bewilder," where artist Paula Wilson explores themes of both fragmentation and regeneration. Wilson, who lives in Carrizozo, New Mexico, incorporates her life in the high desert into her works, often weaving in elements of feminine power, natural life systems, and art-making itself. On view through January 21, 2023, at 5900 NW Second Ave., Miami; emersondorsch.com.
Cuban-American artist Richard Vergez combines mixed-media collages with installations of trains in "Trains of Thought." The collection of works may inspire either awe or bitterness from those living in the Magic City, a sprawling metropolis whose public transit system could benefit from investment in rail travel. Vergez is also the founder of Noir Age, an alternative music label that releases limited-edition albums from experimental artists across the globe. He's scored contemporary dance performances for Cuban choreographer Ana Mendez, and he's one half of Za Za, an avant-garde group, with fellow sound artist Mónica Mesa. On view through December 3, at 7411 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; homework.gallery.
Before making the move to Little River next year, Locust Projects presents three final exhibitions at its current location in the Design District. "Ule ole allez" is an installation highlighting international migration and the ever-changing rulebook immigrants are made to follow, and it utilizes movement found in sports to tell that story in an unexpected, immersive way. In "Room for the living/Room for the dead," T. Eliott Mansa incorporates West African nkisi nkondi
sculptures and the aesthetic of roadside memorials to reimagine a 1970s sunken living room as a space for gathering in both times of joy and when honoring those who have passed. "Portals of Introspection" is a group exhibition highlighting that which connects humans and their environment, guest curated by Donnamarie Baptiste and featuring video works from Paul Ward, Duke Riley, Mikey Please, and Dimitry Saïd Chamy. On view through February 4, 2023, at 3852 N. Miami Ave., Miami, locustprojects.org.
Nina Johnson presents the opening of three solo exhibitions. Raúl de Nieves' "The Book" showcases 18 multimedia, wall-based works, as well as the artist's signature beaded sculptures and ceramic pieces, in a conversation about process and transformation. In the gallery's newly renovated Exhibition Library, Korean artist and designer Minjae Kim presents "IYKYK." Twelve pieces of fully functional furniture and objets d'art carry traditional Korean aesthetics, yet they might read as abstract art to American eyes. Thus Kim's work illuminates the cultural erasure that happens every day in the Westernized world. "Eyelash in the Unknown" is a collection of paintings and clear-cast glass sculptures from Tunisia-born, Brooklyn-based artist Nadia Ayari. With her intricate, time-intensive method of creating goopy, oil-based canvases that become sculptures, Ayari creates immersive works that draw viewers close enough to almost touch. On view until January 7, 2023, at 6315 NW Second Ave., Miami; ninajohnson.com.
Pan American Art Projects
Pan American Art Projects presents "The Life of Meanings," a collection of drawn works by Cuban-born, Miami-based artist Carlos Estevez so intricate they appear as fantastical maps or a city planner's blueprints — if they were dreaming when they drafted them up that is. The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue featuring a principal text by PAMM Assistant Curator Maritza Lacayo and text from Pan American Art Projects Director Janda Wetherington. On view until December 3, at 274 NE 67th St., Miami; panamericanart.com.
Spinello Projects presents a trio of exhibitions to celebrate Miami Art Week. On the first floor, "Back to Basics" is the Miami gallery debut of Vienna-based French-Senegalese artist Alexandre Diop. Using everyday materials like metal, rope, old car parts, rust, books, metal, and wood, Diop explores both composition and decomposition to express themes of existence and observation. "Nightfall" is the first U.S. solo exhibition of Puerto Rican artist Esaí Alfredo. Inspired in part by the 1941 Isaac Asimov short story of the same name, "Nightfall" depicts the adventures of a queer couple who become close lovers as they investigate a mysterious, weeklong solar eclipse shrouding a Caribbean island in darkness. Richie Nath's first U.S. solo exhibition, "This Too Shall Pass," centers on the queer male body in works combining Hindu, Buddhist, and Greco-Roman mythologies to depict the artist's journey being exiled from his native Myanmar amid civil war. Spinello Projects is also presenting at this year's Art Basel the work of Miami native Reginald O'Neal and Afro-Latinx artist Juana Valdés. On view until January 14, 2023, at 2930 NW Seventh Ave., Miami; spinelloprojects.com.