Miami Art Week 2022 Museum Exhibition Guide: Nina Chanel Abney, Leandro Erlich, Didier William, and More

Installation view of Didier William's "Nou Kite Tout Sa Dèyè" at the Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami
Installation view of Didier William's "Nou Kite Tout Sa Dèyè" at the Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami Photo by Michael Lopez
Hailing from all fabulous corners of the universe, the crowds are set to descend upon the Miami Beach Convention Center on December 1-3 for the return of Art Basel. Still, locals know that Miami Art Week is the best time of year to squeeze in a visit (or three) to one of the area's art museums. From the Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum on the Florida International University campus to the NSU Art Museum in downtown Fort Lauderdale, art lovers will find exhibitions that run the gamut in terms of medium, time period, style, and geography, once again proving that the Magic City is an unparalleled destination for diverse, captivating, visual art.

The following alphabetical list contains only a sampling of the many museum exhibitions you'll be able to see during Miami Art Week.

The Bass

Just two blocks away from the Miami Beach Convention Center hubbub, the Bass is on a mission to excite, challenge, and educate through its collection of contemporary art. Miami Art Week sees the opening of "El fin de la imaginación," a site-specific and large-scale environment of works by Argentine artist Adrián Villar Rojas with Mariana Telleria. A multidisciplinary artist, Villar Rojas builds immersive worlds at once fragile and imposing. For this show, he imagines a seemingly inevitable future of interstellar colonization to explore the paradoxical nature of über-modern life: Is humanity riding high on a tech revolution or heading toward total crisis? On view through May 14, 2023, at 2100 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 305-673-7530; Admission is $15.
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Michel Majerus, Progressive Aesthetics, 1997. Acrylic on canvas.
© Michel Majerus Estate, 2022, Private collection. Courtesy neugerriems chneider, Berlin/Photo by Jens Ziehe, Berlin

Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami

On November 28, ICA hosts a pair of special exhibition openings. On the second floor, Chicago-born painter and sculptor Nina Chanel Abney presents "Big Butch Energy." The new installation uses dynamic colors and cubistic forms to spotlight the "implicit flamboyance and homoeroticism of frat house and sorority house environments," the artist said in a release. In this batch of works, Black masculine women figure prominently in scenes that reference baroque portraiture or fraternity composites, exploring the continuing influence of social ritual and visual culture on gender perception and performance. On the ICA's third floor, "Progressive Aesthetics" is a posthumous collection of works by Michel Majerus, a Berlin-based artist who most famously created serial screenprint appropriations of the infamous mid-'80s collaboration between Jean-Michel Basquiat and Andy Warhol. On view through March 12, 2023, at 61 NE 41st St., Miami; 305-901-5272; Admission is free.

Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami

The most extensive retrospective to date of North Miami artist Didier William's career, "Nou Kite Tout Sa Dèyè" — which translates to "We've Left That All Behind" — spans paintings, drawings, artist books, and a 12-foot wooden sculpture that resembles a column used in Haitian religious rituals, all to present a close look at William's career and memories in his native neighborhood. Also on view at MOCA is "Kanaval," a retrospective of the two decades photographer, filmmaker, curator, collector, and writer Leah Gordon spent documenting Carnival in Haiti. Black-and-white photographs snapped on a mechanical, medium-format camera are complemented by a series of oral histories relaying the fables and mythologies surrounding Carnival, spoken by those who oversee the celebration's costumes. On view through April 16, 2023, at 770 NE 125th St., North Miami; 305-893-6211; Tickets cost $5 to $10.
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Kathia St. Hilaire, Ten O'Clock Flower, 2020. Oil-based relief on canvas collage with aluminum, paper, thread, and wire.
Courtesy of Haroche Family Collection/Photo by Zachary Balber

NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale

"Immaterial Being" is the first solo museum exhibition of South Florida artist Kathia St. Hilaire, whose work draws influence from the West African religion Vodun, a philosophy credited with helping to spark the Haitian Revolution. On lattice frameworks of linoleum resembling ceremonial Haitian Vodun flags, St. Hilaire combines distinctly Haitian iconography, scenes depicting death, and celestial bodies with scenes of tender family gatherings and children at play. "I Had A Wonderful Life" is a celebratory collection of "monument paintings" by Scott Covert, who has traveled from Montparnasse to Hollywood utilizing the Victorian technique of grave rubbing. Lifting impressions from reliefs on tombstones, Covert creates collages from the names and tombstone texts of those he calls "people of character." See if you can spot Serge Gainsbourg mingling near Nikita Khrushchev. Finally, "Shipwreck" presents London artist Malcolm Morley's penchant for both "superrealism" — works so precisely rendered you may mistake them for photographs — and surreal, complex paintings. Morley, whose close colleagues were pop artist Roy Lichtenstein and conceptual artist Richard Artschwager, had a fondness for depicting seaworthy vessels, perhaps a nod to the World War II-era German bombing raid that destroyed the battleship HMS Nelson — and part of Morley's London family home. "I Had a Wonderful Life" and "Immaterial Being" are on view through April 23, 2023, and "Shipwreck" is on view through April 16, 2023, at 1 E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale; 954-525-5500; Tickets cost $5 to $12.

Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum

Located on Florida International University's Modesto A. Maidique Campus, the Frost Art Museum hosts a pair of exhibitions that may appeal especially to art history buffs. "In the Mind's Eye: Landscapes of Cuba" pairs landscapes painted by contemporary Cuban artists like Juana Valdés and María Magdalena Campos Pons with the idealized, pastoral scenes created by American artists from the late 1800s and early 1900s like William Glackens and Winslow Homer, illustrating how politics and ideology seep into every facet of expression, even landscape painting. "Rembrandt Reframed" presents nearly two dozen prints by the famed Dutch artist Rembrandt van Rijn in conversation with the works of three contemporary artists. Charles Humes Jr., Jennifer Printz, and Wanda Raimundi-Ortiz each take inspiration from Rembrandt's techniques, subject matter, and medium, yet their approaches couldn't be more unique. On view through January 8, 2023, at 10975 SW 17th St., Miami; 305-348-2890; Admission is free.
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Leandro Erlich, The Room, 2006-18.
Courtesy of Mori Art Museum/Photo by Hasegawa Kenta

Pérez Art Museum Miami

It hasn't even been a decade since the PAMM relocated to its current home near the shores of Biscayne Bay, but the modern and contemporary art museum has already become an icon in the Magic City. Guests visiting during Miami Art Week will be greeted by the avatar Lady Ava interface when they enter the exhibition "Welcome to the wwwunderkammer," the immersive creation of Brooklyn-based interdisciplinary artist Carla Gannis. PAMM also presents "Liminal," the first monographic survey exhibition of Argentinian artist Leandro Erlich. Over the last 20 years, Erlich has become the master of transforming mundane environments — an elevator, a subway car, a swimming pool — into portals of imagination and illusion, reminding us that if we suspend our disbelief for just a moment, we may witness something extraordinary. On view through September 4, 2023, at 1103 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; 305-375-3000; Tickets cost $12 to $16.
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La France quit a connu 4 fois l'invasion en 100 ans, ne doit pas désarmer sans être assurée de sa sécurité, 1932, designed by André Galland.
Photo courtesy of the Wolfsonia-FIU

The Wolfsonian

In one of two exhibits on view during Miami Art Week, posters, records, sheet music, and film and audio clips illustrate the cultural exchange between the U.S. and Cuba that birthed new, hybrid sounds. "Turn the Beat Around" is for fans of rumba, conga, mambo, salsa, Afro-Cuban jazz, and, of course, the cha-cha-cha, who want to dig deeper into the times and people that created these international music genres in the 1930s through the '60s. "Plotting Power: Maps and the Modern Age" uses paintings, prints, posters, graphic materials, and industrial designs to trace the history of maps as tools for communicating strategy, agenda, and, more often than not, the dividing lines between "us" and "them." "Plotting Power" on view through April 16, 2023, and "Turn the Beat Around" on view through April 30, 2023, at 1001 Washington Ave., Miami Beach; 305-531-1001; Tickets cost $8 to $12; free for Florida residents.
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Tyler Francischine is a writer, event planner, and audiophile with dual passions for creating community engagement and telling stories that sing in a reader’s mind. Her work has been featured in American Way, Melted Magazine, and the Huffington Post.

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