When the Magic City’s cultural Shangri-la opens on the downtown waterfront this Wednesday, the 305’s art scene will be forever changed.
After almost three years since the shovel first hit the dirt on construction, Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) is unveiling its Herzog & de Meuron-designed building modeled after Stiltsville in Biscayne Bay, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 10 a.m. and an open invitation to the art-loving public to attend the historic event.
Boasting a bevy of marquee exhibits by international names, soaring hanging gardens, soothing bay breezes, and 200,000 square feet of exhibition space and more than 500 artworks on display, PAMM is set to dazzle not only Miami but also the nearly 50,000 visiting arts glitterati in town for the 12th edition of Art Basel Miami Beach this week.
Topping the bill is “Ai Weiwei: According to What?,” the first major international survey of the influential Chinese art star’s career. It boasts work from the past two decades, ranging from photography to the large-scale sculptures that have made him a household name.
Also on deck for PAMM’s colossal debut is “Amelia Peláez: The Craft of Modernity,” a focused review of one of the most important Cuban painters of the modernist era, and “Americana,” a long-running showcase of artwork culled from PAMM’s permanent collection. The latter features works produced by artists from North, South, and Central America and the Caribbean displayed thematically over two of the museum’s floors.
In keeping with our town’s multiculti spirit, PAMM is also showcasing four site-specific installations by its first group of resident artists — Morocco’s Bouchra Khalili, Israel’s Yael Bartana, Poland’s Monika Sosnowska, and Hew Locke, a British artist of Guyanese descent — who have been working on their project for the past year.
Locke’s installation, For Those in Peril on the Sea, suspended from the ceiling at the gorgeous new museum, comprises a flotilla of tiny boats dangling over visitors’ heads. It evokes both the surf inexorably lapping against the shore not far away and the waves of immigrants who forged Miami into a distinctly unique place.
Dec. 4-8, 10 a.m., 2013