The Queens Museum of Art’s Fluid Motions sector highlights the significance of water in the region’s history, while Kingdoms of the World about spiritual practices and music and dance traditions, such as carnival.
Kingdoms includes two large sculptures by Miami artist Edouard Duval Carrie and a painting by José Bedia. Both are also represented in the sections at the Studio Museum. Other Miami-based artists with works on display are Colombian Gonzalo Fuenmayor and Cuban Glexis Novoa. Artists who have transited Miami are also included, among them the Nicaraguan master Armando Morales, who spent his final years here, and the German artist Guillermo Wiedermann, who emigrated to Colombia and died in Key Biscayne.
Fittingly for an exhibition aimed at capturing temporal flux, videos are among highlights at all three venues. None better epitomizes the exhibition‘s underlying theme of connections than David Pérez Karmadavis’s untitled video led,” in which a blind Dominican man is carrying a handicapped Haitian woman — image of a hopeful metaphor for relations between those two antagonistic countries. Other standout include Geandy Pavón’s Amnesia: A Portrait of Orlando Zapata, in which the artist uses dextrose and water to recover the dissident’s image, and Eduardo Gil’s eerily silent portrait of baseball star Roberto Clemente.
For those who will miss the New York exhibition, Fuentes hopes to stage a traveling version in a Miami museum.
Miamians will get an introduction to one of the stars of the show sooner than that, however; Ebony Patterson, who divides her time between Jamaica and teaching at the University of Kentucky, will be featured in an exhibition, Six Degrees of Separation, at Florida International University’s Frost Art Museum in the summer of 2013.
Although Patterson is represented in Caribbean Crossroads by a single work in the Shades of History section, it is an attention-grabber. In her mixed media drawing of a young man, Patterson explores what she calls the construction of masculinity in Jamaican pop culture and especially its dance-hall scene.
“I used materials traditionally considered feminine — wall paper and glitter — to measure masculinity,” she says. The stark whiteness of her subject reflects the recent popularity of facial bleaching among men, a cosmetic technique previously employed primarily by women.
Patterson’s materials are reminiscent of Haitian folk art. By design or happy accident, her work is juxtaposed with Duval Carrie’s portrait of General Touissant Louverture, crafted in a similar style. Seen together, they represent the connections between the old and the new, between history and art, in Caribbean culture.