Several photographers are featured here who focus on abandoned spaces, and people. There are empty ghost towns in South Africa, and barely habitable shacks in Manila. And in a strange, remarkable image, a tiny house is pictured in unreal light, in the middle of a road as it presumably is moved to a more hospitable place. It comes from Gregory Crewdson, who is known for his elaborate, staged imagery. In one series, some very poor and unhappy Japanese children are photographed in black and white, while in another grouping, a bear is contemplating spilled milk in a dilapidated house.
But let there be some light, which comes from the mirror, neon and video sculptures. Jason Rhoades is represented by a neon piece called Shelf, which is a stacking of various neon signs and lit-up phrases. There is also a great neon wheelbarrow sculpture from the up-and-coming Ivan Navarro, who recently had a solo show at the Frost Museum and who was prominently displayed at Art Basel Miami Beach.
At the warehouse on this particular Saturday, visitors were confused and then amused by Elevator Pitch 2011, from Argentine Leandro Erlich. Accompanied by the ubiquitous ping of an elevator door opening, we look directly at Japanese workers riding up and down, then the doors close. It is so realistic that people walked over to get on the elevator themselves, only to find it is a video.
By far the lightest and happiest piece has been erected by one of the most interesting artists today, Olafur Eliasson. Open the door and walk up to the roof, surrounded by mirrors and light that make the world seem bright and endless.
Although the massive warehouse space can exhibit massive sculptures – and does — nothing can compare to the 42 tons of stone, three rocks from the Cascade Mountains, from Michael Heizer. They are still spotted with the natural debris from their original resting places. In fact, some of the sculptures would look and feel better outside in wide-open spaces, one drawback to the exhibit.
Another is the lack of local art, which is true with most all the private collections. This year, sculpture Miami’s Ralph Provisero has a wood work hanging upstairs, layered planks made from soapstone, cedar and graphite that still reveal their knot holes and other imperfections. It would be nice to see more from Miami. But then, Margulies and Hinds want to show off what’s best, from wherever it emanates. For those interested in the power of composition, in form and frame, this one is hard to beat.