For the last 18 months, The Bass Museum of Art — now known only as The Bass — has undergone a $12 million renovation, nearly doubling its exhibition space, revamping its website and beefing up programming.
On Friday, the contemporary art museum in Miami Beach announced it will officially reopen its new and improved home Dec. 1 during Art Basel with solo exhibits by Ugo Rondinone, Mika Rottenberg and Pascale Marthine-Tayou.
“Our largest attendance at the museum begins with the international visitors for Art Basel and it continues throughout the winter season with our regular members and residents,” said Silvia Karman Cubina, the museum’s executive director and chief curator.
The museum, which was founded in 1964, was expanded in 2001, but Karman Cubina said “the role of museums in communities has changed since then.”
“It used to be that going to a museum was akin to going to church,” she said. “Now museums are places where people gather.”
When the building reopens there will be six galleries, a museum store and a cafe. In spring 2017, a new Creativity Center for education will open.
While the museum is being renovated, programming has continued at the Miami Beach public library with a series of solo shows called bassX.
Meanwhile, museum workers have been busy changing the museum’s name, logo and website and planning the grand reopening. Karman Cubina said she has been watching Rondinone, Rottenberg and Marthine-Tayou for years and decided they exemplified the Bass’ mission in the new renovated space.
“We are very proud to be in a city that is so unbelievable diverse and we want to reflect that in our exhibition,” she said.
Rondinone’s show, “Good Evening Beautiful Blue,” will span the second floor with a trio of mixed-media installations centering around “the sensation of circularity, entropy, passivity and dreaminess,” according to the museum. It will be the first solo museum exhibition in the United States for the Swiss-born, New York-based artist known for his colorful, large-scale public works.
On the main floor, Rottenberg’s self-titled solo exhibit will occupy the large gallery. The Argentinean-born, New York-based video artist’s work “focuses on elucidating the mechanics of late-stage, global capitalism by way of absurd and poetic comparisons,” according to the museum.
Works by Cameroon-born Marthine-Tayou , dubbed “Beautiful,” will be showcased in the newly designed Open Storage gallery. Marthine-Tayou will juxtapose his mixed-media works with objects from The Bass’ permanent historical collection, creating a dialogue between contemporary artworks and those from the past.
“Each of these three artists in their own voice reflects the international and dynamic quality of a city like Miami Beach,” Karman Cubina said.
Reopens: Dec. 1 after an 18-month, $12 million expansion
What: The museum’s permanent collection of ancient objects and historic art is mixed with contemporary works and fashion
Where: 2100 Collins Ave., Miami Beach