THE NEW RUBELL
In 1993, the pioneering private collection of the Rubell family opened to the public tin 1993 in what was then gritty Wynwood. This year, on Dec. 4, it will re-emerge as the Rubell Museum, a 100,000 square-foot campus featuring many of Rubell’s 7,000-plus works from 1,000 artists opens in its new home in Allapattah. Throughout their years of world-wide travel to studios, galleries, museums and fairs, the Rubells have sought out overlooked artists and those early in their careers. They were among the first to to acquire works by Jean-Michel Basquiat, Cecily Brown, Keith Haring, Rashid Johnson, Jeff Koons, William Kentridge, Yoshitomo Nara, Cindy Sherman and Mickalene Thomas, among others. The Rubells are hoping that in their new digs, they will be expanding the notion of what museums can be for a community by building an “art eco-system” that spreads beyond white-cube walls.
Nearby, check out the new public art space from museum namesake and mega-developer Jorge Pérez opening the same week.
Rubell Museum, 1100 Northwest 23rd Street, Miami; rfc.museum.
TERESITA FERNANDEZ, GEORGE SEGAL AT PAMM
Miami’s public museum indulges us with two heavy hitters this upcoming season. To start (Oct. 18-Feb.9), “Elemental” will showcase more than 50 works from Miami native Teresita Fernandez. Included in this retrospective are large-scale installations and sculptures from the mid-1990s onward — pieces such as the thousands of silk threads forming a flame-pattern in ‘Fire” to the evocatively-titled “Charred Landscape,” referencing the elements of a world scarred by climate change. Unveiling on Nov. 22 (and running through July 6), the museum unveils the great contemporary sculptor George Segal’s restored “Abraham’s Farewell to Ishmael,” whose life-size subjects tell the wrenching tale of the Biblical Abraham reluctantly banishing his mistress Hagar and son Ishmael to roam the desert. (Thus came the split between the Arab and Jewish worlds).
Perez Art Museum Miami, 1103 Biscayne Blvd., downtown Miami; pamm.org
CECILIA VICUNA AT MOCA
Words don’t truly describe the multi-disciplinary compositions of Chilean artist Cecilia Vicuña’s beautiful and complex, room-size installations. Over 40 years she has woven together various materials – often discarded objects and textiles — in conceptual art and poetry as she has explored displaced peoples, corroded lands and seas. Often the works are tied to feminist theories and forms. The works have been both performed and exhibited in such august venues as Documenta 14, the Tate London and the Whitney Museum in New York Locally art lovers can see the work in the show “Cecilia Vicuña:About to Happen” from Dec. 2 through March 29, 2020.
Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami, 770 NE 125th St, North Miami; mocanomi.org
OOLITE ARTS: “ON THE ROAD II”
Inspired by Jack Kerouac’s iconic Beat novel, curator Larry Ossei-Mensah has circled the globe seeking out artists who, like the author, explore issues of mobility, freedom and identity during times of political and social change. In this second iteration (the first exhibit was held in Brooklyn), Ossei-Mensah focused on artists from Detroit and Miami, two cities whose music, languages, demographics and art reflect the transformative moments in which they find themsleves. To better understand both present and future, fhe curator asks: “ how [are] artists participating in, responding to, or questioning their immediate environment?” The answers appear before your eyes. From Oct. 16 through Dec. 15.
The Wolfsonian-FIU: “A Universe of Things: Micky Wolfson Collects”
With stained-glass windows, paintings, prints, posters and books, mostly from the first part of the 20th century, the Wolfsonian-FIU has gathered a collection that is unique in the country. The pieces that have been grouped together for exhibits and scholarly purposes reflect the singular vision of Mitchell “Micky” Wolfson. For three decades, the collector and world traveler has amassed ephemera that speak to design, culture and propaganda — a message that seems prescient in the current age. What better time to mark “A Universe of Things:; Micky Wolfson Collects” than on the occasion of his 80th birthday? The exhibition features his vision with favorite items and rarely-shown works. Opening Nov. 15 and running for a year.
Wolfsonian-FIU, 1001 Washington Ave., Miami Beach; wolfsonian.org
LARA FAVORETTO, MICKALENE THOMAS AT THE BASS
Two women who work in different contemporary expressions are featured in separate exhibits at The Bass.
Favaretto creates paintings, sculptures and installations that can be both somewhat playful but often play with the idea of a world in constant flux. “Blind Spot” includes recent and older pieces, such as “The Library,” with 2,200 donated books about the Italian artist’s practice, a sort of retrospective in pages. A site-specific work commissioned for the museum, “Gummo IV” is comprised of five automated car-wash brushes that eventually wear themselves down (Dec. 1 through April 19).
Photographer Mickalene Thomas’s “Better Nights” is an immersive installation loosely based on a 1970s play performed by her mother and family. It’s an apartment reconstructed with the décor of that decade (faux wood paneling, wallpaper, you remember) and adorned with the artist’s own work and other pieces from people of color. The installation will host performances, DJs, and a live bar at various times. Hang on for quite a gallery ride! (Dec. 1 through Sept. 27).
The Bass, 2100 Collins Ave, Miami Beach; thebass.org
STERLING RUBY AT ICA
The Sterling Ruby survey at the Institute of Contemporary Art - Miami spans 75 works and two-decades of the American-Dutch artist, who delves heavily into craft forms – such as ceramics – and combines disparate elements. His goal: to highlight American traditions, such as Amish-quilting, and also express modern tensions between masculinity and violence, urban living and defacement. Much of Ruby’s interest in this “cultural archeology,” stems from his upbringing in Pennsylvania Dutch Country and his early years as a construction worker (Nov. 7 through Feb 2).
Institute of Contemporary Art - Miami, 61 NE 41st St, Miami Design District; icamiami.org
MARGULIES AT 20
It was 20 years ago that that Martin Margulies opened up his extensive collection to the public in a Wynwood warehouse, becoming one of Miami’s foremost art destinations. With a strong emphasis on sculpture, the Warehouse has exhibited some of the top art created in the 20th and 21st centuries, including many pieces fashioned in “newer” forms such as video and installation. This anniversary year, Margulies will be bringing out its crème of the crop, including works by Tony Ousler, Willem de Kooning, Anselm Kiefer, Cindy Sherman, Isamu Noguchi, Erwin Wurm, Jennifer Steinkamp and so many others. Makes your mouth water.
The exhibit,”Can It Really be 20 Years Already?” will be accompanied by a two-volume book highlighting all the artists who have found a home with Margulies since 1999. Opening Oct. 29 and running through the spring 2020.
Margulies Collection at the Warehouse, 591 NW 27th St, Wynwood, Miami; margulieswarehouse.com
AFTER STONEWALL, AT THE FROST
The 1969 Stonewall riots in New York city changed the gay world forever; though birthed in violence, the struggle that ensued gave lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered and queer (LGBTQ) people rights never imagined before. Coinciding with this ground-breaking event, the Frost has brought in a huge exhibit, “Art After Stonewall, 1969-1989, with more than 200 works.” The presentation underscores the impact the LGBTQ movement had on visual culture, including performance, film, photography, painting, film and other genres. According to Jordana Pomeroy, the Director of the Frost Art Museum, “The exhibition acknowledges the guts and grit of these artists, gay and straight, to make declarative and public visual statements about gender and sexuality in a predominantly homophobic world.” From Sept. 14 through Jan. 5, 2020.
Patricia & Philip Frost Art Museum-Florida International University, 10975 SW 17th St, Miami; frost.fiu.edu.
DIAGO AT THE LOWE
Lowe Art Museum: “DIAGO: The Pasts of this Afro-Cuban Present”
Juan Roberto Diago, who represented Cuba in the 1997 Venice Biennale, has long been consumed by themes of identity, in particular his view of potent Cuban historical revisionism when it comes to race. Through his visual language of graffiti art, Diago challenges the official account of a Cuban society forged in racial harmony by presenting a past built on pain, rape, greed and the enslavement of millions of displaced Africans. As “DIAGO: The Pasts of this Afro-Cuban Present” demonstrates, it’s a story still affecting Cuba today. Diago’s quest is to construct new pasts that can explain the current condition. From Oct. 24 through Jan. 19, 2020.
If you can get to the museum a few days early, you can catch up on emerging Cuban-heritage artists when the Lowe hosts an exhibition showcasing the finalists in the 2019 CINTAS Foundation Awards for artists of Cuban descent in design and architecture, creative writing, music and visual arts. Previous fellows have included Teresita Fernandez and Jose Bedia. Oct. 5-13.
Lowe Art Museum - University of Miami, 1301 Stanford Drive, Coral Gables; lowe.miami.edu