Art Basel

Hairy monsters, Christo and other Miami museum happenings during Art Basel week

Made in Italy, at the Wolfsonian.
Made in Italy, at the Wolfsonian.

Miami’s museums and art spaces bring out their best for Art Week. If you can’t catch all of these now, don’t fret: Many are on display through the holidays.

See them now

  • ArtCenter/South Florida: “Parallels and Peripheries”

This is the first in a series, this time featuring eight women artists who are reacting in real-time to the rapidly changing social, political and histories of those on the “peripheries,” working to move the minority and disadvantaged communities from the outer boundaries of the artistic world to the “center.” In a sense, rewriting the narratives and myths of the past to fit with the future; through Dec. 16. At 924 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach; 305-674-8278;

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  • Coral Gables Museum: “Kindred Spirits: Ten Artists by the Hudson”

We have seen plenty of shows from Cubans, Miamians and from the island, but the Gables museum decided to take a very different look at Cuban artists: those who have lived and worked along the Hudson River in New Jersey. That there is such a group may come as a surprise to many, but also that the first arrivals landed in the mid-19th century. Although the museum points out that they do not make up a “school,” the artists – living and gone — do share a homeland and cultural ties that show through in the works, and are indeed part of the Cuban diaspora dialogue; through Dec. 9. At 285 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables; 305-603-8067’ ,

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  • Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden: The NightGarden

Okay, so this isn’t a traditional fine-arts exhibit, but what a show it is. Outdoors in the luscious grounds of Fairchild, The NightGarden is an illuminated fantasy, where things like the Wise Talking Tree and Flying Fairies come to life. In its inaugural year, this garden will also feature holographic butterflies and “floating” orchids through special effects, motion-sensing technology and illuminated mazes; through Jan. 6. At 10901 Old Cutler Road, Coral Gables; 305-677-1651.

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  • HistoryMiami: Miami Street Photography Festival

For a few short days during Art Week, HistoryMiami will showcase various street photography exhibitions and public programs. The broad range of works include professional and emerging photographers in the street art genre. The festival’s core mission is an international street photography competition, which receives thousands of submissions from more than 45 countries — HistoryMiami will display the 100 finalists, selected by a panel of judges. The museum will also exhibit the finalists of the Miami Photo Series competition for street photography series depicting life in the Miami area; Dec. 6 through 9;


    Beyond December

  • The Bass : “The Haas Brothers: Ferngully”

The Haas Brothers are a perfect fit for the Bass, mingling art with design but ending up with decidedly unfunctional forms. They use beads, ceramics, blown glass, woven tree trunks and copper leaves to come up with whimsical sculptures that look like hairy monsters, strange mushroom sprouts, sofas that have insect-like legs and faces, a carpeted floor that resembles that of a forest — they are clearly man-made, but inspired by nature’s own creations. Dec. 5 through April 21. At 2100 Collins Ave., Miami Beach. 305-673-7530;

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  • Frost Art Museum FIU: “Relational Undercurrents”

The islands to the south that make up the Caribbean are some of the most geographically and ethnically diverse places on earth, and Miami has always had a close connection — physically and historically — to what happens there. So it’s no surprise that we have hosted numerous exhibits highlighting the art of the region. But none has been so comprehensive in showing the wide breadth of contemporary expression as this one at the Frost. With 67 artists working in painting, video, photography and performance art, it underscores not just the uniqueness of the Caribbean experience, but also its universality — a place impacted by migration and race, by climate change and ecological devastation. Divided in four parts that reflect these commonalities, the vivid and fresh artworks “map” a new world. Through Jan. 16. At 10975 SW 17th St., Miami; 305-348-2890;

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  • Institute of Contemporary Art: “Judy Chicago: A Reckoning”

If there is one show not to be missed, this is it. Chicago has been forging a pathway for women in modern and contemporary art since the early 1960s, and the museum has gathered together here examples from four decades and six series of works that guide us through her ground-breaking feminist journey. There are geometric square sculptures from 1965, later more figurative paintings and samples of her seminal Birth Project, where she counteracts the classic — and usually male – depictions of female nudes with scenes of birthing. The prolific artist also played gender roles off each other with the materials she used, from needlepoint and embroidery to car-hood painting. Chicago’s work is all the more worth seeing as women again are trying to say “MeToo;” through April 21. At 61 NE 41st St., Miami Design District; 305-901-5272 (While you’re there, check out the rave-worthy show of technology-inflused works by Larry Bell.)

Judy Chicago, Earth Birth, 1983. Sprayed Versatex and DMC floss on fabric. Collection of Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn and Nicolas Rohatyn.jpg
Judy Chicago, Earth Birth, 1983. Sprayed Versatex and DMC floss on fabric. Collection of Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn and Nicolas Rohatyn. þ
  • Jewish Museum of Florida – FIU: “The Art of the Lithograph”

Don’t let the word “lithograph” stop you. The works from Marc Chagall, Alexander Calder, Jim Dine, Roy Lichtenstein, Camille Pissarro and others reveal the history of the fascinating and ages-old lithographic process, from the use of stones to computer print making. Through the striking lithographs the visitor can see the diversity of the practice, and the step-by-step process of what it takes to make a lithograph; through March 3;

  • Lowe Art Museum: “Stone Levity — Small Sculptures by Del Geist”

Known as an environmental artist, Geist has made site-specific public sculptures from England to Papua New Guinea , Berlin to Miami, using materials and the natural landscapes familiar to each location as the basis of his work. Geist wants his pieces to be multi-sensory, engaging the viewer not just with the art itself but with the environment in which it was formed. He also made small-scale sculptures that reflect the history and geology of the particular place, examples of which are the highlight of “Stone Levity;” through Aug. 26. At University of Miami, 1301 Stanford Dr., Coral Gables; 305-284-5587;

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    Margulies Collection at the Warehouse: New Installations

The Margulies Collection is known around the world for its contemporary large-scale installations, and this year they have added more to it — along with an additional 5,000 square feet of space. The new acquisitions include work from Gilles Barbier, Paola Pivi, and Kishio Suga, along with a spell-binding sculptural video from Cate Giordano. She films vignettes of her in various cross-dressing attire, to recreate what she says is “a grotesque Americana, one influenced by faded icons, soap-opera folklore, and daily banalities;” through April. At 591 NW 27th Street, Wynwood; 305-576-1051;

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  • MDC Museum of Art & Design: SUPERFLEX “We Are All in the Same Boat”

The programming this year at MDC’s Museum of Art and Design under its new director has been risk-taking and unique — art that addresses social issues and promotes community activism, without being predictable or cliched. And the latest is no exception, the first U.S. exhibit from the Danish collective SUPERFLEX, which combines video, sculptures and installation that begs Miamians to look closely at the world we are inhabiting, as ground zero for the impact of sea rise, water pollution, migration.

The works have been specifically chosen to reflect the history and future of Miami, with some new pieces debuting. But the Danes don’t exclude the rest of the globe from this examination and quest for solutions — we are all in the same boat; through April 21. At 600 Biscayne Blvd, Miami; 305-237-7700;

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Kwassa Kwass 2015 Courtesy of Superflex
  • Museum of Contemporary Art: “AFRICOBRA: Messages to the People”

2018 is the 50th anniversary of one of the innovators of the Black Arts Movement, the AFRICOBRA collective that was birthed in Chicago in 1968. The artists’ output defined a black aesthetic that would become familiar and part of the mainstream — the gestural markings, the bright color schemes, the distinctive textile designs, the expressive and positive depiction of black people and power. The exhibit focuses on 10 artists, both men and women, and their philosophy, as well as artworks from 1968-1973; through April 7. At 770 NE 125th St., North Miami; 305-893-6211;

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  • NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale: “William J. Glackens and Pierre-Auguste Renoir: Affinities and Distinctions”

The turn-of-the-last-century American painter Glackens was determined to bring new European aesthetics across the Atlantic, in particular that of Renoir. The exhibit brings together 25 works by each artist that reveal Renoir’s influence on Glackens’ development, and his response to Renoir’s late work, as well as that of other important European modernists. A refreshing break from the contemporary emphasis here in Miami, this exhibit also lets us in on the history of taste in American art and collecting from the late-19th to the mid-20th century; through May 18. At 1 E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale; 954-525-5500;

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  • Perez Art Museum Miami: “Christo and Jeanne-Claude: Surrounded Islands 1980-1983, A Documentary Exhibition

Who knew that eye-popping pink fabric wrapped around uninhabited islands in Biscayne Bay 35 years ago would transform Miami? But it did. The eclectic duo’s “Surrounded Islands” reshaped the art world’s view of Miami as a place offering much more than a vacation weekend, and heralded a new era when Miami grew into a major cultural center. Through drawings, photographs, historical documents and more the exhibit takes us through the creation of the daunting but eventually monumental and internationally consequential public art project. Through Feb. 17. At 1103 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; 305-375-3000;

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  • Rubell Family Collection: “Purvis Young”

Miami has produced notable artists for decades now, but no one quite compares to Purvis Young. The self-taught artist from Overtown made pieces that blended collage, painting and found objects from his urban neighborhood that told the stories of African Americans of the South, in vivid and captivating imagery. Born in 1943, he died in 2010 in the city he depicted and never left. The Rubells are featuring 100 of these amazing works covering all of the first floor, so the viewer can follow his home-grown tales in detail; through June 29. At 95 NW 29th Street, Wynwood, 305 573-6090,

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  • Wolfsonian-FIU: “Made in Italy: MITA Textile Design 1926–1976”

If there was any doubt that Italians have always been in the forefront of classy design, textile production and handicrafts, let the Wolfsonian reassure you. An Italian firm, MITA, founded in 1926 in Genoa would perfect some of these elements, specializing in carpets, tapestries, and other textiles and collaborating with some of Italy’s most prominent artists and designers to create industrial-age pieces inspired by modernist aesthetic trends. After WW II, MITA productions started to incorporate abstract and figurative patterns, which could be found on newly fashionable cruise lines and international fairs. In conjunction with its Italian counterparts, the museum is highlighting some of these influential and exceptional works; through April 28. At 1001 Washington Ave., Miami Beach; 305-531-1001;

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Lynton Gardiner
  • Wynwood Walls: It Is Beyond Words

The walls at Wynwood are not just one of the most popular attractions during Art Week in December, they are a major draw for visitors and locals alike year round. Famous muralists and artists that have made Wynwood Walls one of the most popular include Kenny Scharf, Retna, Ron English, Shepard Fairey, Swoon and The London Police to name a few. This year new wall art will come from the hands of street artists from the United States, Portugal, Norway, Japan, Spain and Canada. Although there is programming during the Art Basel week, anyone can stop by at almost any time to take in the plethora of colors and imagery that this amazing section of the city has to offer. At 2520 NW Second Avenue;

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