Art Basel

During Miami Art Week, these are must-see exhibits

Theo Jansen demonstrates his Strandbeests on Miami Beach for Art Basel.
Theo Jansen demonstrates his Strandbeests on Miami Beach for Art Basel. MIAMI HERALD STAFF

With so much art around South Florida this week, seeing it all would be impossible even for the most fervent art lover. The veteran Miami Art Week team of Siobhan Morrissey, Jordan Levin, Ricardo Mor, Ina Cordle, Anne Tschida and Jane Wooldridge suggest you start with these. Good news: A few of our favorites last beyond the week.

▪ Mana Miami: Mana Contemporary, the giant hybrid artist space and community in New Jersey, has opened its Miami space with a literally Monumental show of giant-sized artworks in the colossal former warehouse they own in the heart of Wynwood. Heavy on ’80s generation artists such as Julian Schnabel, Francesco Clemente and David Salle, Mana Monumental also includes Mana executive director Eugene Lemay’s Nights in Beirut, with a small army of miniature soldiers in yellow sand evoking his experience in the Israeli army during the 1982 war with Lebanon. Even the giant paintings and sculptures on view looked small in the sweeping space, which is exhilarating in itself. 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.- 5 p.m. Sunday. 318 NW 23rd St., Wynwood. Tickets: $20 adults; $15 seniors and students; free under 10.

▪ Shen Wei performance: Shen Wei’s paintings in Black, White & Grey seem full of movement, an effect that is magnified in the hypnotic dance he has created for his troupe Shen Wei Dance Arts. The 12 dancers swirl slowly through the Freedom Tower exhibit like a gracefully morphing organism, their movements echoing the paintings to draw their energy right off the wall. This weekend is the last and only chance to see dance and paintings together. 1 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday, 1 p.m. Sunday; MDC Museum of Art + Design, The Freedom Tower at MDC, 600 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; limited admission on a stand-by/first come basis. Free.

▪ Galerie Gmurzynska, Art Basel Miami Beach: To celebrate its 50th year in business, this highly regarded Zurich-based gallery created “A Kid Could Do That,” echoing an oft-heard comment at art events, to help fairgoers appreciate the breakthroughs in modern art that now look so familiar but in their respective times presented radical departures. The booth brings together 20th century masterworks by Joan Miro, Kazimir Malevich, Wifredo Lam, Cy Twombly, Francis Bacon and others in a “school room.” A specially made film by Baz Luhrmann and Catherine Martin incorporates an original video of the Ballet Russes de Monte Carlo in which a Miro painting is used in the set. Booth B2, Art Basel Miami Beach, Miami Beach Convention Center, 1901 Convention Center Dr., Miami Beach. noon-8 p.m. Saturday, noon-6 p.m. Sunday. One-day ticket $45 adults, $30 students and seniors.

▪ Damien Hirst’s Love Remembered: Difficult to photograph, but spectacular to see, Damien Hirst’s massive mirrored medical “cabinet” of painstakingly placed pills adds another verse to the artist’s running commentary on the dark side of life’s meaning — or lack thereof. White Cube, booth L9, at Art Basel Miami Beach.

▪ Justin Beal and Justin Willenbring: If you missed their “Exhaustion” exhibition at Locust Projects earlier this year, you can catch a condensed version of the show at the Design District nonprofit’s booth at NADA at the Deauville Hotel. The exhibit combines graphic design and sculpture to create sensual yet playful works that walk a narrow line between art and design objects. NADA, the Deauville Beach Resort, 6701 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. Free.

▪ Nick Cave’s Hustle Coat: Chicago-based artist Nick Cave is best known for his otherwordly fabric sculptures known as Soundsuits. His newest body of work are “hustle coats,” such as the trench lined with jewels. Priced at $60,000, the Hustle Coat at the booth of Jack Shainman sold within the first minutes of the VIP Wednesday opening of Art Basel Miami Beach, Shainman said. See it before it goes to its new home. Booth B21, Art Basel Miami Beach.

▪ Ephemera: Commissioned by champagne house Perrier-Jouët, this installation by mischer’traxler explores the relationship between man and nature. Most intriguing is a tabletop ‘garden’ that folds flat when people approach and “rises” as they move away to a “respectful” distance. At Design Miami/, Meridian Avenue and 19th Street, adjacent to the Miami Beach Convention Center. Hours: noon-8 p.m. Saturday, noon-6 p.m. Sunday. Tickets: $25; designmiami.com.

▪ Strandbeest: In their initial U.S. showing, Dutch artist Theo Jansen’s dinosaur-sized mechanical sculptures are drawing crowds on the sand behind Miami Beach’s W Hotel. The ungainly exoskeletal sculptures of PCV pipe and twist ties reveal a hidden grace as the wind propels them in a determined march along sugar sand. Demonstrations are offered twice daily, courtesy of Swiss watchmaker Audemars Piguet and the Peabody Essex Museum. On the beach off Collins Avenue at 21st and 22nd streets, daily at 10:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Free.

▪ Frederico Solmi’s video paintings: Solmi’s trio of video paintings are haunting and cynical. You may find yourself mezmerized by the moving caricatures, The Last President of the United States, The Next President of the United States, and The Wall Street Tycoon. At Galerie Anita Beckers, Booth B1, Art Miami, 3101 NE First Ave., Midtown. 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday. Tickets: $35.

Beyond Basel week

▪ Art Public: In its fourth year, Public has become one of the highlights of Art Basel, as well it should. These outdoor and often interactive sculptures are free and open to the public, with artworks from some of the best sculptors the world over placed around the revamped Collins Park between the ocean and the Bass Museum. This year’s highlights include a playful giant yellow lamplight from Barthélémy Togo, a reflective glass walk-about installation from Jeppe Hein and a bronze from Georg Baselitz. Twenty-six artists in all make this a great place to hang and feel comfortable with art — both day and night, when the sun goes down and the lights come up, it’s maybe more magical. Through March at Collins Park, 2100 Collins Ave., Miami Beach. Free.

▪ “One Way: Peter Marino”: With the help of curator Jerome Sans, style-setting architect and artist Peter Marino — perhaps best know for his edgy luxury retail concepts for brands including Chanel and Louis Vuitton — has brought together works from his personal art collection (including Damien Hirst, Andy Warhol and Richard Serra), commissioned specifically for the show from artists including Gregor Hildebrandt and Farhad Moshiri, and his own creations. The result is a truly unique confluence of art, pop culture and fashion, including sometimes arresting images of the leather-clad Marino and a recreation of Christophe Willibald Gluck’s opera Orfeo ed Euridice. Don’t miss the chance to check out Renaissance bronzes next to Robert Mapplethorpe photos in a room clad with black eel. Parental discretion advised. Through March 29 at the Bass Museum of Art, 2100 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, $8 adults, $6 seniors and students with I.D.; free under 6.

▪ Rubell Family Collection: To celebrate their 50th anniversary, Don and Mera Rubell have installed new art on the first floor of their Wynwood warehouse museum, including works by Lucy Dodd and Aaron Curry. Upstairs is a spectacular retrospective of key works from the collection, “To Have and To Hold,” including works by Cindy Sherman, Mark Handforth, Jeff Koons and Rashid Johnson. Don’t miss the Cady Nolan “Bud” installation. Through May 29; 95 NW 29th St., 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

▪ Art Store: After Miami’s iconic Pearl Paint closed earlier this year, Barry Fellman tracked down the displays and goods, which had gone to Texas, to create this installation designed to pay homage to the art community icon, which provided artists with their canvas, paint and brushes from 1933 to closing. The installation also underscores the shortage of art supplies and resources available to children in the wake of budget cuts. Donations collected at the exhibit go to Miami-based Arts for Learning. Through February at the Center for Visual Arts, also noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, 541 NW 27th Street; free.

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