Art Wynwood in its sophomore year is far from sophomoric. As its tag line – “international contemporary art fair” – implies, this show emphasizes cutting-edge work fresh from artists’ studios, with enough 20th century masterworks to add balance and depth.
Art Wynwood (a creation of the growing family of shows organized by Art Miami LLC) competes with the Coconut Grove Arts Festival and St. Stephen’s Art Show during Presidents’ Day weekend, but stands apart.
The others are open-air juried shows for individual artists. Art Wynwood attracts galleries to exhibit in a controlled indoor space – a great relief for everyone when the rain god becomes grumpy. It uses the twin 100,000-square-foot tents in Midtown where Art Miami runs concurrently with Art Basel in early December.
Art Wynwood 2013 opened February 14 and runs through February 18. It is located at 3101 NE 1st Avenue. It honors the late Tony Goldman, a real-estate developer who helped to transform a decaying warehouse area into the Wynwood Arts District.
In his memory, Goldman Properties and Art Wynwood commissioned a wraparound installation by Jesse Geller that is suspended above the VIP Lounge, and lenticulars (images that appear to move when viewed from different angles) in the passthroughs between the tents. The lenticulars show original paintings by Aiko, Ron English, Logan Hicks, Futura, Swoon, Kenny Scharf, and How & Nosm.
As was the case last year, Art Wynwood 2013 attracted participating galleries new to Miami, showing works by artists new to the Miami audience. Some of the local and regional galleries also on hand concentrated on new works not yet seen anywhere else.
For example, Zadok Gallery in Wynwood displays Mexican artist Tatiana Parcero’s work, entitled In Her Boudoir (come smell the roses). She photographs her body, then overlays the photos with transparent acetate containing symbolic imagery such as Pre-Columbian Aztec codices, maps of earth and sky, and geometric forms.
Her art explores the body “in ways that reference themes of femininity, identity, and the choices offered by the future rather than the imposed histories of the past,” she says.
"I'm interested in exploring the relationship between the human being and life; between man and earth; between nature and the body; religions, rituals and traditions of diverse cultures are clearly or subtly reflected in the images. With all of these elements I re-invent and recreate visual metaphors."
Color in Nature
Jerald Melberg Gallery in Charlotte, North Carolina, is showing recent works by Charles Basham, an Ohio artist who specializes in vividly-colored landscapes. He wrote in 2009: “My inspiration has always been light and space and my ever-changing response to the medium itself as I draw or paint from someplace familiar (e.g. my father’s farm in Medina, OH) and search for something unfamiliar. The work also functions personally as self-portraits since I am working from familiar grounds, constantly reexamining my personal relationship to the land.”
Basham works in both oil paint and pastels, usually based on plein air (open air) sketches that he transforms into finished works of art in his studio. Although most Floridians haven’t been exposed to his work before, he has exhibited extensively in museum shows and galleries North Carolina, Ohio, and elsewhere.
He was born in Wadsworth, Ohio, and earned bachelor and master’s degrees in fine arts at Kent State University.
Art in Little River
Art pops up in some of the strangest places, including Miami’s Little River neighborhood. Rimonim Art Gallery will hold its formal opening soon at 7500 NE 4th Ct., Suite 103, two blocks west of Biscayne Boulevard and a block south of the 79th Street bridge over Little River.
In anticipation of bringing fine art to this unheralded outpost, Rimonim exhibited at Art Wynwood to attract attention and show off works by the artists it represents. Among them is Beatriz Gerenstein, a Miamian who began her art career as a painter and later switched to sculpture to combine form, volume and color to express her emotions.
“Each and every one of my sculptures has a message. My goal is to create an original piece that is understandable and that moves the spectator. The art I produce allows the viewer to understand that in spite of the apparent chaos around us, we are surrounded by light and sense, everything has a divine order,” she says.
Dancing Since 1911
Forum Gallery, based in New York and Beverly Hills, CA, mounted an Art Wynwood display that was notable for its diversity and eclecticism. Most of the artists in its portfolio are alive and well, but Forum also offers some classic art by “old” masters such as Henri Matisse (1869-1954) and Max Weber (1881-1961).
Spouse Rosalie and I were captivated by a charming little Weber watercolor, The Dancer, painted in 1911. We looked at it and scratched our heads, remarking that we didn’t know the pioneer sociologist Max Weber (1854-1920) was also an artist. He wasn’t.
The artist Max Weber was a Russian émigré who studied at the Pratt Institute and in Paris, and taught at the Art Students League of New York after World War I. He painted The Dancer during his pre-war Cubist period. Later his work took on a more expressionistic style.
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