Friday, January 13, 2012

Side shows

Art Basel Miami Beach Fair is also about all the side shows. A visit of the Wyndwood Art District is a must.
With limited time, one has to be selective. The oldest fair, Art Miami is located in the District, with Red Dot and and Pulse across in temporary tents.

For the occasion, the neighborhood is transformed into a giant parking lot and local artists are creating a festive atmosphere with music and performers. However, the decorations along the streets cannot hide the blight of the neighborhood, a conglomerate of soulless buildings surrounded by overgrown grass. The graffiti which have generated so much publicity for the area can be seen when driving by, they appear rehearsed and lack spontaneity.

The highlight of the day was the visit of the Margulies Collection. Arriving in front of the building, I thought the GPS had gone crazy...but, first surprise, the graceless warehouse with a few wood benches in front, right across a footwear and human hair/beauty supply center, on this abandonned street was it. More was to come going through the door. De Kooning's giant sculpture "Seated Woman" was standing at the entrance, tormented, loud against the white anonymous wall. Being able to measure the sculpture and feel the physical presence of such a work is an experience that no other venue could provide.

The wide space in the main area allowed the display of gigantic sculptures, giving them their full impact, like pieces from Donald Judd, George Segal, Frank Stella, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Tony Smith, which found a volume for their sizes. The second floor, like a mezzanine allowed a skyview of some of the works and more displays like "Home Sweet Home, 2004, from Ronald Moran, "To Be Titled", 2005, from Jacqueline Humphries among others. A sizable area is also reserved for works from local artists, still unknown.

A small fee was collected at the entrance to support a local women shelter.

A great collection which includes 4500 works of art...

photographs by the author:

"Seated Woman" de Kooning, 1969-1981

"Bene Come il Sale" Frank Stella, 1984-85

"Untitled" Donald Judd, 1979

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