ML - Maison & Objet Americas

Maison & Objet Americas - 2016 - Issue 1


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m a i s o n - o b j e t. c o m 75 above, from top: A detail of a Roman mosaic, from the exhibit "Predators and Prey" at the Frost Art Museum; a silver disk from Peru, part of "Kay Pacha" at the Lowe Museum; The Dream of the Princess (2016) by Marielle Plaisir, from an exhibit of her work at MOCA. opposite page: Untitled (1987) by John Miller, from "I Stand, I Fall" at ICA Miami. More than a decade ago, art Basel in MiaMi Beach attracted international art dealers and collectors to a community known mostly for sun, sand, surf, and a glittering lifestyle. Today, largely due to the efforts of Miami's private (and philanthropic) collectors, combined with the work of dedicated museum cura- tors, the area has become a crucible of culture. "The art scene is so dynamic," says Jill Deupi, director and chief curator of the Lowe Art Museum. "It extends way beyond Art Basel and one week in December." Distinctive design and art neighborhoods abound. The Wynwood Art District has dozens of galleries and private museums and features the now-famous Wynwood Walls. The Design District will soon be home to the Institute of Contemporary Art, in a stunning building designed by the Spanish firm Aranguren + Gallegos Arquitectos. Meanwhile, local artists and a handful of galleries, enticed by lower rents, are establishing new art neighborhoods in Little Haiti and the warehouses of the Little River Business District. At the heart of it all are Miami's museums, both private and public, which are constantly adding to their holdings and attracting highly talented staffs of professionals. In recent months alone, Franklin Sirmans was lured away from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art to become the director of Pérez Art Museum Miami, while Ellen Salpeter left New York's Jewish Museum to helm the Institute of Contemporary Art. "Miami is a special place," says Deupi, a Connecticut transplant. "It's cosmopolitan and international—and very exhilarating." PÉREZ ART MUSEUM MIAMI Formerly the Miami Art Museum, Pérez Art Museum Miami changed its name and moved into a dynamic new facility in 2013 when the real-estate mogul Jorge M. Pérez donated $20 million in cash and $20 million worth of art from his private collection of Latin American works. With its lush hanging gardens, 120,000 square feet of interior space, and special architectural details, PAMM is the keystone of the triumvirate of museums that give downtown Miami's Museum Park its name. PAMM recently tapped Franklin Sirmans, a highly respected art critic and former curator of contemporary art at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, to be its new director. ("He's a rock star," said one board member.) Noted for an exhibition program that focuses on local public art and its history, Sirmans told The Miami Herald , "We all know that there's a lot of incredible art in Miami, and the museum can be that central spot where everybody can come together and talk about these things." Must see: The Michele Oka Doner exhibition "How I Caught a Swallow in Mid-Air," organized by Thom Collins, PAMM's former director and now president of the Barnes Foundation. The show features Oka Doner's functional designs, ceramics, and works on paper, including the stunning cyanotype print that inspired the exhibit's title. The Miami native's work is also on display at Miami International Airport, where she designed the floors, using local flora as her inspiration. 1103 Biscayne Blvd., Miami, 305-375-3000; THE WOLFSONIAN—FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL UNIVERSITY Located in Miami's Art Deco district, the Wolfsonian documents the persuasive power of art and design through its extensive collection of rare books, graphic arts, glass, and furniture, from the Industrial Revolution to the end of World War II. Must see: As commercial flights from the US to Cuba resume, "Promising Paradise: Cuban Allure, American Seduction" explores the quixotic relationship between the two countries from 1919 to 1959. "In this period, there was a tremendous cultural exchange," explains Francis Luca, chief librarian of the Wolfsonian and cocurator of the exhibition. The show—based largely on a collection assembled and donated by Vicki Gold Levi—includes a look at the first major wave of tourism to Cuba, when America's elite flocked there to escape Prohibition. Postcards, advertisements, and photography chronicle the high life. Later, celebrities from the US—Tony Bennett, Marlon Brando, Spencer Tracy—worked and played there, casting a spell on the American middle class. "It was spring break for adults," says Luca, a holiday frozen by the Cuban missile crisis in 1959. 1001 Washington Ave., Miami Beach, 305-531-1001; PATRICIA & PHILLIP FROST ART MUSEUM—FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL UNIVERSITY Since debuting in 2008 in its dramatic 46,000-square-foot structure, designed by Yann Weymouth of the archi- tectural firm HOK, the Frost Art Museum has become an essential part of Miami's growing arts community. Outside, it boasts a sprawling sculpture park; inside, the galleries are bathed in natural light, thanks to archi- tectural "petals" that scatter sunlight. Its collection includes American and European prints from the 1960s and '70s as well as photography and works by contemporary Caribbean and Latin American artists.

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