May 24, 2017
By Brett Sokol | May 8, 2017 | Culture
South Florida's art museum bring the heat this summer with an array of sizzling new shows.
Juan Carlos Alom, Nacidos para ser libres (Born to be free), 2012 (detail), at PAMM.
Summer may be known as the slow season for Miami’s art world, but you wouldn’t guess it from the stellar lineup of exhibitions unfolding all over town. Come June, art aficionados will be buzzing with anticipation for the opening of “On the Horizon: Contemporary Cuban Art from the Jorge M. Pérez Collection” at Pérez Art Museum Miami, showcasing more than 160 works recently donated by the museum’s namesake. The exhibit is noteworthy not only for its comprehensive look at the island’s rich artistic history, but also for its generational mixing.
Cuban exiles, Cuban Americans born here to exiled parents, and artists still working in Cuba will all be featured side by side—with young talents reared in Miami, like the painter Hernan Bas, sharing space with Havana-based artists, such as the sculptor Kcho. Expect a heated dialogue, both on the walls of the museum—between artworks each staking their aesthetic claim to cubanidad—and among museum-goers investigating the difference (and similarities) a mere 90 miles can make.
As one door opens, another closes: It’s your last chance to see “Marking the Infinite: Contemporary Women Artists from Aboriginal Australia” at the Patricia and Phillip Frost Art Museum at FIU. Drawing on works owned by Miami collectors Dennis and Debra Scholl, this survey is less an ethnographic study than a full immersion in a dazzling world of abstraction, where the retina-popping patterns often reference social themes no less poignant than those of their contemporary Cuban counterparts over at PAMM.
Just as thoughtful, but with a playful spirit that has come to define his approach to sculpture, Miami’s own Robert Chambers returns with a solo show at the Little Haiti gallery Emerson Dorsch. Expect to see massive metal objects chopped, détourned, and carefully welded back together to startling effect. Keeping the focus on homegrown figures, the HistoryMiami Museum salutes the early-’90s photography of Brenda Ann Kenneally, who roamed through this city’s cultural flotsam and jetsam, capturing an array of offbeat characters for the Miami Herald’s now-defunct magazine Tropic. “Tropical Wildlife: Portraits of Miamians, 1991–1996” promises an overdue look back at a comparatively untamed city.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY JOSE BEDIA/COURTESY OF THE ARTIST AND EL APARTAMENTO, HAVANA (BEDIA); COURTESY OF EMERSON DORSCH,