Art in out of the way places, and some not

We accomplished all of our Monday list goals. It was an easy stroll (rehearsal for the rest of the week) to three different parts of town with the requisite break in between. The morning was an absolute treat, maybe privilege would be a better descriptor. Several hours were spent at a waterfront home filled with an outstanding collection of contemporary art. Here’s snaps of the bay and the house.

Daughter, who recently returned home after ten years away, was impressed equally by the display and the volume of art in the home. Relaxing in the garden was an awesome experience for all of us.

It was time to return home, with a slight detour. The 1 Hotel South Beach hosts Art Week installations like other hotels. Our friends from yesterday’s Progressive Brunch recommended we see it. The Polish artist Basia Goszxynksa’s Rainbow Cave is an immersive construction of plastic bags wedged into a corner between the lobby bar and Habitat restaurant.

Tucked into one end of the cave an evocative sculpture of a whale made from detritus (trash, in other words) filling our oceans is suspended.

Returning to the car, we walked past Collins Park where the annual exhibition of outdoor sculptures was in process of being installed. Our destination was the nearby public library. There, an on-going, unrelated exhibition of silk screens from the library system’s extensive permanent art collection was displayed. Artwork by six artists from the Gitxsan, living in British Columbia filled the small space in our local branch library. Yet another privilege to see such excellent work from the other side of the continent.

Ken W. Mowatt
The Whale Hunt, 1977
Vernon Stephens
Spear Fishing, 1978

Our next destination was … home. Lunch was the ubiquitous Thanksgiving turkey leftovers! In our household, that’s a resounding yum! Saturday night they were transformed into hash with onions, potatoes, and sweet peppers, no recipe needed. I started the early morning by assembling a quick turkey waldorf salad – chopped celery, apples, walnuts, and turkey mixed with pepper, paprika, and mayonnaise (https://www.agardenforthehouse.com/2012/03/three-minute-mayonnaise/). Constant Companion rolled out of bed and ate nearly half of it for breakfast … success!

Eaten, of course, with leftover cranberry sauce

Day Two – Round Two started after much needed lunch and nap breaks. Daughter continued resting. I won’t write about our first truncated stop. The art was nice, but a problem in our climate is mold, toxic to Constant Companion. Another issue during this art time forward period is that the often necessary spiffing up of galleries, i.e. painting, also leaves lots of near lethal off-gassing. Our visit was shortened because of these two situations. Sorry.

Next stop, the aforementioned (see December 2 post) Design District. A feature of our community is the proliferation of private (so-called vanity) museums. In fact, news of two prominent institutions was highlighted in this week’s national press; one has moved out of Wynwood into an immensely enlarged space in another industrial neighborhood. A second has been opened as a way to showcase the collection (on Day Three’s itinerary). Our goal this evening was programs in two other such museums.

The Juan Carlos Maldonado Art Collection (jcmac.art) was opening their annual exhibition, “hybridizations contemporary strategies.” Maldonado is a Venezuelan collector whose primary focus is geometric abstraction. He also has a rich collection of basketry from Venezuela’s Yekuana people. Note: I was a consultant for last year’s expansive Yekuana exhibition. Their space is modest, yet the exhibition impressive and especially beautifully displayed.

Carlos Garaicoa
Sin Titulo (Escaleras) 2014
Pepe Lopez
Guapisimas, 1994

En route to and from the Maldonado Collection we strolled through the District to take in their annual Art Week display. A number of stores have jumped in with their own. displays. Cuyuna, a leather goods and clothing shop, had an installation of Lego sculptures by self-taught artist, Dante Dentoni – interesting.

Thom Brown (eponymous store) is showing Brown’s first large-scale public artwork, “Palm Tree,” in the courtyard of a multipurpose building in the District. It’s considered to be a piece of pop art; bright and cheery, worth the stop.

Fernando Laposse’s “Pink Beasts” are installed throughout the District. They are pink sloths if you wondered; I took them to be simians. You cannot miss them or the hanging hammocks and pink stringy thingies (sisal tassels).

Another installation, “She Comes First” by Jill C. Weinberg, honors breast cancer awareness. Does it succeed in evoking “a strong emotional response and dialog about equality?” My response on seeing it was to wonder what it was.

After the Maldonado opening, we hightailed it (nice to walk in the evening air) to the de la Cruz Collection (another of our private contemporary art museums). Throughout the year, this collection sponsors a series of free lectures by noteworthy figures in the art world. Each evening starts with a sushi snack and drinks and a stroll through the museum. This one was not different. The speaker was American conceptual artist Glenn Ligon. He spoke in a space surrounded by a selection of his artwork from the collection. The packed house learned about his evolution as an artist, his creative process and evolution, and his philosophy. The artwork was brought to life. Thank you Mr. and Mrs. de la Cruz.

Early work using the words of Zora Neal Hurston

Home was the next destination. Constant Companion and Daughter had one more stop … the opening of the annual Faena Festival contribution to Art Week. I was not up to a nighttime jaunt on the beach.

And, today is another day. I’ve review my list and see what I’ve left out yesterday … I realize, as in everyday life, how difficult it is to make decisions.

PS … Thank you one faithful reader for pointing out my typos. Constant Companion was written Constant Comment – that’s for a future post on teas!

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