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Attending Art Basel Miami Beach without visiting the permanent collections is like traveling to New York and skipping The Met. And while exploring these exhibitions may lack the same people-watching and prominence that the staple fairs offer, the impressive accumulation of work is enough to inspire a trip.
de la Cruz Collection:
This year’s exhibition marked the fifth anniversary of the de la Cruz Collection in Miami’s Design District. “Beneath the Surface” assembled works that (subjectively) represent the new American landscape, through various mediums. Though the curatorial vision seemed a bit compressed, applying nearly 30 percent of the entire collection to showcase work “responding to the consequences of globalization,” a handful of the individual pieces were exceptional. The ground floor showcased large-scale 2D and 3D works by Mark Bradford, Joe Bradley, Dan Colen, Jim Drain, Félix González-Torres, Wade Guyton, Evan Holloway, Thomas Houseago, Rashid Johnson, Glenn Ligon, Michael Linares, Seth Price, Sterling Ruby, Reena Spaulings, Rudolf Stingel, and Christopher Wool.
The star of the second floor was Aaron Curry, whose installation occupied the whole North wall. Curry’s work blurs the line between abstraction and figuration, painting and sculpture, flatness and dimensionality, in an attempt to examine the middle ground between opposites. In this case, his manipulation of a simple black-and-white grid pattern paired with bold neon colors captivated viewers. Tauba Auerbach, Walead Beshty, Joe Bradley, Dan Colen, Martin Creed, Peter Doig, Isa Genzken, Mark Grotjahn, Wade Guyton, Rachael Harrison, Arturo Herrera, Jacob Kassay, Nate Lowman, Adam McEwen, Gabriel Orozco, Jorge Pardo, Manfred Pernice, Sterling Ruby, Dana Schutz, Josh Smith, and Kelley Walker were also exhibited on this floor was .
It comes as no surprise that the Margulies Collection is consistently considered to be one of the most important collections of its kind by curators, critics, artists, dealers, and collectors. Located in a 45,000 square foot retro-fitted warehouse in the Wynwood Arts District, this year’s exhibition was worth the walk. Curated by Katherine Hinds, the show celebrated the collections 15th year, featuring major new works of sculpture by Ronald Bladen, Mario Merz, Do-Ho Suh, Richard Long, Wilhelm Mundt, and Meuser; paintings by Jeff Elrod, Gregor Hildebrandt; and photography by Domingo Milella and Jeff Brouws, among many others.
Adventurous visitors, eager enough to tour the entirety of this expansive space, were also treated to the permanent installations of historically important works by Pier Paolo Calzolari, John Chamberlain, Willem de Kooning, Olafur Eliasson, Michael Heizer, Donald Judd, Anselm Kiefer, Jannis Kounellis, Sol LeWitt, Joan Miro, Isamu Noguchi, Michelangelo Pistoletto, George Segal, Richard Serra, Tony Smith, and Franz West.
With its beautiful location, inviting staff, and impressive curatorial selection, the Rubell Collection stood out amongst its contemporaries last week. The Foundation’s first floor showcased six commissioned solo exhibitions by artists Will Boone, Aaron Curry, Lucy Dodd, Mark Flood, David Ostrowski, and Kaari Upson. The artists visited the foundation throughout the year and developed new, large-scale bodies of work specifically for the show.
“To Have and to Hold,” exhibited on the second floor highlighted 20 galleries, and was a celebration of the Rubells’ history of collecting art, featuring a chronology of early acquisitions (from the 1970s) to today. Key works by Jean Michel-Basquiat, Mark Bradford, Cecily Brown, Marlene Dumas, Keith Haring, Jeff Koons, Glenn Ligon, Reinhard Mucha, Elizabeth Peyton, Richard Prince, Cindy Sherman, Rosemarie Trockel, Josh Kline, Serge Alain Nitegeka, Michail Pirgelis, and Lior Shvil were on view.
The figurative icing on the cake was Jennifer Rubell’s large-scale, food-based piece titled “50 Cakes,” which invited guests to taste an assortment of delicious gourmet desserts, dished out by a troop of performers and even the Rubells themselves.