Miami's Most Memorable Gallery and Museum Exhibits From 2010

Categories: Art, Lists
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The last 12 months marked an unforgettable arts season. In 2010, Miami's gallery and museum circuit offered a dishwasher full of dildos, a mummy found festering in a Wynwood warehouse, a show celebrating Miami's criminal soul, and torture implements designed to mutilate cherished genitals.

And the unimaginable has happened. In an area once known for drawing revelers with free booze, places like Caffeina now have openings where they charge $12 for cocktails during in-house art shows next to dozens of galleries nearby that give hooch away. The Miami art scene has morphed into a never fading party anchored by enough offerings to tickle or pickle any art connoisseur's curiosity. Here are some of the most memorable shows of 2010.

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Matta's Automate
1. "Roberto Matta: A Retrospective" at Gary Nader
The year began with a stunning survey of Chilean Master Roberto Matta at Gary Nader's capacious Wynwood joint. It featured more than 50 of the modernist's canvases, including examples of his breakthrough historic paintings such as Psychological Morphology series. It seamlessly represented every decade of Matta's production through the 1990s allowing visitors to experience the artist's evolution on the world stage. The works were culled from private collections across the hemisphere and complemented by Nader's own holdings, priced in the half-million to $2 million range.


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2. "Crime Miami" at HistoryMiami
This hardboiled parade of evidence chronicled a multitude of the Magic City's most notorious miscreants. The museum cast a dragnet wide and far to illustrate the century-long battle over the city's soul between lawmen and the felons they hunt. Photographs, artifacts, and documents from the institution's archives along with materials from the Miami-Dade Police Department, the County Clerk of Courts, and the Florida Department of Corrections complimented the display.

Everything from Prohibition-era rumrunners to victims of the bloody drug wars of the 1980s where showcased. From political assassins such as Giuseppe Zangara, to serial killers such as Ted Bundy, infamous gangsters such as Al Capone, high-profile child kidnappers, violent exile groups such as Alpha 66 and Omega 7 reflected the annals of local crime and misdeeds that have permanently marked South Florida.



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Courtesy of Museo Toscana
3. "Instruments of Torture Through the Ages" at the Freedom Tower
This harrowing exhibit at the landmark historical building reflected humanity's darkest nature. Culled from private collections, most of the nearly 100 instruments of torture on display were originals dating from the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries and once employed by the powerful to brutally control the masses.

Inside the tower's chambers, many of the dreadful apparatuses illustrated the type of capital punishment widely practiced throughout Europe including crucifixion, hanging, disembowelment, impalement, burning at the stake, dismemberment, drawing and quartering, flaying, or boiling in oil. The exhibit -- coproduced by the Toscana Museum, in collaboration with Amnesty International, Centro Cultural Español, and the Dante Alighieri Society in Miami -- brought these methods of torture and execution disturbingly alive.

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