Second Saturday Art Walk: Five Unmissable Exhibits as Art Basel Approaches
Soul Manufacturing Corporation
Among the highest-profile openings this weekend are a pair of exhibits at Locust Projects combining solos by Miami's Jacin Giordano and Chicago-based artist Theaster Gates who recently made big news at Documenta (13) in Kassel, Germany, with his critically acclaimed installation 12 Ballads for Huguenot House.
At Locust, Gates is launching "Soul Manufacturing Corporation," the first gallery exhibit of his multidisciplinary opus. It will feature a fully functioning "factory" with four pavilions, where "skilled makers" will produce objects and pottery during the exhibit's duration. Gates's show will also host programs by a yoga instructor, a DJ, and a reader assembled as part of the project to "care for" the workers and audience. The artist was inspired by lectors who read news and literature to illiterate workers during the industrial era, and says his project is an exploration of the relationships among labor, race, and aesthetics. In the gallery's Project Room, meanwhile, Giordano's "Wound, Bound, Tied and Knotted" presents a new series of works in which the artist employs tree branches as the stretchers for his paintings. Their organic nature dramatizes the web of rainbow-hued yarn he wraps around the stems to create the surfaces he paints upon.
Locust Projects, 3852 N Miami Ave., Miami. 305-576-8570, locustprojects.org.
A Country, an Illusion
Reminding viewers that the Big Apple took a shellacking during superstorm Sandy and had its lights dimmed, Cuban artist Abel Barroso, who lives and works in Havana, is employing raw wood in his opus Emigrant Pinball to convey New York City's famous skyline in a work riffing on migration and issues of displacement. His solo at Pan American Art Projects is anchored by the sprawling installation offering a wry commentary on the existence of geographical boundaries and features seven pinball machines without traditional lights and whistles that are interconnected by Gotham's distinct silhouette. Barroso's striking piece references the city as a sort of "El Dorado," where players are confronted by a virtual frontier between the first and third-worlds and buffeted by chance while dreaming of finding that greener patch of grass in foreign climates.
Pan American Art Projects, 2450 NW Second Ave, Miami. 305-573-2400, panamericanart.com.
A veces me asaltan las dudas celestes
Peruvian artist Cecilia Paredes is a chameleon-like master of blending into her surroundings. Typically, the photographer explores issues of migration or relocation in her eye-popping oeuvre, creating what she calls "photo performances" in which she employs makeup and body paint to melt into her own paintings that transform her into part of the flora, fauna, or celestial landscapes of her imagination. At the Diana Lowenstein Gallery, Paredes offers her body as a container for viewer's projected fantasies. The gallery is also featuring Caroline Lathan-Stiefel's "Lagan," a word that describes ocean wreckage attached to a buoy so it can be recovered. Lathan-Stiefel is known for creating monumental, room-engulfing installations using sundry items such as pipe cleaners, plastic shopping bags, fabric, straight pins, yarn, wire, and lead weights among other unusual materials. The artist considers these works drawings in space and her colorful creations are designed to physically impact the body of the viewers navigating them.
Diana Lowenstein Gallery, 2043 N Miami, Ave., Miami. 305-576-1804, dianalowensteingallery.com.