Five gallery shows not to miss in South Florida
Five gallery shows not to miss in South Florida during Art Basel Miami Beach
As art lovers converge for this year's edition of Art Basel Miami Beach, galleries join the week’s celebration of creativity with their own compelling exhibitions. From Miami’s burgeoning gallery districts and Palm Beach’s elegant art spaces to out-of-town pop-ups, the following they are hosting diverse shows that collectively underscore a moment of introspection and cultural dialogue in the art world. They reflect not only on the artists’ personal journeys but also engage with broader societal conversations, creating wide-ranging experiences that resonate with the dynamic spirit of the moment.
Enrique Martínez Celaya
‘White: A Telling Shroud, Recent Paintings 2019–2023’
Fredric Snitzer Gallery, Miami
December 3, 2023 – January 20, 2024
Cuba-born artist Enrique Martínez Celaya brings his diverse background in physics, poetry, and humanities to his paintings, infusing them with a deep, profoundly poetic – almost existentialist – sensibility. His works from the past 5 years, on view in this show, are enigmatic, merging philosophical meditations with visual experiences that explore the intersections of technology, nature, and the human condition. In The sparrow (2020), for instance, Martínez Celaya presents a haunting image of a young boy floating in a vast expanse, ambiguously merging a starry sky and dark water. Above the boy, Martínez Celaya wrote the poetic text: ‘likes to talk and I got the time’. Rendered in a monochromatic palette of black, white, and grey, the piece exudes a dreamlike and ethereal quality, prompting contemplation on the fluid boundaries between reality and imagination, and the transience of human experience.
David Castillo, Miami
December 5, 2023 – January 27, 2024
‘Impressions’, a solo show by Beijing-born, New York-based artist Su Su, features a series of works on silk that are as technically innovative as they are aesthetically rich. To create the works, the artist meticulously injects oil paint into swathes of silk using a needle. This technique, Su Su’s own creation, challenges and redefines traditional approaches to oil painting while simultaneously yielding a richly textured and visually arresting effect. Su Su’s journey from Beijing to Brooklyn profoundly influenced her practice, leading to a fusion of Eastern and Western aesthetic sensibilities; her vibrant colors and distorted forms reflect a certain ambivalence about her place in the world – one that is informed by both her Chinese heritage and her experiences in the United States.
Spinello Projects, Miami
December 4, 2023 – January 13, 2024
Focusing on moments of Queer joy, struggle, and resilience, Spinello Projects presents ‘Gay Era’, a project encompassing five solo exhibitions in three locations and showcasing how contemporary Queer artists are reshaping the boundaries of figurative painting. In ‘My Bones To Blossom’, Barnaby Whitfield merges permaculture concepts with Queer narratives, crafting a vision where Queerness and nature exist in harmonious, allegorical landscapes. The paintings in Giorgio Celin’s ‘Do You Remember? – Feeling, Queerness, Exile’ interweave personal and collective histories, delving into the intricacies of identity and the experience of displacement from a Queer migrant’s perspective. In ‘Jardín del Deseo’, Juan Arango Palacios’s woven narratives reimagine the male form, blending soft eroticism with bold vulnerability and simultaneously challenging societal norms while creating a fantastical haven of safety and freedom. Lastly, ‘Alle de Lágrimas / Valley of Tears’, dedicated to the late Adolfo Rene Sanchez, showcases a captivating series of vibrant canvases. Inspired by 1970s Mexican fotonovelas, the works are a meditation on transience and endurance, paying tribute to Queer resilience.
Gagosian and Jeffrey Deitch
35 Northeast 40th Street, Miami
December 5–10, 2023
For the eighth year, Gagosian and Jeffrey Deitch are jointly hosting an expansive pop-up exhibition during Art Basel Miami Beach. Titled ‘Forms’, this year’s show navigates the fertile ground between abstraction and figuration, exploring how objects act as proxies for human reality. Among the notable works, Tauba Auerbach’s painting Foam (2023) captures the essence of air bubbles in acrylic, straddling the line between realism and abstraction. Nari Ward’s Soul Arch Fixed (2021) transforms a surfboard into a modern crucifix, juxtaposing physical activity with spiritual apotheosis and suggesting a profound connection between the two realms. Meanwhile, Albert Oehlen’s ‘Ömega Man’ (2023) series and Theaster Gates’s THIS WAY (2021) both explore human forms and activity, with Oehlen drawing from dystopian sci-fi inspirations and Gates using salvaged materials to echo human presence.
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