Voluptuous Rigor – Trisha Brown Dance Company at ICA Miami

Luscious and austere. Severely abstract and exuberantly physical. In her half-century long career, choreographer Trisha Brown traversed the limits of expression to create a unique and profoundly influential body of work. Which makes it an extremely big deal that the Trisha Brown Dance Company is performing at the ICA Miami this week, their first time…

A big boost for Miami artists

ArtCenter South Florida announced a major new artist grant program Wednesday, the most striking product yet of the possibilities created by the $88 million sale of one of its Lincoln Road properties in 2014 and the first major initiative of new CEO and president Dennis Scholl. The Ellies, named for ArtCenter founder Ellie Schneiderman, will…

She’s in Control: Antonia Wright at Spinello Projects for Art Week

Control. Antonia Wright’s fast, brutal blast of a performance piece at Spinello Projects for Miami Art Week, took on multiple interpretations with that title. It’s a kind of miracle of meaning, a whole potentially tedious aesthetic and political essay in two syllables. The preparation took longer than the piece. On the Saturday I attended, the…

Listen to the Dead – Tania El Khoury’s Gardens Speak

What may well be the most powerful, unique and mesmerizing work in all of Miami Art Week is buried in a room at the side of the Fillmore Miami Beach. In Tania El Khoury’s Gardens Speak, the dead come alive and speak directly to us. The piece is an indefinable mix of installation, story-telling, sound,…

Invented Icons – Irene Williams, the Queen of Lincoln Road

(Eric Smith next to the Annie Leibovitz photo of his adored Irene Williams, the “Queen of Lincoln Road,” at the Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU. Photo by Jordan Levin.) Irene Williams, the fierce, elderly fashion iconoclast being celebrated in the show Irene Williams: Queen of Lincoln Road at the Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU this summer, was…

Telling her story: Jamilah Sabur defines herself

If you were puzzled, as I was, by artist Jamilah Sabur’s haunting, opaque show at Dimensions Variable at Miami Dade College, this Thursday night is your chance to hear her explain. Miami-based Sabur’s exhibit If Defined, Then Undefine, is packed with personal memories and meaning related to her Jamaican roots. Among them are her mother’s…

Carlos Betancourt talks Memory, Identity and Illuminations

I’ve been friends with artist Carlos Betancourt since the now-famous Imperfect Utopia days on Lincoln Road in the early 90’s, when his studio was a gathering place for the community of artists and art lovers, thrift shop glamour pusses, experimental designers, South Beach socialites (we didn’t call it Sobe yet), the simply fabulous and those…

New horizons: PAMM Opens Sweeping Contemporary Cuban Art Exhibit

(Above: Yoan Capote. Island (see-escape), 2010. Oil, nails, and fishhooks on jute mounted on plywood. Collection Pérez Art Museum Miami.) When the man who put the Pérez in Pérez Art Museum Miami opens a Cuban art exhibit  in the U.S. capital of Cuba-obsessives, it’s guaranteed to be a major event. And the launch of On the Horizon: Contemporary Cuban Art from…

Toba Khedoori – The World in a Drawing

Toba Khedoori, the artist now on exhibit at PAMM, sounds as if she has a fascinating backstory. She is from a Jewish Iraqi family, born and raised in Australia, and is an identical twin. PAMM director Franklin Sirmans, who curated a slightly smaller version of this show for LACMA, where he was formerly head of…