Nicholas Baume. Photo: Ron Eshel; courtesy of the Public Art Fund, New York
The curator of Public, Nicholas Baume, has taken time out from his day job as the director of the New York-based Public Art Fund to organise (for Art Basel in Miami Beach, in collaboration with the Bass Museum of Art) the site-specific installations and performance pieces that are now on show in Collins Park. Metaforms (until 6 December) includes several new works and many that play with scale, as the open-air exhibition’s title suggests. Among the 20-plus works on show are Chicago-based Tony Tasset’s Deer (2015), a garden ornament on a giant scale, and heaps of scrap steel that the New York-based Marianne Vitale found in a Pennsylvania railroad yard. Meanwhile, the Mexican artist Francisco Ugarte has carefully calibrated the passage of the sun over the park to create a Minimalist sculpture as site-specific sun dial. Baume, who is due to discuss Metaforms with three of the participating artists at the fair (Miami Beach Convention Center, Friday 4 December, 4pm), gave us a whistle-stop tour of some of the key works.
Ishmael Randall-Weeks’s Paraíso (2015). Photo: © Vanessa Ruiz, 2015
"Ishmael Randall-Weeks’s large-scale installation, inspired by ruins, take us to Pre-Columbian Peru. It is an extraordinary new sculpture. He uses the most ubiquitous material in Lima: fired bricks, carving them in the factory after they are pressed into moulds and before they are fired, revealing their cellular structure. [Paraíso] evokes topography and mountains, as well as [temple] structures. He is very interested in connecting a sense of ancient rituals with the contemporary."
One Module Cloud with Interior Net (2015)
Tanya Bonakdar Gallery (E6)
Tomás Saraceno’s One Module Cloud with Interior Net (2015). Photo: © Vanessa Ruiz, 2015
"The idea of the enlargement of something we are familiar with that is too small to see, such as the bubble of froth of a cappuccino, is analysed mathematically and blown up a million times to create an idealised cellular structure. It is a wonderful dialogue of biology, sculpture and architecture, with the idea of a cellular structure that is modular and could grow and exist in an ideal or utopian future."
Sterling Ruby’s Lips (2014). Photo: © Vanessa Ruiz, 2015
Gagosian Gallery (K13)
"The idea of the small becoming gigantic, of the transformation of the human into sculpture on an industrial scale in this wonderfully simple and elegant turning of two semi-circular cylindrical tubes, offers Miami Beach the biggest kiss it has ever received. A new work, it was originally conceived for a children’s playground."
Two Serious(ly) (young) Women (2015)
Supportico Lopez (N33)
Athena Papadopoulos’s Two Serious(ly) (young) Women (2015). Photo: © Vanessa Ruiz, 2015
"Athena’s work is sculptures of two female persona in the guise of high chairs, which wear high-heeled shoes and are adorned with gold chains and festooned with letters that spell out words such as “Hubba Hubba Trouba”. The suggestion is that these inanimate objects, made from layers of resin, mixed with hair and tanning lotion, are setting out for a serious night on the town."
Sunlight 1 (2015)
Francisco Ugarte’s Sunlight 1 (2015). Photo: © Vanessa Ruiz, 2015
"Francisco Ugarte has made a site-specific work in response to the park and the specific time of year here in Miami Beach. What looks at first sight like a wonderfully Minimalist sculpture is, in fact, tracing the path of the sun, with each triangular element aligned to a specific time of day, from 7.15 in the morning to 4.15 in the afternoon."
Tony Tasset’s Deer (2015). Photo: © Vanessa Ruiz, 2015
Kavi Gupta (E15)
"There is a surreal turn with a garden ornament-turned-Godzilla of the deer kingdom. Removed from its natural habitat, it emerges from a palm grove in tropical Miami. It is a deer that has grown to preposterous proportions. Taking a break from grazing, it observes the Art Basel throng and poses for the occasional photo. Tasset is interested in the idea of man and nature out of equilibrium—the sense of nature being beyond our control."