While Art Basel Miami Beach steals the spotlight, Miami’s local art institutions seize the occasion with exhibitions that rival the grandeur of the main fair. Here are five captivating museum shows that deserve your attention, providing a welcome retreat from the frenzy of Art Basel.
1. Hernan Bas at the Bass Museum of Art, Miami Beach
In his hometown, Miami-born figurative artist Hernan Bas takes center stage with “The Conceptualists” at the Bass Museum of Art. This exhibition, featuring 35 paintings, explores conceptual art as an innovative platform for queer culture. Bas’s meticulous portrayals of stylish young males engaged in creative pursuits offer a positive pathway to an artistic lifestyle, celebrating eccentricity.
2. Gary Simmons at the Perez Art Museum Miami
“Perez Art Museum Miami hosts Gary Simmons’ celebrated career survey, “Public Enemy,” showcasing 70 profound paintings, sculptures, and installations. Best known for appropriating racist American cartoons, Simmons goes beyond racial discrimination, delving into the adverse influence of stereotypes in sports, cinema, literature, music, architecture, and urban life. His ghostlike images compel viewers to reflect on the persistence of past stereotypes.
3. Sasha Gordon at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami
Sasha Gordon’s first solo museum exhibition at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami, challenges notions of self-image, racial prejudice, and the male gaze. Through vibrant paintings and drawings, Gordon boldly embraces her queer Asian American persona, presenting surreal scenarios that expertly navigate vulnerability and self-acceptance.
4. Jamea Richmond-Edwards at the Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami
Inspired by Detroit’s vibrant hip-hop scene and the city’s challenges during the crack and AIDS epidemic, Jamea Richmond-Edwards presents “Ancient Future” at the Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami. This exhibition, her largest solo show to date, explores Afrofuturism through large-scale mixed-media paintings and short films, envisioning a future liberated from past racial and gender concerns.
5. Alejandro Pineiro Bello at the Rubell Museum, Miami
Cuban artist Alejandro Pineiro Bello, a 2023 artist-in-residence at the Rubell Museum, presents a solo exhibition inspired by Cuban and Caribbean poetry and childhood memories. His paintings, depicting nude figures in abstract, folkloric realms, offer a mystical exploration of imagined realities, evoking a tropical paradise reminiscent of Adam and Eve.
These five exhibitions offer a diverse and enriching artistic experience, inviting you to explore Miami’s thriving art scene beyond the glamorous facade of Art Basel Miami Beach.