This article was published back in Hyperallergic back in December. And yes, the fuel of brilliance that women are bringing to Miami’s art scene is definitely something for us to hightlight.
Women Artists Dominate in Art Basel Miami Beachâ€™s Sculpture Park
byon December 7, 2014
MIAMI BEACH â€” Amid all the predictable fare in Art Basel Miami Beachâ€™s Public sector, installed in Collins Park alongside the Bass Museum of Art â€” your Ernesto Neto hammock contraption, your Justin Matherly concrete-and-walker figure, your shiny bronze Elmgreen & Dragset provocation, your Georg Baselitz primitivist giant â€” is a set of bravura works by women artists. Their glowing, ungainly, and frequently flippant sculptures are improbably well suited to the setting.
The most impressive is Jessica Stockholderâ€™s new â€œAngled Tangleâ€ (2014), a colorful jumble of streetscape accessories â€” including a small hamlet of bright blue and yellow bollards â€” that Public curator Nicholas Baume (of New Yorkâ€™s Public Art Fund) has positioned directly in front of the Bass Museumâ€™s main entrance, as if to divert pedestrian traffic around the park.
Three other variations on staples of urban and park design dominate the central lawn. Lynda Benglisâ€™s â€œPink Ladyâ€ (2013), made from a stack of drippy cones of hot pink polyurethane, playfully reinterprets the proportions of classical fountain statuary. Nancy Rubinsâ€™s â€œOur Friend Fluid Metal, Chunkus Majorisâ€ (2013), one of her characteristic sprawling sculptures in which dozens of one type of large and cumbersome object are strapped together with steel cables, is a wicked jumble of old spring-mounted toy animals from childrenâ€™s playgrounds. Sarah Bramanâ€™s purple and red glass box â€œDoorâ€ (2013â€“14) figuratively and actually reflects the crystalline architecture of Miami Beach. A small bench in front of the sculpture, based on seating in Bramanâ€™s studio, seems intended to accommodate the inevitable selfie snappers.
Nearby, Nuria Fusterâ€™s â€œPump Ironâ€ (2014) also seems to be gently poking fun at South Floridaâ€™s appearance-obsessed culture. The work,Â with its arching iron arm weighed down by the dozens of basketballs tied to its tip, evokes the bent steel of theÂ Castiglioni brothersâ€™ iconic Arco floor lamp. An excellent alternate title for the piece would have been â€œDisequilibrium,â€ since it coincidentally doubles as a slam dunk satire of Jeff Koonsâ€™s floating basketballs.
Ana Luiza Dias Batista is responsible for the sculpture parkâ€™s most unsettling piece, â€œEva (Eve)â€ (2014), a replica of an amusement park attraction inÂ SÃ£o Paulo that was popular in the 1980s: a giant figure of a woman lying on her stomach that visitors entered through a doorway cut into the shoulder and exited via another door near the ankle. Here, shrunk down to human size and installed in the grass, the work initially resembles an outstretched park goer, making the discovery of the large holes in her side all the more disquieting.
Two other standout works by women artists resemble makeshift interventions by some nomadic tribe that passed through the fastidiously manicured and maintained park. Tatiana TrouvÃ©â€™s â€œWaterfallâ€ (2013) features what looks like a soiled mattress slung over a five-foot-tall slab of concrete. The mattress is actually an absurdist fountain cast in bronze and outfitted with a water supply system. At two nearby spots in the park, Jessica Jackson Hutchins has suspended hammocks that hold her unwieldy abstract ceramic sculptures. The piece, â€œHim and Meâ€ (2014), further humanizes and domesticates the public space, echoing the sense of mischief and inventiveness in the works by Stockholder, Benglis, Fuster, and others.
Correction: This piece originally namedÂ Jessica Stockholderâ€™s piece as â€œAngled Triangleâ€; the correct title is â€œAngled Tangle.â€ It has been fixed.
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