While the highlights of Art Basel week usually include some of the top-quality artworks at the various fairs, this year two locally presented exhibits competed with the best of them.
Unfortunately, “Auto Body,” a temporary exhibit in a former auto mechanic shop on Bay Road in South Beach, produced by Spinello Projects, is no longer up. But it’s worth giving it a mention, as it may (and should) travel, and even the New York Times gave it a shout out on its Arts section cover during the week. Curated by three women and featuring video and performance from 35 local and international female artists, it was outstanding. The videos in particular from two Israelis, and several from black women, were mesmerizing. In the space that was open on two sides, allowing a nice breeze to blow through, you could take your time with the headphones and the videos, moving from one mini station to the next in a leisurely manner. The performances took place twice a day, and also addressed (sometimes in graphic fashion) the nature of the “body,” the status and, yes, the power of women.
At the Bass Museum, “One Way: Peter Marino” will be up until May. Do not miss it. One could view it as a monumental exercise in self indulgence from the architect, collector and patron; or as a massing of incredible art, but either way, it will leave you overwhelmed in a good way.
First off, the entry up the often cumbersome ramp is an exhibit in itself, draped with black videotape strips from Jean Cocteau’s 1950s film Orphée, a site-specific work from Gregor Hildebrandt. It guides you through a sampling of Marino’s collection from the likes of Keith Haring and Andy Warhol. This shimmering, tunnel-like intro then opens up to the rest of the exhibit, where the ceilings seem to tower above you, filled with art stacked to the roof. A huge collection of Robert Mapplethorpe photos take over one room; various profiles by famed artists of the very distinctive Marino, in his trademark black biker and chaps gear, in another room. Another section shows off the outlandish architectural creations of Marino, including an entire casino-island in Singapore. And it culminates with gargantuan – there is no better word – paintings of Anselm Kiefer. If at any point in the tour of the exhibit you are looking down, you’ve missed it. There’s a cathedral feel to the whole thing, an intentional “wow” creating momentum that builds throughout.
“One Way: Peter Marino” runs through May 3 at the Bass Museum of Art, 2100 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; www.bassmuseum.org.