Miami Art Week 2020 Offers a Rich Array of Cultural Events in a Different Format

Paintings from Rochelle Feinstein’s ‘Fredonia!’ at the Nina Johnson gallery. Nina Johnson

It’s been a tough year for public art events: this year’s Art Basel Miami Beach was called off amidst COVID restrictions and financial struggles for the fair’s event management company. Other prominent events either aren’t taking place or have been relegated to online-only status. Nevertheless, Miami Art Week is still set to take place in an unusual, fractured, multifaceted format. Although the centerpiece of this annual Miami event has been cancelled, certain museums, galleries and arts organizations are still set to offer something new and different to Miami art lovers.

Rochelle Feinstein’s “Fredonia!” at Nina Johnson Gallery

At the iconic Nina Johnson gallery in Miami, the artist Rochelle Feinstein debuted new and recent paintings on November 20 in an exhibition that will remain open through Miami Art Week and conclude on January 9. Boasting a career that spans decades and includes experimentation in a range of different areas, “Fredonia!” charts Feinstein’s explosion of the rainbow-hued-paintings trope into something more utopian and multifaceted. The title of the exhibition refers to a 19th-century name for the United States that ultimately failed to connect, and Feinstein’s paintings similarly make abstractions out of concepts that seem to be losing their luster in this troubled nation.

Bakehouse Art Complex Auction at Fresh Goods Gallery

Fresh Goods Gallery is a new online sales tool created by the Bakehouse Art Complex, one of the oldest and most iconic artist-serving organizations in Miami. Fresh Goods Gallery is launching its inaugural sale on November 30 in order to help Bakehouse raise the funds to continue to provide studios and services to hardworking artists in Miami. Additionally, the sale, which will consist of over 50 photographs donated by the Martin Margulies Foundation, will also go towards the expansion of the Bakehouse Art Complex so they can eventually provide affordable housing for artists.

Arbre magique by Adam Leontus from the “Life and Spirituality in Haitian Art” exhibition. Betty and Isaac Rudman Trust Collection

“Life and Spirituality in Haitian Art” at MOCA

At the Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami, Miami Art Week is being heralded with “Life and Spirituality in Haitian Art,” an exhibition which will run from November 29 through December 6, and which will shine a light on a selection of paintings from Haiti that were made between 1940 and 1970. Specifically, the exhibition explores how Haitian artists during this time period were informed both by spirituality and by Afro-Caribbean religious symbolism, as well as by European influences, to create a unique artistic perspective. Some of the artists included in this exhibition are Hector Hyppolite, Philomé Obin, Rígaud Benoit and Wilson Bigaud. For those unable to travel to Miami for the in-person experience, MOCA’s exhibition “Raul de Nieves: Eternal Return & Obsidian Heart” can be experienced virtually on their website.

Art by Ahol Sniffs Glue (David Anasagasti). Museum of Graffiti

“Biscayne World” at the Museum of Graffiti

For something a little more off the beaten path, in honor of Miami Art Week, the Museum of Graffiti in Wynwood is launching a new exhibition on behalf of legendary local artist Ahol Sniffs Glue on December 1. For decades, Ahol has spattered Miami with his renderings of stoned-looking, sleepy-eyed characters, which he has graffitied all over the city. “Biscayne World” refers to Biscayne Boulevard, and the cast of characters who’ve kept the area interesting for years. “I listened to the conversations, the coughs, the cries, the many languages of the bus,” Ahol said in a statement. “I breathed in every smell possible, and I took the happiness along with sadness. We were all trying to get somewhere. That’s Biscayne World.”

Sthenjwa Luthuli, Reaching For Stars, 2020. Courtesy artist and PRIZM Art Fair

“Noir, Noir: Meditations On African Cinema And Its Influence On Visual Art” at PRIZM Art Fair

This year, from December 1 through the 21, PRIZM Art Fair is focusing its attention the importance of internalizing communal histories through the lens of African/Diasporic filmmakers, both past and present. The exhibition is also preoccupied with parsing through what makes up a global African identity in 2020. “Noir, Noir” will center 47 artists from 11 different countries, and the exhibition’s theme is also inspired by the Senegalese film director, producer and writer Ousmane Sembene. “I think cinema is needed throughout Africa because we are lagging behind in the knowledge of our own history,” Sembene said in a statement. “I think we need to create a culture that is our own.” Miami Art Week 2020 Offers a Rich Array of Cultural Events in a Different Format