Florida Museums and Galleries
Bass Museum of Art
2100 Collins Ave., Mid-Beach
South Beach's only public contemporary art museum reopened in fall 2017 after a major renovation, which doubled the amount of available exhibition space with a major expansion of the original, 1930s-built Art Deco building. The much-anticipated reopening featured major exhibitions by Ugo Rondinone, Mika Rottenberg, and Pascale Marthine Tayou in the new space.
Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation
1018 N. Miami Ave., Edgewater
Ella Fontanals-Cisneros's private collection is focused on Latin American artists, which is unsurprising, as Fontanals-Cisneros herself was born in Cuba and came of age in Venezuela. The exhibitions are housed in a former boxing gym near the Arts District: a square building that's significantly spruced up by a stunning tile mural, which creates the illusion of a bamboo forest. Her foundation, for its part, gives annual commissions to mid-career Latin American artists who then become part of group shows at the space. It's an opportunity that not only exposes them to Miami's global art community but also gives them space to create their work outside the pressures of the market. Like other private collections in Miami, entry is free.
De La Cruz Collection
23 NE 41 St., Design District
Carlos and Rosa de la Cruz, who made their fortune with Carlos's bottling and distribution company, CC1, made their art-filled home open to the public for more than twenty-five years before they finally built a dedicated, and privately funded, space for their collection. Since 2009, the public has been able to view the works in their collection free of charge in an Arts District building the couple operates as an extension of their home. The exhibitions here rotate on an annual basis to showcase a wide selection of works, while performances, films, workshops, and artist tours dot the calendar throughout the year. Like most private collections in town, entry is free.
Emerson Dorsch Gallery
5900 NW 2nd Ave., Little Haiti
When EDG opened in Wynwood more than fifteen years ago, it was one of the first to anoint a neighborhood that’s now saturated with local art. Today, the pioneering gallery—founded by former engineer Brook Dorsch and his curator wife, Tyler Emerson—has a new home in Little Haiti, where you’ll presently find a beautiful solo show from Brooklyn-based South Floridian Elisabeth Condon. Photo: Unnatural Life by Elisabeth Condon.
Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami
61 NE 41st Street, Design District
This newish Design District institution was formed when the board of MoCA North Miami split off from the original institution (the politics and ethics of which have been thoroughly debated within the art world, to no firm resolution). The past firmly behind them, ICA is looking forward to a bright future, with a brand-new, 35,000-square-foot building that opened in late 2017 just around the corner from the de la Cruz Collection. Before the opening, they worked out of the historic Moore building on 2nd Avenue, where they hosted some of the most interesting exhibitions in the city, in no small part due to the influence of their young and (justifiably) hyped chief curator Alex Gartenfeld. Gartenfeld is known for bringing in some of the world's most forward-thinking contemporary artists, and he's also got an incredible collection at his disposal, with some of the city's most important collectors—Martin Margulies, the Braman family, and the de la Cruzes—among the donor pool. It's a critical stop on any walk through the Design District.
591 NW 27th St., Wynwood
Billionaire real estate developer Martin Z. Margulies has been a fixture of the Miami art scene for more than forty years. His private collection, in a 45,000-square-foot warehouse in Wynwood (he opened it a few years after the Rubells, when the neighborhood looked very different than it does today), showcases major works from contemporary artists across mediums, with an emphasis on sculpture and photography. The Margulies collection separates itself from other private art spaces in the city with its long-time and highly respected curator, Katherine Hinds, who is Margulies's right hand on all collection-related matters. It has built a reputation for spotlighting ambitious sculptural works and immersive installations, like mirrored tile works by Olafur Eliasson, and one of Do Ho Suh's famous silk apartment works. Exhibitions rotate seasonally.
Pérez Art Museum
1103 Biscayne Blvd, Edgewater
Opened in 2013, the Herzog & de Meuron–designed building has been largely responsible for the renewal of downtown Miami. Funded partially by collector Jorge Pérez, for whom the museum is named, the 20,000-square-foot glass-and-concrete space boasts some 1,800 works from the likes of John Baldessari, Olafur Eliasson, and Dan Flavin. There are also works on display by important Latin American artists including José Bedia and Beatriz González. Don’t miss a walk through the outdoor tropical-plant-dotted sculpture garden, with large-scale sculptures that are breathtaking against the water's edge.
95 NW 29 St., Wynwood
One of the most special collections making up Wynwood’s art-filled galleries, the private holdings of collectors Mera and Donald Rubell are noteworthy on a global scale. The Rubells’ at once controversial, eccentric, and thought-provoking pieces include Andy Warhol, Yayoi Kusama, and Keith Haring in spades. They’re known for supporting young American artists as well. The audio tour, which is included in the price of admission, is incredibly worthwhile. (If you can time it right, plan your visit around one of the twice-daily guided tours, at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.) After twenty-three years in the neighborhood, the family recently announced they’ll be moving their collection to a two-and-a-half-acre campus designed by Selldorf Architects in 2018, which will include forty galleries, a research library, and a tropical sculpture garden.
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