Art Basel Events
The week of Art Basel Miami Beach can be a bit of a blur, with months’ worth of tantalizing must-sees but only days available to squeeze in as much as possible. At The Wolfsonian, the highlights of the early-December stretch—the thirteenth time the international art fair has colonized Miami—included a party showcasing Myth and Machine: The First World War in Visual Culture, complete with an immersive performance installation; a day of presentations by national and international museum professionals; the world premiere of a dance choreographed by Benjamin Millepied; a major fundraising event; and a whole new look for the building’s exterior.
The museum hosted its well-attended annual Art Basel VIP party on December 5. The evening showcased the recently opened exhibition, Myth and Machine, and featured an unusual and powerful pairing of music and technology from Phenomenal Amarante, a collaboration by musician Rodrigo Amarante de Castro Neves and Phenomenal Experience Agency with Eric Cade Schoenborn. The artists described their piece, which incorporated themes related to the First World War, as “an immersive performance installation” and “a living musical gif” in which live music triggered responsive imagery in a video projected on either side of the performance stage in the Lobby and on the screen in the adjacent Auditorium. The video graphics referenced fallen soldiers and were created in part from First World War photographs. Imagery of red poppies, a common memorial symbol for lost soldiers, appeared in both the video and on a floor covering installed in the Lobby.
During the Art Basel party, designer and author Lisa S. Roberts was in The Wolfsonian Museum Shop signing copies of her new book, DesignPOP, a survey of contemporary design and game-changing products. The museum also organized a DesignPOP Pop-Up Shop featuring several of the objects Roberts singled out in the book.
The American Museum Network Conference MUSCON 2014, co-presented by The Wolfsonian, Design Miami/, and Vitra Design Museum, took place on December 2. The annual networking event provides an opportunity for museum professionals to present their institutions’ traveling exhibitions and future projects.
On December 3, MODERN Magazine and its editor-in-chief, Beth Dunlop, along with the publisher of Pointed Leaf Press, Suzanne Slesin, hosted a breakfast to celebrate the publication of the book HAND-IN-HAND: Ceramics, Mosaics, Tapestries, and Woodcarvings by the California Mid-Century Designers Evelyn and Jerome Ackerman by Dan Chavkin and Lisa Thackaberry.
The Wolfsonian benefited from a fundraiser generously presented by Van Cleef & Arpels and hosted by Leonard and Jayne Abess and museum founder and advisory board chairman Mitchell Wolfson, Jr. The December 1 fundraiser was chaired by advisory board member Ashley Melisse Abess and Matthew Vander Werff. The evening began in the historic 1926 Olympia Theater at the Gusman Center for the Performing Arts, designed in the elaborate, atmospheric style of grand movie palaces of the time by John Eberson (The Wolfsonian’s collection includes the John and Drew Eberson Architectural Record Archive of more than seven thousand items). Guests were treated to the international premiere of the dance Gems Part II: Heart & Arrows, choreographed by Benjamin Millepied and performed by his L.A. Dance Project. The dance was the second of a three-installment dance created exclusively for Van Cleef & Arpels and featured a score composed by Philip Glass and a set designed by artist Liam Gillick. After the performance, guests crossed Flagler Street and entered the Alfred I. Dupont Building, an historic Art Deco skyscraper now celebrating its seventy-fifth anniversary. Attendees enjoyed a multi-course dinner prepared by renowned chef Daniel Boulud.
This was the second major fundraiser Van Cleef & Arpels has presented for The Wolfsonian; the first was the 2011 Mirror Ball, which raised five hundred thousand dollars for the museum. The Wolfsonian thanks the fundraiser’s table sponsors: Ellen and Louis Wolfson III; Jayne and Leonard Abess; Fiduciary Trust International; City National Bank; The Codina Family; and Christina and David Martin of The Terra Group. The museum also thanks the historic Alfred I. DuPont Building and Tilia Companies for donation of the event space.
As for the museum’s altered appearance, if you have not come by to see the exterior mural installation by artist Michelle Weinberg, read all about it in “Dazzle Camouflage Mural” in this issue of e-Propaganda!
Rodrigo Amarante de Castro Neves performing at The Wolfsonian’s Art Basel party as part of Phenomenal Amarante, a collaboration in which his music activated the graphics created by Phemomenal Experience Agency.
Photo: World Red Eye
Bottom (click to enlarge):
Lisa S. Roberts signing her new book, DesignPOP, during The Wolfsonian’s Art Basel party.
Photo: World Red Eye
Guests at The Wolfsonian’s Art Basel party. From left, James Tolley, Spar Street, Alarra Hewstan, Peter Bodnarchuk, Michael Hughes, and Judi Bloom.
Photo: World Red Eye
Gems Part II: Heart & Arrows, choreographed by Benjamin Millepied and performed by his L.A. Dance Project at the Olympia Theater at the Gusman Center for the Performing Arts during the fundraiser presented by Van Cleef & Arpels.
Photo: Joe Gato
Guests at the fundraiser presented by Van Cleef & Arpels dined in the Alfred I. Dupont Building.
Photo: Domino Arts