Miami Art with Tony Japour: Vanishing Points @ The Bass

Paint and Paintings from the Debra and Dennis Scholl Collection

Anthony Japour (AJ) is an independent curator, private art dealer and owner of AJ Japour Gallery. The gallery deals in contemporary art with a focus on the Chinese Contemporary Art Movement and its relationship to the pillars of Western Contemporary Art. Since 2003, AJ has produced numerous art exhibitions and installations in Miami and South Florida. In addition, the Gallery’s secondary mission is to support organizations dedicated to the health, education, and welfare of children. AJ has served on the Fine Arts Board and the Cultural Arts Council of the City of Miami Beach.

Jim Lambie, Zobop, 1999 / 2011 colored vinyl tape, dimensions variable Courtesy of the artist & The Modern Institute Toby Webster. Ltd, Glasgow, Scotland

Every profession has its own language, the art profession no exception. In the graphic arts realm a fundamental term is the “vanishing point” used in perspective to describe the point on the horizon where parallel lines appear to meet. A one-point perspective drawing means that the drawing has a single vanishing point and a two-point drawing would have lines parallel to two different angles. And so on.

Any number of vanishing points is possible in a drawing, one for each set of parallel lines that are at an angle relative to the plane of the drawing. This is the unifying theme of a painting exhibition now on view at the Bass Museum of Art curated by artist Gean Moreno.

Artists: Hernan Bas, José Bedia, Mark Bradford, Timothy Buwalda, Nathan Carter, Francesca DiMattio, Jimmy Donegan, Gardar Eide Einarsson, Judith Eisler, Kirsten Everberg, Sylvie Fleury, Jacin Giordano, Adler Guerrier, Carla Klein, Norbert Lynch Knwerraye, Jim Lambie, Campbell McGrath, Sarah Morris, Kori Newkirk, Joyce Pensato, Minnie Motocaar Pwerle, John Sanchez, Jeni Spota, Henry Taylor, Michael Vasquez, Kelley Walker, and Garth Weiser

Sylvie Fleury, Skin Crime (Givenchy 318), 1997 enamel paint on compressed Fiat car, 22x60x143 in. Courtesy Debra & Dennis Scholl Collection, Miami, FL

As one enters the exhibition on the main floor, courtesy of Glasgow Scotland-based artist Jim Lambi and The Modern Institute-Toby Webster, one sees a delightful site-specific installation of a version of Zobop, 1999/2011 made of colorful vinyl tape which brought to mind the works of Sol Lewitt, Elsworth Kelly and Frank Stella. The goal by the artist is to take an everyday material (in this case vinyl tape)

Courtesy Debra & Dennis Scholl Collection, Miami, FL to transform a quiet space into an energetic and emotional space of visual pleasure. Lambie has a musical background and creates rhythm with his floor installations. The work has been installed in such important institutions as the Tate Modern in London and the Hirsshorn Museum in Washington D.C. Each time it is installed it takes on a different look. The Bass commissioned a filming of the installation executed by Miami Beach High School students which was very interesting to see

Left: Hernan Bas, The Heroism of Weakness, 2003 acrylic and oil on paper, 30 x 22 inches Right: Francesca DiMattio, Steeple, 2008 oil on canvas, 108 x 60 inches Both Courtesy Debra & Dennis Scholl Collection, Miami, FL

On the second level of the exhibition, one is greeted by Swiss artist Sylvie Fleury’s Skin Crime (Givenchy 318), 1997, enamel paint on compressed Fiat car; painted in nail polish pink, hence the subtitle Givenchy 318 makes reference to the nail polish color. Fleury’s work mixes sculpture and mixed media to address issues of gender, shopping and contemporary art. The exhibition of this work in Miami is perfectly timed with the launch of the Fiat 500 featuring the TV ads of Miami’s Jennifer Lopez.

Around the corner in an intimate space are a series of Hernan Bas acrylic and oils on paper, excellent examples of the artist’s works drawing on the era of the decadence of nineteenth century novels complete with dandies full of narrative effect.

As one enters the main salon on the second floor, my first impression was how vast the exhibition space on the Museum’s second level seemed. Without furniture, sculpture or video installations taking up space, there is an openness of feeling one gets from the show. This feeling is perfect for the person who is prone to claustrophobia or gets visual fatigue when too much art is packed into a small space.

Carla Klein, Untitled, 2005 oil on canvas, 70 x 157 inches Courtesy Debra & Dennis Scholl Collection, Miami, FL

Most impressive and probably closest in concept to the exhibition’s theme of Vanishing Points were paintings by Francesca DiMattio juxtaposed with those by Carla Klein. DiMattio takes architecture as her subject and uses paint to create marvelously intricate (and interesting) complex canvasses where painted objects such as umbrellas and ladders are taking on a still-life setting. Klein’s canvasses, each measuring more than 12 feet long, seen in series create a visual rhythm which in unison provide a vast expanse to contemplate the future somewhere in the distance.

Bass Museum of Art
2100 Collins Avenue
Miami Beach, FL 33139

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