New Frost Art Museum

Debut of Miami's Only Free Museum

When the new Frost Art Museum at Florida International University opens on November 29, Miami will have a chance to view this spectacular architectural backdrop, and its main attraction – six new exhibitions including “Modern Masters from the Smithsonian American Art Museum”. The opening also kicks off more than a week of events celebrating the debut of Miami’s first new art museum in a decade and the only major Miami museum that charges no admission.

From November 29 through December 7, the museum will be open every day from 10:00 5:00 p.m. to celebrate the opening. Events include opening day, a special member and donor event, faculty and student days and Breakfast in the Park on Sunday, December 7. This annual event, which takes place from 9:30 a.m. to noon, draws hundreds of visitors each year during Art Basel Miami Beach. It features a continental breakfast, tours of the Sculpture Park at FIU as well as the museum and an informal talk by acclaimed Joel Shapiro.

A Work of Art
The 46,000 square foot building is itself a work of art designed by Yann Weymouth , design director of Hellmuth, Obata & Kassabaum (hok). The new Frost Art Museum cost $16 million to build and includes nine galleries and 10,000 square feet of breath-taking gallery spaces. Some 6,580 pieces of stone and 42,390 square feet of granite from China were used to construct the building.

The building’s design features make the Frost a unique venue for experiencing the visual arts in Florida. No art museums in the state have attempted to exhibit paintings in natural light, although many works were created in and meant to be seen in daylight. Former Frost Director Dahlia Morgan and Patricia Frost (for whom the building was named) were adamant that the light diffusion system be included, with dramatic results: Five of the nine galleries feature natural light. Frost worked closely with Weymouth on almost every aspect of the design from lighting to its floating stairway to the sparkling Chinese granite façade.

New Exhibitions Take Center Stage
Opening day will feature six new exhibitions, a first for the Frost, which opened in 1977 as a 2,800 square foot gallery.

Modern Masters from the Smithsonian
Through March 1, 2009
The Frost will be the first stop on a national tour for the show. Featuring 31 of the most celebrated artists who came to maturity in the 1950s, the exhibition traces this epochal period through 43 key paintings and sculpture selected from the Museum’s collection. Five of the pieces were donated to the Smithsonian American Art Museum from the private collection of Patricia and Phillip Frost. The exhibition includes such artists as Franz Kline, Michael Goldberg, Josef Albers, Louise Nevelson, Romare Bearden, Larry Rivers and Jim Dine.

Figurative Art Past and Present: Selections from the Private Collection
Through 2010
This inaugural exhibition will focus on the diverse representations of the figure as a vision of humanity, whether earthly or divine, by placing it within an art historical context. This exhibition will include contemporary works, ritual artifacts of Pre-Columbian cultures, traditional African wood carvings and delicate visages of Asian deities.

Simulacra and Essence: The Paintings of Luisa Basnuevo
Through April 4, 2009
Basnuevo’s solo exhibition presents recent works from her series of paintings inspired by eucalyptus seeds she collected in Spain. From these seeds, she creates a world that challenges the concept of reality. Basnuevo works within an abstract genre using gestures, mask-making, over-painting, transparent washes and tonal variations to construct her imagery. Basnuevo’s show is particularly special for the Frost and FIU. She is a graduate of FIU’s Bachelor of Fine Arts program and of Yale. The curator of her show is artist and painting professor Jim Couper, who is also the founder of the Frost Art Museum. Her work is the first to hang in the museum.

Intersections – Florencio Gelabert
Through Feb. 28, 2009
New York based artist Florencio Gelabert’s environmentally based installations are site specific, three-dimensional works that address issues of humankind’s relationship with the natural world and our role in the depletion of natural resources. The work combines sophisticated technologies with basic materials such as wood, glass and metal, to create complex three-dimensional works that address the perils facing the environment.

Drawing in Space: The Peninsula Project Illustrated – John Henry
Through March 9, 2009
This exhibition will highlight and illustrate the process and concept behind Drawing in Space: The Peninsula Project, which incorporates large-scale sculpture into the Florida landscape. Henry specifically chose Florida for its peninsular shape which creates a unique geographic environment. The Frost will present the signature exhibition for the project Peninsula Project Illustrated, and will showcase all nine monumental works in the seven participating Florida cities. With models of the sculpture and large photographs of the pieces set in their various landscapes – the exhibition will be a tribute to the artist’s unprecedented use of the Florida peninsula as his canvas.

Full Circle – Andrew Reach
Through April 4, 2009
Andrew Reach was working as an architect on the Frost Art Museum when his career ended because of a crippling spinal disease. In an effort to transcend his pain and physical limitations, he turned his creative energies to art. Lacking the strength to paint, Reach created large-format computer-generated images. His love for painters Larry Rivers and Jackson Pollock inspired him to fuse the abstract expressionist’s aesthetic with his interest in Eastern traditions, Islamic art and African patterns. Reach comes full circle with an exhibition of his work at The Frost: the beautiful and innovative structure he helped design.

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