The Miami Beach Convention Center Unveils its New Public Art Collection and Canalside Park




The new public art adorning the Miami Beach Convention Center was recently unveiled, including a series of murals and a public park lining Collins Canal adorned with large aluminum sculptures. The art, as curated by the City of Miami Beach’s Art in Public Places initiative, includes site-specific permanent works by Joseph Kosuth, Joep van Lieshout, Ellen Harvey, and Franz Ackerman, with a tile installation by artist Sarah Morris set to debut by the end of the month. The Joep van Lieshout pieces, specifically, enhance the gorgeous new park along Collins Canal.

According to a press release, these commissions constitute the largest ever single site “perfect-for-art” purchase in American history, meaning a larger percentage of the project’s entire cost has been spent on art here than anywhere else. Other works either coming to the area or already installed include a sound installation by Bill Fontana at Miami Beach Soundscape Park, unveiled last fall, and an Elmgreen & Dragset sculpture which will look like a swimming pool suspended in the air and bent in half, which will be installed later this year.

Project descriptions from the City of Miami Beach Arts in Public Places program are included below, along with fantastic photography by Robin Hill.

Artist: Joep Van Lieshout

Title: Humanoids, 2018

Medium: Aluminum

Location: Miami Beach Convention Center Collins Canal Park

The Humanoids in the Collins Canal Park are a classic representation of the work of Joep van Lieshout. These works, which reflect society, usually become destinations and serve as place makers in their environment. The Humanoids created for the park in Miami Beach, are part of the artist’s ongoing fascination with man, machine, and humanity. They appear as abstract figures, which use the park and the natural environment as their habitat, formulating a subtle statement about our relationship to nature and our origins. The sculptures will be placed throughout the park, along the canal and amidst the trees. The Humanoids invite visitors to engage, stimulate social interaction and contemplation, whether it be to use them as rendezvous spots, places
to remember, sketch, write, think or talk.

Artist: Franz Ackermann
Title: About Sand, 2018
Medium: Paint
Location: Miami Beach Convention Center, South East Corner Exterior Walls

About Sand extends from Ackermann’s long-running “Mental Maps” series, a collection of small-scale paintings and drawings that serve as an abstracted cartography of the artist’s memories of travel. While painting the expansive About Sand mural, Ackermann spent weeks in Miami Beach—famous for its resorts, historic district and beaches—even going so far as to rent an apartment across from the mural site so as to embed himself in the experience of the city’s residents. Rendered in vibrant colors and abstracted forms of sand, hourglasses and roadways, About Sand reaches beyond the typical themes of Miami Beach’s nightlife and shores to unite these themes with his impressions of the city’s tourism industry, commerce, urbanism and daily life.

Artist: Ellen Harvey
Title: Atlantis, 2018
Medium: Etched mirror, glass
Location: Miami Beach Convention Center Grand Ballroom Lobby
Atlantis is directly inspired by Miami Beach’s unique connection to the many bodies of water that nourish the larger Florida ecosystem. Visitors to the Miami Beach Convention Center’s Grand Ballroom Lobby will see themselves reflected in a 1,000 square foot watery hand-made mirror engraved with a shimmering drawing of the waterways connecting Miami Beach both to Biscayne Bay and the Atlantic Ocean and the great
watershed of the Everglades, leading all the way to the Gulf of Mexico. The map highlights the beautiful and sometimes fraught intersections between the natural and the manmade that together crate a landscape unlike any other. Showing what makes the city special and beautiful and it does so in a way that in turns crates
a thought-provoking and seductive experience of visitors to the Miami Beach Convention Center.

Artist: Joseph Kosuth
Title: Located World, Miami Beach, 2018
Medium: Neon
Location: Miami Beach Convention Center West Lobby
Located World, Miami Beach, installed in the west lobby of the Miami Beach Convention Center signify a sense of place through abstractions of quantified meaning and query the impulse of the ‘will to know’. In a sense, the work is about how a community defines itself both within and without borders. The installation is configured in its geographic relation to the rest of the world. Its specific location determines the size 2
of the lettering of the place names represented in the work, whose graphic configuration is scaled in direct proportion to their distance from this global location; the closer a location is-in this case to Miami Beach-the larger it is graphically. Due to Miami Beach’s proximity to Havana, Cuba, Havana will be one of the largest and most important cities cited in the work. As such the work pays homage to Miami Beach’s Cuban Community.

Artist: Elmgreen & Dragset
Title: Bent Pool, 2019
Medium: Fiberglass, cement
Location: Miami Beach Convention Center Park
Elmgreen & Dragset reconfigure the aesthetics and contexts of similar spaces and objects to challenge people’s perceptions of them, so they experience them in different ways. With Bent Pool, Elmgreen & Dragset again confront the conventional sculptural traditions of what an outdoor sculpture can be. Whereas public sculptures often commemorate historic events in a heroic way, this work turns an everyday domestic object into a monumental arch: a swimming pool, modified in its design and isolated from its functional context.

Artist: Sarah Morris
Title: Morris Lapidus, 2018
Medium: Custom fabricated porcelain tiles
Location: Miami Beach Convention Center Northeast Corner Exterior Walls
Morris Lapidus by Sarah Morris is an expansive, site-specific artwork commissioned by the City of Miami Beach. Executed in custom fabricated porcelain tile and covering over 6,000 square feet of exterior wall space, Morris Lapidus is one of the artist’s largest permanent installations to date. Morris’ dynamic visual language invites the viewer to reflect upon the concepts of motion, scale, light and
social space through the use of
vectors, points, color and geometric forms. Much like Morris’ paintings and films, site-specific installations such as Morris Lapidus seek to decode and initiate new dialogues with the structures and concepts that define the built environment.

Title: Sonic Dreamscapes, 2018
Medium: Sound, video
Location: SoundScape Park
Sonic Dreamscapes is a sound and video projection artwork designed to run through the course of a day and evening in SoundScape Park. The work consists of two additional types of sound and video that bring more of an event quality about them. A series of shorter sound sculptures are played at noon, while the other is a series of projection works that have abstract visual and audio content inspired by the rich environments of Miami Beach and South Florida. As day turns into evening, environmentally inspired abstract videos emerge on the wall allowing visitors to experience a mirage of floating sounds and meditative images.

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