Private Family Collections of Contemporary Art in Miami

Art Basel Miami brought again lots of attention to the two major private art collections in Miami, the Margulies Collection and the Rubell Collection.

The Margulies Collection | 2008 – 2009 Exhibition

The Margulies Collection at the Warehouse, Miami, Florida, is said to be one of the city’s most stunning private collections. It includes sculpture, photography, video and installations, was curated by his longtime curator, Katherine Hinds. It celebrates a decade of exhibitions and educational programming that explore contemporary art and culture.

Currently, during Art Basel Miami Beach and through April 25 2009, the Collection presents work – among others – by Magdalena Abakanowicz, Isaac Julien, and George Osodi.

There has been a lot of interest in the London-based artist Isaac Julien’s video installation on three big screens, Western Union : Small Boats, 2007. This film installation is about migration and the hope for a better life. The video contrasts the stunning surroundings of the Mediterranean Sea and a Sicilian palace, with the desperation in the flight of North Africans on rickety boats, who seek refuge in Europe. It is well known that many die in the journey. ”The Europeans have been dealing with this issue quietly,” according to Julien, commenting on stories in the Spanish press about corpses that sometimes wash ashore. “But it’s no longer a Spanish problem, but a universal problem.”

Other artists on show are:

  • Magdalena Abakanowicz Hurma 1994-1995
    An epic figurative environment by the renowned Polish sculptor

  • Oil Rich Niger Delta by George Osodi
    A photographic essay on the people of Nigeria

  • Photography and Sculpture: A correlated Exhibition
    New and vintage photography linked to contemporary sculpture

The central theme of the entire collection is the human condition, in all its facets. The Margulies are humanitarians. While Mr. Margulies collects humane art, Mrs. Margulies, retired from her professional career and established a women shelter, called the Lotus House. This year, the collection hosts a sale of photographs by local and international artists to benefit her shelter.

Interview with Art Collector Martin Z. Margulies

Martin Z. Margulies is collecting art since more than 30 years already, the Margulies Collection at the Warehouse celebrates a decade of exhibitions and educational programming. Currently, during Art Basel Miami Beach and through April 2009, the Collection presents work – among others – by Magdalena Abakanovicz, Isaac Julien, and George Osodi. In this video, Martin Z. Margulies talks about the recent acquisitions, the common thread of the collection, the roots of his interest in art, what things have changed and stayed the same over the years, and the collaboration with the Lotus House (a shelter for homeless women and children, run by Martin Z. Margulies’s wife Constance Collins Margulies).

30 Americans, Rubell Family Art Collection – video

The art collection of the Rubell Family is actually one of the more important contemporary art collections in the US, featuring many well-known artists such as

The Rubell Family started collecting in the 1960’s.

Within this context then, they have always collected African-American artists as a part of their broader mission to collect the most interesting art of our time.

Then, about 3 years ago, they concluded that there was a critical mass of emerging African-American artists, and began the process of understanding what seemed to be a new movement.

When they asked these artists about their influences, they heard some of the same names over and over: Robert Colescott, Renée Green, David Hammons, Barkley Hendricks, Kerry James Marshall, Gary Simmons, Lorna Simpson, Kara Walker, and Carrie Mae Weems. They had been collecting almost all of those artists for decades.

The concept of a show evolved, and they decided to call it “30 Americans”, doing away with the ethic reference, which it actually discusses.

There are actually 31 African-American artists in this year’s exhibition at the Rubell Family Collection at Art Basel Miami. It showed more than 200 works of art, occupying the entire 45,000-square-foot exhibition space of the Rubell Family Collection.

The show was called “30 Americans” and was a portrait of contemporary African-American art. It was a very impressive show. Have a look:

Artists presented:
Nina Chanel Abney
John Bankston
Jean-Michel Basquiat
Mark Bradford
Iona Rozeal Brown
Kara Walker Rubell Collection MiamiKara Walker
Nick Cave
Robert Colescott
Noah Davis
Leonardo Drew
Renée Green
David Hammons
Barkley I. Hendricks
Rashid Johnson
Glenn Ligon
Kalup Linzy
Kerry James Marschall
Rodney McMillian
Wangechi Mutu
William Pope.L
Gary Simmons
Xaviera Simmons
Lorna Simpson
Shinique Smith
Jeff Sonhouse
Henry Taylor
Hank Willis Thomas
Mickalene Thomas
Kara Walker
Carrie Mae Weems
Kehinde Wiley, and
Purvis Young.

Find this collection off the beaten path. It is exhibited in a converted 45,000-square-foot former Drug Enforcement Agency (D.E.A.) confiscated-goods warehouse in a somewhat desolate storage district scattered with small lower income housing.

Open to the public since 1996, the collection features rotating exhibitions of work by such prominent artists as Maurizio Cattelan, Marlene Dumas, David Hammons, Keith Haring, Damien Hirst,  Anselm Kiefer, Jeff Koons, Kerry James Marshall, Paul McCarthy, Takashi Murakami, Neo Rauch, Charles Ray, Gregor Schneider, Cindy Sherman, Rosemarie Trockel, Luc Tuymans, Kara Walker and Lisa Yuskavage.

Speak Your Mind