Launch of Annual Public Sculpture Program in Collaboration with the Miami Design District
Inaugural Presentation Features Large-Scale Sculptures from Sol LeWitt’s Pioneering Concrete Block Series and Major Gift from Renowned German Artist Thomas Bayrle
The Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami (ICA Miami) today announced the launch of a new public sculpture initiative in collaboration with the Miami Design District this fall, in advance of the museum’s launch of its permanent home on December 1, 2017. The new initiative extends ICA Miami’s dynamic exhibitions program into the community and engages the public with thought-provoking contemporary art. Featuring significant works by leading post-war and contemporary artists, including major works from the museum’s collection, the annual rotation opens with an installation of two monumental sculptures by conceptual artist Sol LeWitt, beginning November in the Miami Design District’s Jungle Plaza, and in a newly renovated site in the Miami Design District on US 1. Also launching the program is a newly announced gift from renowned German artist Thomas Bayrle, a monumental steel sculpture commissioned for the artist’s debut solo U.S. museum exhibition. The public sculpture initiative enables this major work from the museum’s collection to remain on long-term view in ICA Miami’s former space in the Design District’s Moore Building.
“Engaging audiences with art beyond the walls of the museum and throughout our community is central to ICA Miami’s mission and should be an everyday occurrence,” said Ellen Salpeter, Director of ICA Miami. “We are thrilled to collaborate with the Miami Design District on this long-term initiative that will activate public space through dynamic art installations, and to announce this tremendous addition to our collection by Thomas Bayrle in advance of our public re-opening.”
“Creativity is essential to the spirit and dynamism of the Miami Design District, and public art plays a prominent role in engaging the community,” said Craig Robins, President and CEO of Dacra and founder of the Miami Design District. “Through ICA Miami’s exciting programming, we will be able to bring even more of the world’s leading artists to amplify the vibrant range of cultural experiences available throughout the neighborhood.”
The new program is inaugurated with two outdoor concrete block structures by Sol LeWitt. The concrete structures are important examples of LeWitt’s approach to Minimalism and composition, and an expression of the artist’s engagement with urbanism and intervention with public space. Rising over 20 feet high, Tower (Frankfurt), (1990) and Tower (Lodz), (1993) will greet visitors at the entry to the Design District from Miami Beach. An important late series by LeWitt, the “Concrete Block Structures” see the artist experimenting with brutalist materials and expanding his collaborative method by working with engineers and architects in various localities. With their modular units and construction, the structures engage issues of production central to modern urban society.
Also on view is Thomas Bayrle’s Wire Madonna, a site-specific commission composed entirely of welded steel tubing, which the artist has gifted to the museum. Towering 33 feet high, Wire Madonna is the first large-scale steel structure ever realized by the artist and deepens his career-long exploration of craft, spirituality, and consumerism. The sculpture debuted during Art Basel Miami Beach 2016 as the anchor of the artist’s first American museum survey, One Day on Success Street. It remains on long-term view in the Moore Building’s Atrium, free to the public.
“As a medium grounded in conceptual innovation and material reality, sculpture is a significant focus of our programming at ICA Miami,” said Alex Gartenfeld, ICA Miami’s Deputy Director & Chief Curator. “As we look forward to unveiling a dedicated sculpture garden in December, this new initiative underscores and expands our commitment to the medium, and to working with artists who challenge our notions of art and public space.”
Highlighting its ongoing role as a platform for leading Miami-based artists, ICA Miami also launches commissions of two large-scale public artworks in the Miami Design District beginning this December. Mark Handforth will design a new collage on a billboard visible along highway I-395, while Jillian Mayer will create new work for a billboard on 54th Street. The museum’s inaugural billboard presentation in 2016 featured a mural of Thomas Bayrle’s Lufthansa (1982).