“we should want … [our] relationship to space to evoke architecture as it is informed by the humanities, not architecture simply as a technical art.” -LaVerne Wells-Bowie (Art On My Mind: Visual Politics: bell hooks)
The works selected by curator William Cordova represent four generations of South Florida artists whose practice is informed and rooted in the geography, community and multi-cultural diversity of the region. These are artists who have endured and evolved as South Florida has changed, and yet still transcend the boundaries of expectation.
The exhibition offers a glimpse into the prism of South Florida art through sculpture, painting, drawing, audio and film. The works are derived from many different parts of the region and utilize a variety of concepts and scale. Exhibiting artists include the late Purvis Young, the first real home-grown talent whose prolific and complex work gained international critical acclaim well before the 2000s; Karen Rifas, whose expansive site-specific ephemeral installations have been a trademark and influence on the ever-evolving local scene since the 1970s; Robert Thiele, the first Florida artist to be included in the prestigious Whitney Biennial (1975); Juana Valdes, whose work has been included in various biennials, including the Havana and SITE Santa Fe biennials, and yet locally goes unnoticed by major museums; and Onajide Shabaka, visual artist, anthropologist, botanist and writer, a cultural practitioner whose artistic depth and contributions remain unmatched. These are only a few of the many practitioners whose works will be highlighted in this survey of a southern Florida collective.
“those who ain’t got it can’t show it, those who got it can’t hide it” — Zora Neale Hurston