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Art Basel

A resilient Miami Art Week forges forward

By Elisa Turner

On view are ongoing and new exhibits overseen by Katharine Hinds, with works by Magdalena Abakanowicz, Doug Aitken, Olafur Eliasson, Kota Ezawa, Ernesto Neto, Mary Obering, Nancy Rubins, George Segal, Carrie Mae Weems, and Yukinori Yanagi. In one particularly compelling passage, Ibrahim Mahama and Jennifer Steinkamp – two artists not typically considered together – are paired here in a meditative experience. Recalling a threatened environment and the inequities of global trade, one side of Mahama’s monumental stacked sculpture Non-orientable Nkansa (2017) is installed opposite Blind Eye 3 (2019), Steinkamp’s roughly three-minute animated video installation.

Mahama worked with migrant workers from his native Ghana to create a towering wall made of 2,000 shoemaker boxes, originally used for containing tools for polishing and repairing shoes. This rough-hewn massing creates a sculptural tapestry composed of hundreds of dark, empty spaces, likely signifying wasted economic potential while possessing a resilient, vernacular beauty. Blind Eye 3, on the other hand, captures the ebb and flow of seasons with a stand of birches swaying slightly almost as if breathing, leaves growing greener in spring and summer, turning gold in the fall, and falling away in winter. Today, it reads as an elegy for a squandered natural world. 

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