This season we present several new and noteworthy exhibitions, including MOTHERWELL SEGAL, STELLA featuring seminal works by three of the most outstanding American artists of the second half of the twentieth century. Many large-scale works were transported from the private collection of Martin Margulies, especially for the exhibition. Margulies has been a collector of all three artists for several decades and this exhibition provides prime examples of each artists work and their contribution to the history of art.
The paintings on view by Robert Motherwell, a leading member of the New York School of Abstract Expressionist art, include an early 1958 canvas made the same year as Motherwell’s marriage to painter Helen Frankenthaler. Created prior to their honeymoon in Spain and France, the work anticipates the Iberia series that Motherwell began after the couple attended a bullfight at the Plaza de Toros in Biarritz, France in August 1958.
George Segal, who became prominent during the Pop Art movement of the 1960s, worked directly with the human form. The figures are set in an actual environment: a dive bar with a Budweiser beer neon sign, a New York City subway car, a park bench, and a Depression-era breadline. The figures modeled from Segal’s “ugly friends” are left rough and unfinished resulting in an effect of loneliness, alienation, and mystery, often compared to the paintings of American realist Edward Hopper.
“Frank Stella is a painter we have collected in depth over the fifty years we have been building the Margulies Collection,” says curator Katherine Hinds. In this exhibition, we are presenting a rare look at an early 1961-shaped canvas from his Copper series using industrial paint. These early geometric works are credited with launching the American Minimalist Movement. More of Stella’s work can be seen throughout the state of Florida at educational institutions. Over the course of several decades The Martin Z. Margulies Foundation has donated three large-scale Frank Stella works to the Lowe Art Museum, University of Miami; Samuel P. Hart Museum of Art, University of Florida; and the New World Symphony, Miami Beach.
Mimmo Paladino returns to the Margulies Collection with a solo exhibition of paintings and bronze sculptures. This prominent contemporary Italian artist’s career dates to the avant-garde movements of the 1960s and 1970s. His works layer figurative, non-figurative, decorative, and symbolic images steeped in the rich cultural heritage of his Italian homeland.
“We see this solo exhibition by Paladino as a continuation of our decades-long interest in contemporary Italian art,” says curator Katherine Hinds. “Over the past five years, we have presented exhibitions focused on Arte Povera, Jannis Kounellis, and a Survey of Young Italian artists. We are very pleased to present this solo exhibition by this well-known European artist, including a twenty-foot painting that we shipped in one piece from Italy.”
This season we present two significant exhibitions dedicated to important photographers of the 20th century, including a retrospective of the New York Street photographer Helen Levitt (1913-2009) and over 100 photographs by American photojournalist Danny Lyon. The Margulies Collection has one of the most comprehensive collections in the world of Helen Levitt’s photographs with several hundred shown along with the rare film In the Street (1948) the artist produced with the Pulitzer Prize-winning writer James Agee and cinematographer Janice Loeb. Included in the exhibition are her New York Street Scenes, First proofs, graffiti, color and Mexico City work. In addition are three Walker Evans 1938 Subway Portraits and the work Levitt produced alongside him in that same year. The photography exhibitions this season are co-curated by associate curator Jeanie Ambrosio and longtime curator Katherine Hinds.
In the Photography Study Center, Danny Lyon: 100 Photographs presents 118 Danny Lyon works from his most notable and famous series including his work in six Texas prisons and time with American Midwest bikeriders in the late 1960s—respectively Conversations with the Dead and The Bikeriders.
Our Only Sculpture exhibition presents nine-large scale sculptures ranging from 1965 through 2022. Many of the works in the show are indicative of the approach of the sculptural giants of the 1960s and 1970s who formed, welded and bent industrial materials such as Corten-steel and aluminum on a monumental scale. Two prime examples are Joel Perlman’s welded steel works, Nightfall (1979) and Diamond Rough (1982). In addition, Newport (1968) by Kenneth Snelson shows his principle of tensegrity combining tension and integrity which he developed after working with renowned architect Buckminster Fuller at Black Mountain College in the late 1940s. Contemporary artist Anna Fasshauer engages directly with the practices of these sculptors of the late 20th century—by contrast to their work, she uses only her body and a rivet gun to make her sculptures. Natural materials from American and British land artists Michael Heizer’s granite Circle (1976) and Richard Long’s 23-foot-long Norfolk Ellipse (2003) made from flint and chalk are also included.
Several of the pieces in Only Sculpture have been in the Margulies Collection since the late 1970s and early 1980s. In the 1980s several of the works formed the Grove Isle Sculpture Garden, an open to the public site nestled in the condominium complex in Coconut Grove Margulies built as a real-estate developer. In her essay about the sculpture garden, art historian Paula Harper describes, “Often Margulies himself can be seen leading a tour through the gardens, speaking with contagious enthusiasm about the sculptures he has so passionately collected.” The sculptures not only represent the art historical trajectory of sculpture in the 1960s through present day but show the Margulies Collections’ 40-year-long commitment to educating and displaying significant works of art for the Miami community and art world beyond.
Each year, a space is carved out in the Warehouse which is dedicated to the work of young, cutting-edge artists recently acquired in the collection. This year’s New to the Collection features two new paintings by German artist Jenny Brosinski, a ceramic figurative sculpture by Rose B. Simpson, and textile work of Eric Nathaniel Mack. A video by Marina Zurkow and James Schmitz shows an animation of the Hudson River estuary in New York that responds to the real time weather. When it’s raining in New York, it’s raining in the Warehouse.
We are also pleased to announce the exhibition we presented last year of 81 photographs from the Farm Security Administration, titled The Bitter Years Photography Dorothea Lange and Walker Evans has travelled to the Gibbes Museum of Art in Charleston, South Carolina and will be on view through January 14, 2024.
We are so happy to be presenting our 24th year of exhibitions at the Margulies Collection at the Warehouse and look forward to celebrating next year: A Quarter Century of Exhibitions at the Margulies Warehouse.
Image: George Segal, The Bar, 1971