Latin Masterpieces Preview in Miami

MIAMI, FLA.- Phillips announced the six-day exhibition of more than 30 works of art in the Miami Design District, from 19-24 April, which will appear in its Latin America sale on 24 May in New York.

Art collectors of ArtKabinett social media network will get a rare opportunity to see works by Matta, Carmen Herrera, Roberto Obregón, and Jesús Rafael Soto, among other masters in the field.

In conjunction with the exhibition, on 21 April, Phillips will also host the book launch of Matta: On the Edge of a Dream by Thomas Monahan, the first international monograph or publication dedicated exclusively to the artist.

Kaeli Deane, Phillips’ Head of Sale, Latin American Art, said, “We are thrilled to have the opportunity to work so closely with the Miami Design District in bringing these incredible works of art to the public view, many for the first time. Over the past few years, this city has become the heart of a vibrant Latin American art community. Miami and the category of Latin American art are inextricably linked to one another – both comprised of a myriad of cultures, histories, and personal experiences. We look forward to this exciting exhibition, as well as the opportunity to honor Matta’s significant contributions to the field during the event on April 21.”

“As a neighborhood, the Miami Design District actively cultivates rich and diverse cultural experiences,” said Tiffany Chestler, Director of Cultural Programming at Dacra. “It has been a pleasure to partner with Phillips to bring these Latin American masterworks to Miami and make them accessible to the public.”

Broad Definition

Latin American art can be defined in many ways, with some artists having helped to construct their own countries’ national identities, while others spent their careers abroad participating in international movements.

Spanning nearly a century of artistic practice, this exhibition attempts to highlight and celebrate the breadth of this category, bringing together works of art that have backgrounds and influences as interesting as their creators.

The central work in this exhibition, Roberto Obregón’s Niagara II (Ele Erre y Hache O) (1993), is from the incredibly rare and famous series, Niagaras. The work features a conversation between the artist’s parents. This imagined conversation, as well as the artist’s inclusion of his iconic rose petals, which represent the passing of time and the fragility of life, link the other works in the exhibition, which at first glance appear infinitely varied.

From here, one is drawn to the striking contrast in Carmen Herrera’s Black and Green (1975), a painting that also features a stark dichotomy of elements and exquisite geometric balance. With an upcoming exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art and a new auction record set for her work last year at Phillips, Herrera’s works have gained tremendous interest recently. At 100 years old, her career is now receiving the attention it has so long deserved.

Straddling the line between painting and craft, Olga de Amaral’s Umbra (2014-15) feels ancient and otherworldly while simultaneously relating closely to Colombian culture, both past and present. Together, the distinct works in this exhibition highlight the conversations between cultures, countries and generations, as well as underscore the varied trajectory of the art of Latin America, bridging the sensory, spatial, and political underpinnings of a region in impactful ways.

Matta: On the Edge of a Dream by Thomas Monahan

In anticipation of the forthcoming Matta exhibition at the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, co-organized by Oksana Salamatina, Phillips is proud to host the book launch of Thomas Monahan’s Matta: On the Edge of a Dream on 21 April. Published by Skira and edited by Paola Gribaudo and Oksana Salamatina, this important monograph traces the life and work of Matta from his beginnings to his most celebrated works.

Roberto Sebastián Antonio Matta Echaurren (1911-2002) was an international figure whose worldview represented a synthesis of European, American, and Latin American cultures.

As a member of the surrealist movement and an early mentor to several abstract expressionists, Matta broke with both groups to pursue a highly personal artistic vision. His mature work blended abstraction, figuration, and multi-dimensional spaces into complex, cosmic landscapes.

Matta: On the Edge of a Dream offers an incredibly unique insight into the artist, providing a reflection on Matta from the personal standpoint of his longtime dealer and friend, Thomas Monahan. Monahan has been a champion of Matta’s artwork for over 40 years; in fact, it was a solo exhibition of the artist’s work that christened the Thomas Monahan Fine Art Gallery in 1977.

In the book, images of masterpieces by the artist are accompanied by two interviews; the first with Monahan, covering his start in the art world to his friendship with artist.

The reader sees Matta’s paintings evolve, hears stories, and understands the artist’s incredible physical and mental energy. The second interview with Matta was conducted by lauded art historian Hans Ulrich Obrist, shortly before the artist’s death.

The evening will feature a discussion and presentation by the author, Thomas Monahan, followed by a book signing.

• Exhibition: 19-24 April | Monday to Saturday 10am-6pm, Sunday 12pm-5pm
• Matta: On the Edge of a Dream Event: Thursday, 21 April, 6:30pm
Location: Palm Court Event Space, 140 NE 39th Street, Miami Design District

Photo above: Carmen Herrera, Black and Green, 1975 (detail). Estimate $250,000 - 350,000. Image courtesy of Phillips.