Miami Collector to Open Museum of Latin American Art

Art dealer and collector Gary Nader is building a museum for Latin American art in Miami. Drawn from his own collection, the planned museum will feature 600 paintings, drawings, and sculptures, according to the Miami Herald. In addition to visual art, the museum will also stage exhibitions of film, music, and fashion.

Nader is already something of a pioneer in Miami. He runs an eponymous gallery in Wynwood, Gary Nader Fine Art. An imposing 55,000-square-feet, it is described on its website as “the most important fine art gallery in South Florida” as well as “the biggest gallery in the world.” It has impressive names on its roster of artists, including Chilean artist Roberto Matta and Columbian artist Fernando Botero. In recent years, the gallery has had shows of the work of Botero, Cuban-born artist Enrique Martínez Celaya, and of the dance photography of ballet legend Mikhail Baryshnikov.

But the gallery has also raised some eyebrows. In December 2012 it was given a free 24-hour police detail by the city for the entire run of a four-month exhibition of the $500 million collection of Portuguese billionaire Joe Berardo, which included works by Pablo Picasso, Francis Bacon, and Andy Warhol. The police security, the result of a “gentleman’s agreement,” in Nader’s words, left locals angered and wondering why his gallery had received the special treatment from Miami PD.

Nader’s new museum will be housed in a 90,000-square-foot building designed by Mexican architect Fernando Romero, known for his metallic, windowless design of the Museo Soumaya, the private museum in Mexico City opened by telecommunications magnate Carlos Slim (the “world’s richest person,” according to Forbes) to showcase his personal collection of European and Mexican art. To help fund the estimated $50 million cost of the museum, Nader will reportedly be building a $300 million residential tower with units expected to sell for $2-$20 million.

Scheduled to open in early 2016, Nader’s museum will join several private museums that have already helped to establish the city as a major art destination, including the Margulies Collection, the de la Cruz Collection, and the Rubell Family Collection (see “What Are America’s Top 10 Private Contemporary Art Museums?“). Nader’s institution will build on Miami’s Latin American heritage. In its first year of programming, the museum will show a retrospective of work by Botero, a Brazilian art exhibition, as well as shows by Matta, Frida Kahlo, and Diego Rivera.

For those wanting to get an early look at the design, Nader will be unveiling a rendering and a model during Art Basel in Miami Beach (see “Art Basel in Miami Beach 2014 Boasts an Intimidating 267 Galleries“) at his gallery, the second floor of which will also preview some of the Latin American art in his collection.

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