For Just Five Days, Wade Guyton, Dana Schutz, and Rashid Johnson at de la Cruz Collection

Christopher Wool and Kelley Walker were in the mix.

 

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Works by Sterling Ruby on the ground floor. Courtesy of the de la Cruz Collection.
Works by Glenn Ligon, Sterling Ruby, Wade Guyton, and Felix Gonzalez-Torres on the ground floor. Courtesy of the de la Cruz Collection.
Works by Thomas Houseago and Joe Bradley on the ground floor. Courtesy of the de la Cruz Collection.
Works by Christopher Wool on the ground floor. Courtesy of the de la Cruz Collection.
Works by Rashid Johnson on the ground floor. Courtesy of the de la Cruz Collection.
Works by Dan Colen and Mark Bradford on the ground floor. Courtesy of the de la Cruz Collection.

A tripartite configuration of Sterling Ruby works (two paintings and a sculpture) opened “Beneath the Surface,” a sensually overwhelming exhibition at the de la Cruz Collection in Miami’s Design District that flirted with the line dividing new abstraction and figuration and included artists Christopher Wool, Dana Schutz, Wade Guyton, Kelley Walker, Rashid Johnson, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, and Alex Israel.

On the main hall of the ground floor, Guyton’s six-panel printed ink on linen vertical work was paired with Johnson’s equally vast installation Soul Mate (2012). Though the two works were at opposing east-west ends of the gallery space, Johnson’s mirrored image subtly captured not only the visitors, but also Guyton’s behemoth of a work. The synergy between the two pieces created an intriguing, though ephemeral, dialogue that was transported throughout the space. This carefully curated symbiosis was reflected on the ground floor as a whole, where sculptures and canvas works informed rather than affronted each other.

While perusing the sculpture on the second floor, which is gathered together in a kind of oasis, you recognize that a real pleasure of the show is in dissecting the processes behind each work, which invites the viewer into an exploration of production. Near the sculpture oasis were two important pieces: Schutz’s Gravity Fanatic (2005) and Walker’s silkscreened chocolate-on-canvas work Black Star Press: Black Press, Black Star (2006). Other highlights include Rob Pruitt’s set of small-scale paintings Us (2013), which was a visually pleasing cacophony of color and emotions on the third floor, as well as Sean Dack’s mildly disturbing video installation, No Encore (2002), featuring Kurt Cobain violently flailing around during a Nirvana concert.

Opened by Carlos and Rosa de la Cruz in 2009, the de la Cruz collection is one of the most significant private collections in Miami. The show, which ran for only five days, coinciding with Art Basel in Miami Beach, closed on Saturday December 6.


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