Even with some 260 participating galleries from around the world showing museum-quality work at this year’s Art Basel Miami Beach, not all the fair’s viewing action was on the floor of the Convention Center. For its 10th anniversary edition, the fair teamed up with the Bass Museum of Art to present Art Public, an installation of outdoor sculptures in the recently redesigned Collins Park. Among the 24 artists selected were two SVA alumni: Robert Melee (BFA 1990 Visual Arts) and Banks Violette (BFA 1998 Fine Arts), who is showing his first outdoor sculpture.
Occupying opposite ends of verdant Collins Park, Melee and Violette’s works are a study in contrasts. Melee’s 2008 bronze It Sitting is a pock-marked biomorphic mass doused in a rainbow of nautical paint. On the other side of the block, in more ways than one, Violette’s all-black 2011 aluminum structure Not yet titled looks like a roadside traffic barrier destroyed in a critical collision.
“The installation is intended to compliment, frustrate, soothe, challenge and distract from the cacophony and activity of South Beach during the show,” said Art Public Curator Christine Kim.
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Image: (top) Robert Melee, It Sitting, 2008. Photo by Onajide Shabaka/miamiartexchange.com. (bottom) Banks Violette, Not yet titled, 2011. Photo by Sam Modenstein. Both installed at Collins Park, Miami, for Art Public 2011.