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Tuesday, October 25, 2016

'Stories of Vizcaya' ventures into the gardens

The opening of the next phase of Lost Spaces and Stories of Vizcaya, a two-part centennial exhibition celebrating the estate's history through contemporary art is Tuesday, November 29 with an opening reception at 7 pm. This is one of many events honoring the estate's 100th birthday. Above, Amanda Keeley created neon sign installations in the Enclosed Loggia inspired by the Latin quote on the east façade of the Main House. 

Much like Vizcaya founder James Deering, who incorporated commissioned contemporary artworks in his vision for the estate, Vizcaya Curator Gina Wouters envisioned this contemporary exhibit as a vehicle to revive forgotten aspects of Vizcaya's history.

Brookhart Jonquil's piece will focus on the original fixtures in the two rooms in the Casino on the Garden Mound, using architecture and light as a bridge between the physical and the immaterial.

"Following the tradition of James Deering's patronage, we've commissioned local artists who have a unique perspective on Vizcaya's place in Miami's cultural landscape to bring back lost elements of the estate's original design," says Gina Wouters, Curator of Vizcaya Museum and Gardens. "Through the Lost Spaces project we truly integrate our Contemporary Arts Program within the aesthetic and interpretive framework of the historic site."

Frances Trombly designed pulls for the historic bell pulls that called staff throughout the Main House.

This second installation of Lost Spaces features local artists creating works in four areas related to Vizcaya's gardens and leisure spaces: the Casba, South Property, the Casino, and Basement Recreational Rooms. Like Phase I, these projects highlight elements of Vizcaya that no longer exist or are inaccessible to the public. 

Lucinda Liderman gave antique map racks in the Main House purpose once again by creating felt maps that depict rising water levels.

The Casba is a small, exotic pavilion that was originally part of Vizcaya's southern gardens and is now on the grounds of the Archdiocese of Miami. Leyden Rodriguez Casanova's piece will create an architectural reference to the Casba that appears as either unfinished or deconstructed, depending on the viewer's perspective. Mira Lehr and Yara Travieso's installation will personify Vizcaya as Queen Dido, the first queen of Carthage according to ancient Greek and Roman writers. Their work will be activated through performances, and evoke the exotic wildlife that once existed on the South Property. Kerry Phillips will create an installation for the winding white marble staircase in the Shop and Café area that once served as quick access for Deering and his guests from the East Loggia to the recreational rooms. The project will consist of found furniture installed with a sense of movement suggesting that the pieces are rushing down the stairs. Brookhart Jonquil is developing a piece for the two rooms in the Casinoon the Garden Mound. This piece will focus on the original fixtures in the rooms, while using architecture and light as a bridge between the physical and immaterial. His work will also speculatively reference the daily activities that might have taken place in those spaces. 

Vizcaya Casba no longer on the property. Courtesy of Vizcaya archives.

Drawing of swing formerly in Vizcaya Fountain Garden. Courtesy of Vizcaya archives.

The Lost Spaces and Stories of Vizcaya exhibit has been extended and will remain on view through October 9, 2017. Included in the exhibition is the earlier phase that opened in May 2016 and features works inside Vizcaya's Main House and Moat by artists Juraj Kojs, Duane Brant, Lucinda Linderman, David Rohn, Frances Trombly, Amanda Keeley and Magnus Sigurdarson. 

For more information, please visit or call 305-250-9188

Photo Credits: Leyden RodriguezCasanova, Brookhart Jonquil, Frances Trombly, Amanda Keeley, Licinda Linderman. 

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