TUESDAY, DECEMBER 2 2009

PRIVATE COLLECTIONS: de la Cruz Collection joins mix of world-class spaces
FABIOLA SANTIAGO, fsantiago@MiamiHerald.com


There are no better calling cards for South Florida's art scene than the world-class private collections showcased at their best during Art Basel Miami Beach.
All eyes this year will be on the new 30,000-square-foot space of Key Biscayne collectors Rosa and Carlos de la Cruz, who worked until the last minute to obtain a certificate of occupancy for the building in time to hang the works of 44 internationally known contemporary artists.

''I'm opening, I'm ready, and I like the idea that people will see the space as a work in progress,'' Rosa de la Cruz says. ''I hope that this adds a positive element in a year of so many negatives.''The three-story Design District space joins other private collections -- The Margulies Collection, the Rubell Family Collection and the Cisneros-Fontanals Art Foundation (CIFO) -- housed in Wynwood and downtown Miami.

Focused on international contemporary art but also with a Miami emphasis, the de la Cruzes' building will serve as an extension of the couple's house, which has been open for public view for 15 years and is an official stop on the Art Basel schedule of VIP activities.

Works by the late Felix Gonzalez-Torres and Ana Mendieta will be exhibited permanently in the museum-like facility, and project rooms will rotate artwork throughout the year. One room will display the work of local artists. ''Some collectors are looking to [the opening of the new space] as the highlight of their trip,'' says Marc Spiegler, co-director of Art Basel Miami Beach. ''It's quite a hot topic internationally.''

The de la Cruz Collection, 23 NE 41st St., Miami. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday through Sunday and by appointment. Free. Info: 305-576-6112; delacruzcollection.org.

MARGULIES COLLECTION

At The Margulies Collection at the Warehouse, four exhibitions are being unveiled: Miro & Noguchi: Masters of Surrealist Sculpture , 100 Years of Photography 1909-2009 , George Segal: Depression Bread Line and Sculpture & Video: New Additions to the Collection .

The Miro-Noguchi exhibition presents 14 works of monumental and small-scale sculpture by two masters of 20th century art.
''This exhibition gives us an opportunity to juxtapose these two artists in order to trace and link the similarities and diversities in their work,'' curator Katherine Hinds says.
In 100 Years of Photography, hundreds of vintage and contemporary photographs culled from the highly regarded Margulies collection will be shown. The exhibition begins at the turn of the 20th century with the work of Lewis Hine (1874-1940), an investigative photographer for the National Child Labor Committee. It also incorporates various photographic movements, among them social documentation, modernism, new topography, conceptual photography and fabricated reality. Photographers include Dorothea Lange, Helen Levitt, Danny Lyon, Cindy Sherman, Justine Kurland, Alec Soth, Jeff Brouws, Olafur Eliasson and Anastasia Khoroshilova.
Commanding the mammoth warehouse space will be George Segal's Depression Bread Line , a bronze cast of a piece commissioned by the federal government for the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial in Washington, D.C. Segal created the imagery for his sculpture by researching Depression-era, Farm Security Administration images by Walker Evans, Ben Shahn and Lange. New video and sculpture additions to the collection include works by Austrian Franz West, Sara Barker, Zilvinas Kempinas, Ivan Navarro and Bill Viola.
The Margulies Collection at the Warehouse, 591 NW 27th St., Miami. 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday to Saturday; 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday . Admission $10; free to students. Info: 305-576-1051; margulieswarehouse.com.

RUBELL COLLECTION

Beg Borrow and Steal at the Rubell Family Collection features the work of 74 international artists who appropriate imagery, concepts and techniques to create artwork that builds on the legacies of master artists. Their 260 works occupy all 28 galleries of the Rubells' 45,000-square-foot space in Wynwood.
The idea to stage such a show arose from a series of conversations Mera and Don Rubell had with artists Kelly Walker and Wade Guyton in 2005 about how other artists influence their work. The Rubells were impressed with how Walker and Guyton described the ways in which major art-world figures such as Cady Noland, Andy Warhol, Marcel Duchamp and Richard Prince -- all represented in the show -- opened doors for emerging artists like themselves.
The show's unpunctuated title, a nod to the styles of artists Jenny Holzer and Barbara Krouger, who are represented, plays with a quote attributed to Picasso: ''Good artists borrow; great artists steal.''
''It's the most ambitious show we've done. Intensely ambitious,'' Mera Rubell says. ''The whole show is based on appropriation and the ready made. Everybody in the show has borrowed from Duchamp, and we're lucky to have a Duchamp piece in the collection. He's the statesman, the father of the whole movement.''
The Rubells will host their traditional Art Basel breakfast from 9 a.m. to noon Thursday.
Rubell Family Collection, 95 NW 29th St., Miami. Beg Borrow and Steal opens 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Dec. 8. The exhibition runs through May 29. Admission $10; $5 for those under 18 and students. Info: 305-573-6090; rfc.museum.

CIFO

The Friday brunch for Basel VIPs thrown by collector Ella Fontanals-Cisneros in her artful downtown space is one of the best-attended Basel-related activities. It runs from 9 a.m to noon Friday.
Showing at CIFO through March 7 is Being in the World: Selections from the Ella Fontanals-Cisneros Collection with participating artists Chantal Akerman, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Muntean/Rosenblum, Robin Rhode, Shirin Neshat, Bill Viola and Francesca Woodman. The show was curated by Berta Sichel, director of audio visuals at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia in Madrid, who will lead a tour at 10 a.m. Wednesday.
Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation, 1018 N. Miami Ave., Miami. 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday . Free. Info: 305-455.3380; cifo.org.