The blog of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Jul 23, 2013

A look east from Wynwood

Posted by Anne Tschida

From “Matrix/Collective Memory" at Black Square Gallery.

If you haven’t stopped in to the Black Square Gallery, on a corner in Wynwood’s center core, you are missing out. While many of Miami’s galleries tend to focus on art originating in Latin countries or on artists with Latin backgrounds — rightfully so — Black Square often highlights art from Eastern Europe, in particular Ukraine, from where the directors hail. The stop can be a refreshing interlude.

For the rest of the summer, for instance, the gallery will be showing work from Alexiy Say, an artist who grew up in the post-Soviet era in Kiev. For a previous solo show here, he presented work based on the “visual language of the corporate world,” and called it “Excel-art,” a reference of course to the gridded program used by millions across the globe to tally accounts — the ubiquitous spreadsheet created by Microsoft.

Another Ukrainian artist represented in the United States by Black Square, is holding up the pavilion in Italy this year for the Venice Biennial (for those of you planning a European trip, it’s up until Nov. 24), Zhanna Kadyrova. Back in 2003, another Black Square artist also represented Ukraine at the famed art event, Victor Sydorenko, who is now vice-president of the country’s Academy of the Arts. Quite a bit of that nation’s best contemporary arts can be explored without a plane ticket right here in Wynwood.

But the gallery isn’t a one-trick pony. Along with Say, two other artists add a global perspective and make up “Matrix/Collective Memory” — Spain’s Carlos Zerpabzueta and Argentina’s Camilo Guinot (recently featured in Sculpture magazine). They are all noteworthy works and well deserve a stop on a summer Wynwood visit.

“Matrix/Collective Memory” runs through Sept. 8 at Black Square Gallery, 2248 N.W. 1st Pl., Miami;

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