A couple of black, white and gray pieces from Sam Winston hang on one wall of the Alejandra von Hartz Gallery. At first they appear like abstract drawings, but up close, an incredibly detailed work of art is revealed: they are made up of thousands of tiny letters, type-set and collaged, then turned into silkscreen prints. And, to add to the wonderment, these are part of a series based on Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet,” where the artist has taken the Bard’s play and broken it down into three parts, each one of a different emotional state: solace, passion and rage. The works here are from “Solace.”
Winston is one of three international artists whose work make up the exhibition “Vox,” a truly elegant and smart show that should be on any art lovers’ itinerary.
The works here all involve – and engage – words and text, although not in ways we normally experience them. Winston, who was here in Miami for a Fountainhead residency, has works in some of the most prominent collections in the world, and another great piece of his can be encountered when visiting Miami’s Sackner Archive of Concrete and Visual Poetry, one of the most unique collections in the world.
Brazil’s Lenora de Barros’ visual poetry is also stunning. Her “Utopy” is a sight and sound installation, from 1996, which includes two hanging panels, with stenciled words, that give off lovely shadow replications on the wall behind, with headphone accompaniment.
Argentina native and New York-based artist Soledad Arias is also well-known for her word play. “Acoustic wall #1″ is “more about what is not said rather than what is actually articulated,” according to the gallery notes. “Yet at the end it is all the same, what we don’t see is just as important as what we perceive.”
The pieces in “Vox” vary in genre, from video and audio to neon sculpture and print. There is a lot to take in here, although the exhibit is compact and clean in its presentation. As an added bonus, in the back room is a site-specific painting installation from Danish artist Malene Landgreen. While the interesting gradations of color are instantly compelling, look closely at the imperfections in these geometric-patterned walls – no, the artist didn’t just finish up at the last minute and leave those edges undone. Those imperfections are intentional, and create a more complex composition.
“Vox” and “Voyage and Rhythm – A Painting Installation” run through June 1. At Alejandra von Hartz Gallery, 2630 NW 2nd Ave, Miami; 305-438-0220; alejandravonhartz.net