Gary Nader Art Centre is Part of Miami's Emerging Cultural Mecca
Regarded as one of the most important and successful fine art galleries in the world, Gary Nader Art Centre specializes in Latin American art, featuring three unique components: Nader Art Museum, the Exhibition Gallery and the Sculpture Park. Gary Nader Art Centre is located in the heart of Miami's Wynwood District and is the largest gallery in the world with over 55,000 square feet of viewing space.
Gary Nader's legacy as one of Miami's leading cultural impresarios began in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, where his family had been collecting and curating art for generations. Nader emigrated to Miami in 1979, with the goal of opening South Florida's preeminent art gallery that would showcase the socio-political journey and rich cultural life of Latin America through works by master artists.
Historically, art of European origin had been celebrated, with the exclusion of works by master artists of African and Latin American lineage, as well as that of many female artists. Nader's efforts to bring his family's successful Dominican gallery to Miami may sound like a simple one, but according to Nader, the art scene, even in a town dubbed "Little Cuba," was an uphill battle in the beginning. "The distinction of Latin American art was adopted because at the beginning of the twentieth century, artists started to project themselves as nationalists to try to breakaway and distinguish themselves from the traditional European style." Though he is careful to make the important distinction that Latin American artists fought to have their work seen, not because they wanted to be known solely as Latin American artists. "Art is not qualified by geographic sector, but by genre. You are either a modern artist or you are a contemporary artist. It doesn’t matter if you are from China or Latin America or the United States, because every artist wants to be international."
The Gary Nader Art Centre, currently features 2,000 individual works of art by 150 master artists from around the world within its massive 55,000 square foot space. He says that as much influence as his work has had on the city of Miami, it took some coaxing to get Art Basel to take notice of the importance of including work by Latin artists into its annual fold. "I criticized [Art Basel] very strongly, because there was a time when there was only one Latin American art gallery featured; maybe two. I said, 'you come to our town and Latin American art is not worth showing at your festival?' I then put my own show together at the same time as the Art Basel show, to showcase Latin American master artists. We had 10,000 people come to our event. They took note of it," he says, "and today they have more than 20 art galleries from Latin American artists at Art Basel shows."
Indeed, the Art Basel website's description of their December 2019 show states, "In our American show, leading galleries from North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia, and Africa show significant work from the masters of Modern and contemporary art," proving they are now more inclusive in their approach.
In listening to Gary Nader speak about his rich Latin American culture, I get the answer to my original questions as it hits me that what sets Latin American-inspired artwork apart is not the art itself, but the historical roadmap it provides of a people and their struggles, as well as a collective culture. It is because of this rich cultural history that Nader has built his Latin American Art Museum on the second floor of the Gary Nader Art Centre gallery. He hopes the museum gives provides a multi-textured experience to art lovers, in viewing the gallery as well as the museum. "Miami is the bridge of Latin America for opportunity. With this museum, we want to tell our story and we are telling great stories through our artists' work," he proudly states. "The historical collection at our museum is extremely important to show this rich history through art to our children, and for the world to see and experience."
As one of the most talented and aggressive art curators of modern history, Nader has crafted a one-of-a-kind collection of master artists at his gallery, with works by master artists Pablo Picasso, Roberto Matta, Martin Kippenberger, Frank Stella, Henri Matisse and Marc Chagall; helping to put his money where his mouth is in displaying the works of internationally known artists of Chilean, German, Dutch, French, Russian and Spanish descent. Gary Nader Art Centre also boasts 100 individual works of Colombian master artist, Fernando Botero, making it the largest Botero collection in the world.
Another goal is to set a precedent in the Miami metropolitan area in hopes that galleries from all over the world will descend on Miami, not just during major festivals like Art Basel, but year- round. "The great cities of the world today are what they are because of their art. When somebody travels to a major city, after thinking about where they will stay and where they will eat, the very next thing they think about is the art and culture of a city. Right now, Miami is extremely behind on that. We have 30,000 visitors who come here for 5 or 6 days, and we have to bring more important galleries to Miami."
While the art gallery is an all-inclusive epic journey through international art, For Gary Nader, his Latin American Art Museum is his life's work and a love letter to his Latin American roots. "If you tour our museum, you will learn about all the artists we feature, and why it is important to learn about these artists and their stories. A lot of us, from Mexico to Chile, there are dozens of artists that are very well known in their own countries, but they have no participation in the international sphere because they have not been properly represented. There is a gap we must fill, because our artists are as important as any other artists. It is our job to fill that gap. We are celebrating and promoting their art."
December through March 2020 will usher in several showstopping events at Gary Nader Art Centre, including an outdoor gallery lining the streets of Lincoln Road featuring Botero sculptures from Miami's Lincoln Road all the way to Washington Road. "We estimate that 6 million people will see this outdoor sculpture gallery in person, and with social media posts, we estimate that 200 million people, worldwide, will be able to enjoy these sculptures through image posts."
A contemporary Spanish artist José-María Cano will showcase a group of 23 encaustic paintings, inspired by our planet’s solitary moon, named Luna (Moon). José-María Cano’s works have been exhibited at acclaimed museums and galleries worldwide.
Soraya Abu Naba’a is presenting Vertical Encounters, a project debuted at the collateral collective exhibition of the Venice Biennale 2019, “Personal Structures Identities” at Palazzo Mora, Venice. They will be exhibiting 6 works of art, which are a crossroads of painting, installation and drawing.
A compendium of outstanding paintings, drawings, and sculpture from Latin American, Modern and Contemporary Masters will feature selected artworks from world-renowned Modern and Contemporary Art Masters such as Atchugarry, Botero, Carreño, Chia, Cruz-Diez, Figari, Goldfarb, Hirst, Indiana, Kippenberger, Lam, Larraz, Lichtenstein, Matta, Matisse, Muñoz-Vera, Nara, Oehlen, Pettoruti, Picasso, Rivera, Ruff, Soto, Stella, Tamayo, Torres-Garcia, Warhol, among others. This group exhibition highlights the diverse approaches by Modern and Contemporary artists to the contingencies of the new times and the way they proceed to denote through a broad spectrum of styles, the philosophy of the art produced during a particular era.
A selection of outstanding Fernando Botero’s paintings, drawings, and sculptures will be on view at the gallery to celebrate the “Botero on Lincoln Road” Nader Art Museum monumental sculptures exhibition. Fernando Botero is considered one of the world most recognized and quoted living artists.
A look at Gary Nader Art Centre's Future Project -- The Latin American Art Museum
Words by Allison Kugel. The Gary Nader Art Centre gallery and Latin American Art Museum is located in Wynwood Arts District at 62 NE 27th Street in Miami. The gallery and museum are opened to the public Monday through Saturday from 10am to 6pm. Visit GaryNader.com.