The Margulies collection, located in Wynwood Art District, is composed of artworks, which highlight the human condition and urban poetry. The whole collection lacks the polished and glittery aesthetics characteristic of other fashionable collections and trendy galleries. Rather, all the pieces are graceful and meaningful. As Martin Margulies says, When you see beauty, is not necessary what the picture is, but what the picture is about. The pieces in the collection embody the elegance of the world’s whispered truths and leave space for meditation. They offer refuge away from the loud crowds and the rumbling circus. As Bruce Nauman would say, The True Artist Helps the World by Revealing Mystic Truths.
The warehouse hosts an exclusive selection from the 4,500 artworks Margulies collected over the past 30 years. The space was originally a showplace of his photographic collection, but in 2007 it transformed into a sculpture exhibition space. The artworks in the space are organized into three categories: Historical, Classic and Contemporary.The space, drowned in a tapered light, is surrounded by a grave atmosphere and strong industrial character typical of a contemporary art museum. The space reminds me of a post-modern temple of art and a lot of the Berlin Banholf Museum.The attention of the collection is focused on works that are the most difficult to exhibit, such as videos, installation art, interactive artworks and sculptures. However, there is also a space dedicated to vintage and contemporary photography and a massive African Art collection, which has been around since 2008. Some sculptures are on permanent view, mostly because their monumental size and weight make them difficult to move.Martin Margulies is a Miami based luxury real estate developer and the epitome of the American self-made man. In addition to being an art collector, he is also a philanthropist.He has made donations to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The New Museum in New York, as well as to other museum in the region. His wife, Constance, is also philanthropist and founded a nonprofit shelter for homeless women. The warehouse also seeks to help people by acting as an educational institution. It teaches visual intelligence to young students and brings knowledge of art to people who are not exposed to it on a daily basis.Martin Margulies also donated monumental outdoor sculptures to Florida International University such as Argosy by Alexander Lieberman and The Hammering Man at 2,938,405 by Johnathon Barofsky. To the University of Miami he gave Kuan, by Linda Howard and Joel Perlman’s sculpture, Big Diamond.
Among the permanent collection are stunning pieces by Richard Serra, Isamu Noguchi, Sol Lewitt, Michelangelo Pistoletto, and William De Kooning. This constitutes only a small part of the large permanent exhibition in the warehouse.
I have a few favorites:Brazilian artist Ernesto Neto’s, É ô Bicho (2001) meaning The Animal, is a large scale installation made from lycra and polyamide tubes filled with turmeric, black pepper, and cloves. The piece was first exhibited at Venice Biennial in 2001. The soft organic shapes of the biomorphic sculpture seem to have a life of their own in the warehouse. Like a temple of nature, the piece allows for a moment of meditation and involvement that becomes physical, collective and connective. The viewer literally breathes in the spices from the skin of The Animal.The fragrant multi-sensorial membrane like tissue artwork grabs the most attention out of all the pieces on the ground floor open space.
George Segal’s, Subway (1968) is one of the artist’s most beautiful works. It portrays a lonely woman seated in a wagon with a map. The wagon is original and the composition and the colors give a melancholic feeling reminiscent of the characters and atmospheres in an Edward Hopper painting.
Michael Heize’s Elevated, Surface, Depressed (1969-81) portrays three huge boulders on aluminum tread-plate platforms, on which a spontaneous plant has started to grow naturally. Once again it’s as if nature takes control of the space, even if in an organized way, in this monolithic sculpture.
Olafur Eliasson’s, Your now is my surrounding, (2000) is a room filled by mirrors and an open roof that changes the viewers perspective and challenges them. It’s accessible trough a stair.
Fiammetta De Michele