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Museum of Art and Design, Miami

Rohan Vasa, Writer

Museum of Art and Design

When it comes to art in Miami, most people will say to check out Wynwood or the Margulies Collection. However, the ongoing exhibition at the Museum of Art and Design at Miami Dade College is well worth the trip. The show, For the Time Being, spans six decades of work by the Icelandic-Dutch artist Hreinn Friðfinnsson. This serves as his first museum exhibition in America; the prolific artist is nearly unknown on our continent. 

Hreinn Fridfinnsson

Friðfinnsson grew up in Iceland before leaving for Amsterdam in the 1970s. He co-founded the artist collective SÚM, which for the first time brought together a group of Icelandic artists engaged in the avant-garde experimentation that was going on globally at that time. Friðfinnsson transforms everyday objects into poetic narratives through the minimal gestures and questions he poses. This presentation, on view until May 1st, ranges from video and photography to found objects and sculptures. 

For the Time Being

Included in the show is his piece Five Gates for the South Wind, 1972-72. Here, the artist built a set of five white gates in the remote landscape of Iceland. He engineered the gates to swing open only when a warm breeze blows from the south. Another conceptual piece, I Collected Secrets, 1972, solicited readers’ secrets via print advertisements. Friðfinnsson received many secrets from readers, but instead of reading them, he shredded them and molded them into an artwork. These two pieces are a sample of how his art invites viewers to imagine the outcomes of the presented narratives. 

Freedom Tower

The Museum of Art and Design at Miami Dade College is located in the historically significant Freedom Tower. Originally built in 1925, it became an icon for freedom and democracy to immigrants arriving from Cuba. In addition, the tower was used as a Cuban Assistance Center that helped integrate new arrivals into the community. It was donated to Miami Dade College in 2005. The school now honors and maintain the tower’s legacy.

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