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Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami Announces Spring 2024 Exhibitions and Programming

Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami Announces Spring 2024 Exhibitions and Programming


Haitian-born artist Manuel Mathieu makes U.S. debut with two shows, MOCA presents new group exhibition from permanent collection

North Miami, FL – March 11, 2024 –
The Museum of Contemporary ArtNorth Miami (MOCA) is pleased to announce its Spring 2024 programming, culminating in the opening of two exhibitions by artist Manuel Mathieu, World Discovered Under Other Skies and Dwelling on the Invisible, which will debut as the Haitian artist’s first, major solo presentation in the U.S.Alongside Mathieu’s works, a group show titled CollectionFocus: Light Play, will gather nine contemporary artists from the museum’s permanent collection. The exhibitions will be celebrated during a public opening on Wednesday, April 10.


“We’re thrilled to present these captivating exhibitions to the museum’s community this spring,”said Chana Sheldon, MOCA Executive Director. “Manuel's artworks are as compelling visually as they are critical in reflecting the complex histories and present realities that exist both globally and here in our own community. Meanwhile, the works on view in Light Play allow us to reintroduce a familiar past with fresh perspectives, offering a unique juxtaposition for reflection and progression. Together, these exhibitions are an invitation to engage in dialogue with these ongoing narratives while progressing toward the future.”


At MOCA, Mathieu’s World Discovered Under Other Skies, which first debuted in 2020 at the Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery inToronto, will be an extended look at the artist’s examination of the long-lasting repercussions of the Haitian revolution and the country’s quest for self-determination. Curated by Amin Alsaden, this presentation offers a reflective journey that is both an educational and emotional experience.Alongside it, Mathieu will also present a brand new body of work titled Dwelling on the Invisible. Curated byMOCA’s Adeze Wilford, this exhibition is an extension of World Discovered Under Other Skies, and offers a variety of recent works, including several large-scale paintings, photography, sculpture, video and mosaic installation.


Born and raised inPort-au-Prince, Mathieu’s practice is heavily influenced by the recollection of complex histories of his familial homeland. Across his works, Mathieu takes inspiration from Haiti’s global positioning and influence, unearthing the traumas of state violence to address issues that remain as urgent today as they have been throughout history. Pairing the artist’s new striking visual oeuvre, alongside his figurative paintings and ceramics, both shows offer a deeply thoughtful, multimedia view of the intimate lines that run between past, present, personal and political.


“In bringing this work to North Miami, specifically, my aim is to share my outrage and discomfort along with my hope and desire for change in my family’s homeland,” says Manuel Mathieu. “Grappling with these powerful, contradictory emotions right out in the open, I hope that audiences both locally and globally will feel welcome to confront these lived experiences and shared histories and consider how we’ve contextualized our homeland and reckon with its fractured histories.”


Accompanying Mathieu’s exhibitions, MOCA’s group show, CollectionFocus: Light Play, will explore how artists from the museum’s collection engage with light as both a medium and source of inspiration. The exhibition will feature artists Petah Coyne, John Espinosa, R.M. Fischer, Nancy Haynes, Julian La Verdiere, Dennis Oppenheim, Joan Robey, Sarah Seager, and Jo Nigoghossian as they jointly bring light to the darkened entrance rooms of the museum, reflecting upon one another and the power of illumination to create and distort perception.


Drawing inspiration from MOCA’s past exhibitions, including ArtificialLight, this showcase delves into the many ways artists have manipulated light, emphasizing both its physical and symbolic dimensions in contemporary art and rethinking traditional presentation models. Instead of adhering to a conventional white-cube installation, the show will experiment with low lighting and an open-floor plan to transform the ambiance of the space. This flexibility allows for intriguing juxtapositions, exploring the connections between works such as Dennis Oppenheim’s GutBirthdays and Sarah Seager’s Song for(  ), both of which are making a comeback to the exhibition floor after years out of the spotlight.


“Understanding the history of this institution and its engagement with artists and exhibition types has been crucial to my engagement with the collection since I arrived in 2022,” said MOCA curator Adeze Wilford. “To be able to focus on the history of MOCA in this exhibition, while building on my own knowledge of the museum through these works—some of which haven't been on public view for several years—has been really exciting. In many ways, this show will be are introduction for myself and for much of MOCA’s intergenerational audience.”


The three exhibitions together will employ various mediums to touch upon a full spectrum of emotional gravity. Where Mathieu’s shows will survey the heavy realities and instabilities of Haiti’s social and political structures in relation to racial and immigrant identities, Light Play greets museum visitors with a playful touch, engaging works that have been dormant for decades and allowing for fresh reinterpretations of the institution’s robust collection.


In conjunction with these exhibitions, MOCA will host various educational and public programs. For more information on MOCA’s upcoming shows and programming, please visit the museum’s website.


About Manuel Mathieu

Manuel Mathieu is a multidisciplinary artist based in Montreal. He is best known for his vibrant, colorful paintings, which deftly merge abstraction and figuration. Mathieu suggests that global dynamics can manifest in a single place, with Haiti as the site of his own inquiries. Where he approaches political themes, he does so from a personal perspective, through reflections on solitude, death, survival and desire. He received his BFA from Université du Québec à Montréal and hisMFA from Goldsmiths, University of London. Mathieu was an artist in residence at Akademie Schloss Solitude, Stuttgart (2019-20), and the Pamela Joyner andAlfred J. Giuffrida residency program, Sonoma CA (2019). Recent solo exhibitions have been held at Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (2020); HDM Gallery,Beijing (2019); The Armory Show, New York (2018); Tiwani Contemporary, London(2017); and Institute of Contemporary Art, London (2015). He has participatedin numerous group exhibitions held in Canada, the United States, and Europe,including Fondation Phi, Montreal (2020); Pérez Art Museum Miami (2019); FriezeLondon (2018); Art Basel (2017); and Grand Palais, Paris (2014). Mathieu wasone of the artists recognized by the 2020 Sobey Art Award.


About the Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami

MOCA North Miami presents contemporary art and its historical influences through exhibitions, educational programs, and collections. Inspired by its surrounding communities,MOCA connects diverse audiences and cultures by providing a welcoming place to encounter new ideas and voices and nurturing a lifelong love of the arts. MOCA developed from the Center of Contemporary Art which was inaugurated in 1981.The establishment of the permanent collection coincided with the institution’s move into its current building designed by Charles Gwathmey of GSNY in 1996.

Under the direction of Executive Director Chana Sheldon and a newly installed Board of Trustees, MOCA showcased My Name is Maryan curated by Alison Gingeras during Miami Art Week in 2021, which traveled to the TelAviv Museum of Art in late 2022. The museum also premiered AFRICOBRA: Messages to the People during Art Basel Miami Beach in2018. AFRICOBRA: Nation Time, the next chapter of the exhibition, was selected as an official Collateral Event ofBiennale Arte 2019 in Venice, Italy. Other original exhibitions include: Jamea Richmond-Edwards: Ancient Future curated by Adeze Wilford(2023), Didier William: Nou Kite Tout Sa Dèyè curated by Erica Moiah James, Ph.D. (2022), Michael Richards: Are You Down?co-curated by Alex Fialho and Melissa Levin (2021), Raul de Nieves: Eternal Return and The Obsidian Heart curated by Risa Puleo (2020), and Alice Rahon: Poetic Invocations curated by Teresa Arcq (2019).



MOCA North Miami is generously funded by​ the North Miami Mayor and Council and the City of NorthMiami; John S. and James L. Knight Foundation; and the Miami-Dade CountyDepartment of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners. MOCA is sponsored in part bythe State of Florida through the Division of Arts and Culture and the NationalEndowment for the Arts. Additional support is provided by the Fine &Greenwald Foundation and the Sol Taplin Charitable Foundation. Founding support for the MOCA Sustainability Fund provided by the Green Family Foundation Trust.We also thank our Board of Trustees, Curator’s Circle, and MOCA Members for their meaningful support.


Imaj Kredi:
Manuel Mathieu, Study on death, 2022. 72 x 68 in.

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