The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation and PAMM will collaborate during Miami Art Week to engage in a conversation about the intersection of art and the environment. Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation supports projects that build climate resilience, protect vulnerable wildlife, and restore balance to threatened ecosystems and communities.
The collaboration kicks off at the start of Miami Art Week with a private event, hosted by the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation at PAMM, featuring a special commission by artist and activist Andrea Bowers and a lush landscape painting by Cuban meditation guru and painter Tomás Sánchez, produced and selected by Lisa Schiff, founder of SFA Advisory with the collaboration of their respective galleries Andrew Kreps Gallery and Marlborough Contemporary.
The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation’s presentation of Andrea Bowers’ Climate Change is Real (Miami) and Tomás Sánchez’s Descubridor de lagunas will be on view at PAMM until the conclusion of Miami Art Week.
“We seek to present art and programs that resonate with our community, addressing the opportunities and challenges we navigate daily,” said PAMM Director Franklin Sirmans. “One of those challenges is rising sea levels. PAMM’s building was designed for resiliency by Pritzker Prize-winning architects Herzog & de Meuron. The first floor of the museum is elevated above storm surge level and as a cushion for projected effects of climate change. In Miami, learning how to live with the climate, how to design for resiliency, how to adapt to a changing environment, is a daily and pressing conversation with both local and global relevancy.”
PAMM has been the site for several conversations related to the intersection of art and the environment. The museum’s building also playing a role in that dialogue given it has become a case study in design solutions for the 21st Century.
Andrea Bowers is an artist and activist based in Los Angeles. Her cross-disciplinary practice includes drawing, video, sculpture, and installation work that foregrounds the experience of people who dedicate their time and energy to the struggle for racial, environmental, labor, and immigration justice and those directly affected by systemic inequality.
Since 2010, she has expanded her practice to include light works that employ political slogans. The beguiling works tersely render the pronouncements, directly engaging the public in her forthright personal politics. In Climate Change is Real (Miami), Bowers incorporates the titular slogan in a metal sculpture with flashing neon lights. The issue of climate change is inseparable from politics in the U.S. and has catapulted to the forefront of national environmental concerns in recent years. It is particularly topical in Miami as the city faces rising sea levels. Poised against the environmental issues that threaten the city, the work sharply resonates when exhibited at PAMM.
Andrea Bowers lives and works in Los Angeles. She earned her MFA from CalArts in 1992 and has since exhibited internationally at institutions including the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, The Whitney Museum of American Art, the Jewish Museum in New York, the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati, OH, Kaufmann Repetto in Milan, Secession Vienna, and the National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens, Greece.
Tomás Sánchez infuses his landscape scenes with what the Cuban art critic, Gerardo Mosquera, called “an almost metaphysical vision.” This is not surprising considering that Sánchez is an ardent devotee to yoga and to meditation, which he practices several hours daily. One French critic wrote at the time of the artist’s show in Paris that Sánchez’ work is “a mixture of extreme precision and meditation, of yearning and radiance.” When Sánchez was 20, he attended the National School of Art in Havana where he met the expressionist painter Antonia Eiriz who was a pivotal influence on his development. He says, “she was interested not in how you painted something but in how you saw it.” One might conclude from that statement that while the ostensible subject of Sánchez’ evocative and meticulously painted landscapes is nature, his paintings are in fact expressions of how he views the landscape and in so being they act as states of thought, becoming a kind of contained time frame of meditative thinking, transmuting mental quietude and reverence for nature.
Descubridor de lagunas depicts a verdant tropical scene rife with hills and foliage. Sánchez emphasizes the vertiginous hills, which cast deep shadows on the wide expanse of land below, to assert the majesty of nature. While the painting may appear to be devoid of human subjects, the diminutive figure of a man is discernible in the foreground. His presence, ensconced within the lush landscape, is symbolic of humankind’s intimate and fragile relationship with the natural world.
Tomás Sánchez was born in Cuba in 1948. He currently lives and works in Miami and Costa Rica. He studied painting at the San Alejandro National Academy of Fine Arts in 1964 and at the National School for the Arts, Cuba. Since 1970, his paintings have exhibited at the Havana Biennial X (2010) and the Sao Paulo Biennial XVIII (1985), as well as in numerous international group and solo exhibitions.