Your Guide to Artsy Projects: Nautilus
As art fairs across Miami throw open their doors during the first days of December, Artsy teams up with the Nautilus, a SIXTY Hotel, to activate the beachside compound with an exploratory group of installations, performances, and events. A stroll through the hotel’s outdoor spaces reveals whimsical works by Katherine Bernhardt, Dan Colen, Mira Dancy, Eddie Peake, Nick van Woert, and Chloe Wise nestled in unexpected locations, while interactive performances by Nicolas Lobo and Scott & Tyson Reeder come to life by the pool and beach. Curated by Artsy’s Elena Soboleva, the works transform the spaces that surround them by reimagining quotidian objects, gestures, and environments.
b. 1975. Location: Small pool, backyard
New York-based Bernhardt had a superstar year in 2015, with a solo presentations at Venus Over Manhattan in New York and L.A. At the latter, she invigorated the gallery’s exterior with a giant, Instagram-able mural featuring toucans, papayas, toilet paper, and cigarettes. Infatuated with Puerto Rico and Morocco, where she travels often, Bernhardt creates bold paintings that mix tropical and urban iconography. This fall, she also featured in W’s art issue, in which a convenience store emblazoned with her signature motifs served as backdrop for a portrait of Drake.
At Nautilus, visitors are invited to step into a pool filled with sharks, socks, bananas, and Sharpies as envisioned by Bernhardt, whose loose, vibrant brushstrokes are brought to life amidst the waves. Alongside the pool, a series of beach towels, also covered with the painter’s exuberant icons, bring her tropical palette to the patio.
b. 1979. Location: Back lawn, next to oceanfront boardwalk
Colen’s downtown cool aesthetic repurposes everyday objects into playful iconoclastic works. Letting the materials guide the final forms, Colen snatches up bits and pieces of trash for his abstract compositions—pieces of gum and their wrappers, scrap metal, barbed wire, bikes, even box trucks make an appearance in his large body of work. Colen has been featured in the Whitney Biennial and was subject of a retrospective exhibition at the Brant Foundation in 2014.
Colen’s iconic M&M sculptures—massive, brilliant monochrome granite boulders resembling the ubiquitous candy—transform the hotel’s beachside lawn. Elements of land art collide with a darker pop sensibility in examining a false idealism of American culture and norm.
b. 1979. Location: Glass partition between pool and terrace
With solo shows this year in New York, L.A., and Paris, Dancy’s strong, sensual ladies—which come to life on canvases, walls, transparent panels, and in neon—have become crowd favorites, and currently deck the walls of MoMA PS1’s “Greater New York,” a round-up of the city’s most progressive artists.
On the glass fence of the pool entrance, a gestural fresco by the New York-based painter features her signature nudes, whose semi-transparent, supine forms seem to lounge alongside the Nautilus’s sunbathers. Against the idyllic backdrop, Dancy’s subjects could be read as Amazonian goddesses taking a momentary reprieve from their everyday lives.
b. 1981. Location: Patio rooftop, accessible from 7th Floor (schedule forthcoming)
Peake began the season with his largest exhibition yet, “The Forever Loop,” at London’s Barbican, which still fills the museum’s Curve gallery with a choreographed performance amidst video projections, painted walls, and surreal sculpture. The multidisciplinary artist is well known for his brash spray paintings on polished steel, bearing cheeky phrases that allude to club culture and sexual politics alike.
Peake swathes the hotel’s patio roof with one of signature mirror paintings, viewable to oceanfront guests and through a secret seventh-floor suite. Playing on the nature of Miami Beach impulses and aspirations, the text-based work, which reads “Destroyed by Desire,” confronts those with pristine ocean views.
b. 1990. Location: Restaurant terrace
Wise’s “bread bags”—think loaves of challah and syrupy stacks of pancakes branded with Prada, Chanel, and Moschino logos, among others—blew up this year, taking the independent gallery scene and social media by storm (the artist’s own Instagram is worth a peek as well, full of pics of her work and snarky, smart captions poking fun at internet culture).
On the hotel’s terrace, Wise upends luxury expectations with her hybrid objects of desire—glistening pastries festooned with designer hardware. Housed in a bakery display case, they inspire cravings and look ripe for the picking.
b. 1979. Location: Pool patio, near cabanas
With a degree in architecture, sculptor van Woert explores his obsession with material in works that often riff on art history. Polyurethane resin and plaster mingle with more unconventional, scavenged materials—like cat litter and orange soda—in sculptures that take shape as wall-mounted reliefs, freestanding amorphous forms, and reimagined Classical figures.
Van Woert’s Pebble is a playful reference to a small stone one might find on the beach, but cast in bronze and enlarged to monumental proportions, it becomes a gleaming, gargantuan geode (or, if you’re hungry, giant-sized popcorn kernel) that greets visitors at the pool patio.
b. 1979. Location: Poolside by cabanas
Based in Miami, Lobo crafts sculptures and paintings from a everyday materials, everything from concrete and aluminum to velcro, play-doh, and bio-foam. These textural, corporeal objects resemble future artifacts of our contemporary culture—technicolor, gooey relics of urban life. Past projects of his have dealt with flight patterns, the “atomic structure” of music (he co-created an app in 2013 that stretches out songs by up to 100,000,000%), and an obscure, supposedly aphrodisiacal energy drink.
Lobo works often with imprints of the body and will apply his expertise with clay to a one-of-a-kind spa experience titled “Miami body industry spa.” Invited guests will be able to relax and enjoy a custom-made face mask concocted by Lobo himself, with the help of a cosmetologist.
b. 1970 and 1974. Location: Beachside on Thursday 12-4 p.m.; poolside on Friday 12-2 p.m.
Brothers and jokesters Scott and Tyson Reeder have been collaborating since 2002, when they opened General Store, a gallery and creative think tank in a Milwaukee storefront. The two have since launched a whole host of projects, including “the world’s smallest comedy club” and an art fair housed in a beer hall-cum-bowling alley.
In Miami, the Reeder brothers will host their Beach Painting Club in the hotel’s beach and pool area, inviting artist friends to paint en plein air, harkening back to turn-of-the-century France. The works created will be for available to purchase, with all proceeds going to support MOCA Detroit.