Vizcaya Museum and Gardens presents a Contemporary Arts Project by Francesco Simet

The Vizcaya Museum and Gardens presents a Contemporary Arts Project by Francesco Simet. A seahorse, a caravel and large quantities of concrete, stone, fill, topsoil, tiles, piping, trees, and other plants, on view, February 24–May 21, 2012, a commission program that invites artists to develop site-specific projects inspired by Miami’s most popular National Historic Landmark.

New York-based artist Francesco Simeti transforms one of Vizcaya’s outdoor fountains into a surreal theatrical set, providing a playful and melancholic commentary on the fragility of human endeavors. Inspired by the mechanical apparatuses that simulated natural phenomena in Baroque gardens, Simeti’s animated assemblage is composed of floating sculptures representing elements of the estate. The project continues in the Main House exhibition room with an installation of historic artifacts pulled from storage and on display for the first time ever.

Simeti is best known for his wallpapers—collages that introduce politically and socially charged images from the mass-media into the private sphere of the home. At the core of Simeti’s work is the investigation of nature and artifice, from Renaissance and Baroque garden architecture to the manufactured lures used to hunt living animals. Simeti is currently working on several permanent projects for New York City’s public schools and subway system, and has created site specific installations for the MACRO (Rome), Rhode Island School of Design Museum (Providence), Art & Idea Gallery (Mexico City) and Columbia University (New York City).

Conversation with the Artist: Francesco Simeti
Wednesday, February 29, 2012
7pm, Main House

Susan Cross will join Francesco Simeti in a conversation about A seahorse, a caravel and large quantities… and the wider implications of site-specific commissions. Cross has been the curator at MASS MoCA since 2006, where she has worked with many artists who have created new work for the museum.

Visitors are invited to explore the exhibition in the garden and in the Main House from 6–7pm. Tickets free for Members, Seniors and Students with ID.

The Contemporary Arts Project (CAP) reinvigorates Vizcaya with the creative dialogue that characterized its foundation, engaging artists whose practice establishes a discourse or a critique with the physical and cultural contexts of the place. In addition to Francesco Simeti’s project, Vizcaya has commissioned site-specific work from Ernesto Oroza, Naomi Fisher and Josiah McElheny throughout 2011 and 2012.

About Vizcaya Museum & Gardens
Built by businessman James Deering nearly 100 years ago, Vizcaya Museum & Gardens, a National Historic Landmark, features a Main House, ten acres of formal gardens, a hardwood hammock and a historic village that is being restored to provide additional venues for programs and community outreach. Located at 3251 South Miami Avenue, Vizcaya is open daily from 9:30am to 4:30pm except Tuesdays, Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. Visit or call 305-250-9133 or 305-860-8423.

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