// Alicia is a Uruguayan art historian who has been a professor, researcher and curator. On a recent visit to Miami, Florida, she visited the Rubell Museum and was very impressed by its collection. She shared a series of her photographer´s gaze on the exhibitions that she found especially enticing.
“All art is contemporary art because it had to be made when it was now.”
What draws you to art?
“All my previous life was dedicated to art history, particularly to contemporary art and to contemporary Uruguayan art. I have been a professor, researcher and curator. I am retired now. But art is the centre of my life: photography, cinema, visual arts, museums, contemporary dance, etc.”
What impressed you most about the Rubell collection?
“Contemporary art is not easy for most of the public. My many years’ experience proves that most audiences prefer to visit more traditional museums and collections. When I visit collections like the Rubell, I try to expand and disseminate the knowledge of the general audience by writing and taking photographs. However, my perception and goal of this visit was a little different on this occasion, because, for some time, I have been devoted only to photography. I was not focused on a didactic, testimonial, or documentary mission. Instead, I applied the photographer’s gaze. Nevertheless, whether consciously or unconsciously, the perception of the art historian is always present.”
The Rubell Museum in Miami is one of the biggest private contemporary art collections in North America. Established by the Rubell family as an extension of what was previously known as the Rubell Family Collection, it is a large light-flooded gallery space with refinished concrete floors in the Allapattah neighborhood Northwest 23rd Street, Miami. This new museum, opened during Art Basel in 2019, houses as many as 36 different galleries in an area of almost 5000 square metres of exhibition space! Early contemporary works from famous artists such as Keith Haring, Cindy Sherman, Richard Prince and Jeff Koons share the space with works by up and coming young artists. Alicia is showing here. Alicia was captivated by works by Anselm Kiefer, Cajsa von Zeipel, Yayoi Kusama, Otis Kwame Kye Quaicoe, and several others. (If you click on the individual images in the gallery, you can see the artist´s name in the image title.)
“Every time I travel, I visit contemporary art museums and private collections devoted to the expressions of artists that create experimental and non-traditional art. I have been following contemporary Art since very young. My higher education was in art history, and after my graduation as an art historian, I taught contemporary art. As a curator, I have devoted myself to the same subject matter,”Alicia says. “I decided to see the Rubell Collection again during my recent visit to Miami. There are three significant private collections of Contemporary Art in Miami: the Rubell, the Margulies, and the de la Cruz, recognized among the most outstanding in the world. Well before Miami became an attraction for Contemporary Art with the international event Art Basel, these families started their collections, opening their private spaces to the public.”
Alicia had visited these collections before, but on this trip her interest lay particularly in the new building that now shelters The Rubell Museum, one of the major private contemporary art collections, which the Rubell family began already in the 1960s, in the Western World. She was also interested in their new acquisitions. The Rubell Museum is dedicated both to well-known and emerging artists, with 7,200 works of art. More than 1,000 artists are represented there.
Contemporary art is not easy for most of the public. My many years’ experience proves that most audiences prefer to visit more traditional museums and collections. When I visit collections like the Rubell, I try to expand and disseminate the knowledge of the general audience by writing and taking photographs.
Alicia is a very active photo artist in her country, often creating abstract photographic works herself. As a former art curator in Montevideo she has an excellent eye for composition and colour. We encourage you to also look at a previous feature of her work, Contemporary Visions, which we published in the early days of Spectaculum Magazine´s existence.
Images may be cropped for layout. Click on the photos to see the full image. The image title has information about the artist names.
All photos © Alicia Haber
To see more of her photography visit Alicia´s Instagram page.