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Florida State of Art

The Most Exciting Exhibitions of 2022 at Florida's Art Museums



The Art of the Highwaymen 

February 12-May 2

Polk Museum of Art

Florida Southern College

800 E. Palmetto Street • Lakeland


A prodigious group of 26 African-American painters who plied their trade painting Florida’s landscapes, the Highwaymen discovered success in simplicity, finding a niche to call their own, producing more than 200,000 works, and achieving incredible widespread popularity in the process. This exhibition, drawn entirely from the Woodsby family’s private collection, revisits the Highwaymen, examining their legacy and key place in art history, studying the complete story of their rise and seeking answers for their unexpected mass appeal. 


Betye Saar: Serious Moonlight

thru April 17

Institute of Contemporary Art Miami

61 NE 41st Street • Miami


A survey of rarely exhibited immersive, site-specific installations from 1980-1998 by American artist, Betye Saar. Influenced by trips to Haiti, Mexico, and Nigeria in the 1970s, these works explore concepts of ritual and community through both cultural symbols and autobiographical references. The exhibition includes the significant installation ‘House of Fortune’, an ominous scene featuring a card table, tarot cards, and Vodou flags as a meditation on spirituality. ‘The Ritual Journey’ addresses traditions of death and mourning, as does the artist’s altarpiece, ‘Wings of Morning’. In this selection of works, Saar draws from the history of the African diaspora and the African American experience to create powerful monuments.


Marisol and Warhol Take New York

April 15-September 5

Pérez Art Museum Miami

1103 Biscayne Blvd. • Miami


The exhibition features iconic artworks and ephemera by artists Marisol Escobar and Andy Warhol. The exhibition not only offers a glimpse into Marisol and Warhol’s close bond as friends and artistic collaborators, but chronicles the development of both artists’ careers over an eight-year span from 1960-1968, while highlighting their influence on each other, their parallel rises to success, and the artists’ roles as influencers in the 1960s New York gallery scene. The exhibition includes paintings, drawings, photographs, and archival material, along with rarely seen films by Warhol that give an intimate look into the life of Marisol. 



Inflatable Contemporary Art

October 15-December 18

Appleton Museum of Art

College of Central Florida

4333 E Silver Springs Boulevard • Ocala


‘BLOW UP II’ explores the imaginative ways that artists use air as a tool for creating large-scale sculpture and includes imagery that is figurative and abstract. These pieces use perception of space to open a dialogue about pop culture and social norms. This exhibition features large-scale artworks by a roster of internationally renowned artists.


Picasso and the Allure of the South

January 29-May 22

The Dali

1 Dali Boulevard • St. Petersburg


Exhibition considers Picasso’s deep connection to this cross-cultural region, where he made many of his most important contributions to modern art. ‘Picasso and the Allure of the South’ presents 77 paintings, drawings and collages – approximately half of which have never been seen in the United States – from the Musée National Picasso-Paris, which holds the most significant collection of the artist’s work. The exhibition encompasses an exceptional selection of portraits, still lifes, figural studies and landscapes that reflect Picasso’s career-long rapport with the cultures of his homeland and southern France.


Keith Haring: Radiant Vision

thru February 6

Naples Art

585 Park Street • Naples


Features examples of Haring’s art used to address specific social justice issues, such as his ‘Free South Africa’ suite of three aquatints on paper and a series of ten silkscreens which Haring created for a book entitled ‘Apocalypse’, made in collaboration with Beat Generation author, William S. Burroughs. The exhibition also includes two of Haring’s seminal chalk-on-paper subway drawings.


Aerial Vision

thru April 24

The Wolfsonian

Florida International University

1001 Washington Avenue • Miami Beach


Aerial Vision will explore how early 20th-century inventions—airplanes and skyscrapers, each considered the embodiment of human achievement and a harbinger of a better tomorrow—sparked an era of remarkable creativity and new systems of seeing the world. Met with awe and excitement, both technologies introduced novel approaches for living, working, and traveling and opened up previously inaccessible vertical perspectives to modern spectators, from artists and designers to urban planners and everyday office workers. This exhibition of paintings, posters, furniture, and more will draw from the Wolfsonian collection to examine these heightened positions of power and privilege, revealing connections between newly available viewpoints and their impact on the artistic imagination.


Explore the Vaults: Black Portraits

thru February 27

Museum of Fine Arts St. Petersburg

255 Beach Drive NE • St. Petersburg


The exhibition spans two very different approaches to the portrait tradition: contemporary works on paper, and historical vernacular photographs. Taken together, it presents varied approaches to visualizing Black identity and experiences, featuring the works of Romare Bearden, Derrick Adams, Alison Saar, Emma Amos, and Whitfield Lovell, among others. Historical photographs in the exhibition include tintypes, gelatin silver prints, and albumen prints, as well as a family album, providing a view into the domestic lives of black families after the emancipation of enslaved Americans in 1863 through the early 20th century, as well as creating a link to contemporary artists.


Art of the Hollywood Backdrop

April 20-January 22, 2023

Boca Raton Museum of Art

501 Plaza Real • Boca Raton


Featuring original backdrops from iconic films such as ‘The Sound of Music’, ‘Singin’ in The Rain’, ‘Ben Hur’, and ‘North by Northwest’, ‘The Art of the Hollywood Backdrop’ exhibit introduces the unrecognized master scenic artists of Hollywood’s golden age through original historic MGM backdrops. Long guarded by the major studios as special effect secrets, these monumental illusions transport viewers into cinematic history and reveal the breathtaking technical painting and drawing virtuosity of artists painting specifically for the camera’s eye. 


American Modernisms

January 15-May 8

Rollins Museum of Art

Rollins College

1000 Holt Avenue • Winter Park


This exhibition explores the multivalent meanings of the term American Modernism in the context of the collection of the Rollins Museum of Art. From the intense realism of the Ashcan School to the freewheeling exploration of the 1970s, American artists have used the tools and techniques of modernist art to chronicle and examine the world around them. Rather than telling one story of American modernism, the collection reveals many narratives, many of which often overlap and even contradict one another. ‘American Modernisms at the Rollins Museum of Art’ presents the collection in a new light, highlighting lesser-known artists and deepen our understanding of American modernism.


Retrospectrum: Bob Dylan

thru April 17

Patricia & Phillip

Frost Art Museum

Florida International University

Modesto Maidique Campus

10975 SW 17 Street • Miami


‘Retrospectrum’ is the most expansive and in-depth exhibition of Bob Dylan’s artwork ever staged in the United States. Spanning six decades, Retrospectrum features over 180 paintings, drawings, ironwork, and ephemera, showcasing the development and diversity of Dylan’s visual art, along with interactive displays illuminating the context of his artistic evolution in tandem with Dylan’s musical and literary works. The exhibition will feature ‘Deep Focus,’ a new series of over 40 paintings by Dylan, derived from selected scenes from his favorite films. 


Cathedrals of Florida

Masterworks by Clyde Butcher

thru August 7

Orlando Museum of Art

2416 N. Mills Avenue • Orlando


In the tradition of the nineteenth-century Hudson River School painters, Clyde Butcher’s photography capture sweeping vistas of Florida’s most inspiring natural environments. His large-scale black and white photographs of the Everglades and Florida’s endangered wetlands have earned international acclaim and championed the preservation of the State’s natural heritage. Cathedrals of Florida: Masterworks by Clyde Butcher presents eight of Butcher’s iconic photographs of wild Florida. With some as large as 5 feet x 9 feet, these monumental works draw the viewer into the landscape, while their striking compositions, vivid detail and radiant luminosity evoke the spiritual connection with nature that is at the heart of his work.    


An Irresistible Urge to Create 

Florida Outsider Art from

the Monroe Family Collection

thru May 22

Tampa Museum of Art

120 W. Garsparilla Plaza • Tampa


During the last several decades, the work of the Outsider artists has come to the forefront of our thinking about the nature of art as their paintings and sculptures have made their way into fine art museums hanging alongside new and time-tested paintings and sculptures. The exhibition includes 86 works from the personal collection of Gary Monroe, who has collected nearly 1000 pieces of Outsider Art, including the works of several self-taught artists from Florida’s West Coast and Central regions, including Ruby Williams, Eddy Mumma, Frank Ritchie, and Jessie Aaron.


As long as there is sun, 

as long as there is light 

Selections from the Bring Gift and The Ringling Collection of Modern & Contemporary Art

thru August 13

The John & Mable

Ringling Museum of Art

State Art Museum of Florida

Florida State University

5401 Bay Shore Road • Sarasota


This exhibition features selections from this gift, including rarely seen works from the collection, artworks that probe the themes of spirituality, nature, and perception through explorations in abstraction, minimalism, geometry, and form. Highlights include an important minimalist work by Anne Truitt and a monumental work on canvas by Gene Davis, both artists affiliated with the Washington Color School. Additional works represent a generation of prominent artists who work, or have worked, in abstraction. On view are sculptures and paintings by distinguished African American and Latin American artists from the collection, including William Edmondson, Eduardo Mac Entyre, Omar Rayo, and Joyce Vourvoulias. 

January/February 2022

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