Space for Art and Design

Arts / Article

One of the best things about contemporary art in the 21st century is how multidisciplinary it truly has become. And Miami is a good representative of this trend. Artists are rarely pigeonholed anymore into one descriptor: she is a sculptor, he is a painter. Most artists these days work across a number of disciplines, and the shows they participate in are no longer so narrow as well. Take for example Design Miami, which started as a complementary design show to Art Basel Miami Beach, and has grown into something much broader over the years.

So it is not surprising that a major design outlet, Florida’s Design Center for the Americas, or DCOTA, is unveiling its summer program with a huge, three-story, site-specific installation from French artist Morgane Tschiember.

This remarkable “pick-up stick” piece, actually called “Stars and Stripes,” resembles a giant mobile, falling down from the ceiling of the center’s newly renovated atrium. It’s a handsome mix of fine art, design, and architecture, and a good example of the 21st century hybrid of art-making.

Tschiember, based in Paris and most recently featured in Tokyo and New York fairs, has moved from two to three-dimensional work, and often employs super bright colors in order to emphasize movement. In “Stars,” the mobile appears to be simply vibrantly colored sticks — 13 feet long — hanging in a geometrical form. But then one sees the sticks are five-sided, and the bottoms turn into five-pointed stars — 42 stars and sticks (or stripes) colliding in space. This Stars and Stripes is far more psychedelic than the old red, white, and blue.

It’s a beautiful piece and a nice reminder that art, design, architectural space, and what we used to call “crafts” have morphed and no longer live isolated from each other.

In fact the inauguration of the piece is timed to highlight the renovation of DCOTA that started in 2009, which will entail the renovation of the three-building campus along with its landscape and will include “environmental graphics.” In conjunction DCOTA will hold an International Design Series from July 15 through August 14, kicking off with a day of lectures, panels and a garden party this Thursday. The month will feature designers, architects, artists, and chefs.

“Stars and Stripes,” three-story suspended sculpture by Morgane Tschiember at DCOTA, 1855 Griffin Rd., Dania Beach; International Design Series every Thursday through Aug. 14; www.dcota.com.