Introducing Gilbert Vicario, PAMM’s new chief curator
PAMM’s hanging garden PHOTO BY ROBIN HILL
Peréz Art Museum Miami (PAMM) has welcomed Gilbert Vicario as its newest chief curator. Vicario joins Miami’s leading art institution from the Phoenix Art Museum where, for seven years, he served as the Selig Family chief curator. Vicario’s aptitude for critical, contemporary exhibitions in the country’s top museums, with a distinct interest in Latin American creativity, makes him an ideal Miami addition. Prestigious international engagements as U.S. commissioner for the 2006 International Biennale of Cairo and curator for the 2007 Lyon Biennial add to Vicario’s impressive résumé. Miami Magazine speaks with Vicario about his vision for PAMM’s program and interest in Miami. 1103 Biscayne Blvd., Miami, pamm.org
You join PAMM at the height of art season. What comes first?
My priority at PAMM will be to connect with my new colleagues, immerse myself in the culture of the institution and the city, and embrace an incredible community of artists, collections and art institutions.
Miami’s proximity within the Americas is unique. How do you envision your interest in art from Latin America, and an engagement with Miami’s artist community, unfolding?
The role of chief curator at PAMM is an opportunity to build on my personal history, curatorial focus and abiding interest in activating dialogues across generational, cultural and geographic divisions. For example, my current exhibition Desert Rider examines, among other things, three generations of artists exploring car culture in the Southwest: Carlotta Boettcher (Cuban American), age 75; Liz Cohen (Colombian American), age 49; and Sam Fresquez (Mexican American) age 26. I am excited to see how this approach will be applied to artists based in the greater Miami and Caribbean region and dealing with issues pertinent to this community. I also hope to contribute to a dialogue of critical engagement with Miami-based artists in an effort for their work to be better appreciated locally and within national and international contexts. PAMM is the perfect stage to imagine what 21st-century art will look like.
PAMM’s East Portico PHOTO: BY JUAN E. CABRERA
How has international experience informed your curatorial practice?
It has demonstrated that there is complexity and nuance to being American, and that has opened new ways of thinking about important dialogues between artists and cultural institutions. My experience as a LatinX curator has suggested the possibility of more nuanced approaches to American identity, in particular to the experience of an American with cultural ties to Latin America, that has enabled me to complicate a generalized view of what it means to be American.
Gilbert Vicario. PHOTO: COURTESY OF PAMM
What are you looking forward to most in Miami?
Engaging with a rich community of cultural institutions, which have elevated Miami into becoming one of the premier art cities in this country. There are so many things to look forward to, including climate, food (my favorite spot is All Day), ocean breezes and, yes, humidity.
Photography by: Photo By: Robin Hill