Haas’ monumental art takes center stage at the Gardens

Haas’ monumental art takes center stage at the Gardens

Haas sculpture

Pinecrest Gardens will host Philip Haas’ FOUR SEASONS, a towering installation of fantastic sculptures inspired by 16thcentury Italian art, adapted to modern times through a play of scale, material and dimensionality.

Internationally renowned contemporary artist and filmmaker Philip Haas will display his acclaimed FOUR SEASONS installation Nov. 16-April 6 in Pinecrest Gardens’ lush botanical sanctuary. Consisting of four 15- foot tall busts, Haas’ FOUR SEASONS brings 16th-century Renaissance portraiture by Italian artist Giuseppe Arcimboldo into modern times through a transformation of scale, material and dimensionality.

While Arcimboldo’s paintings present each subject in profile, Haas’s unconventional twist on the classical form allows visitors the opportunity to walk around the sculptures, see the subjects from all sides and from many different and surprising vantage points.

Each work represents an individual season and is distinctly unusual and extravagant. AUTUMN is comprised of fall vegetables, ripe grapes and leaves turning color. Weathered bark and verdant moss make up WINTER’s stoic bust, which sits on top of a cloak of straw. SPRING evokes rebirth and vibrancy with a face consisting of rose-colored petals and hair brimming with elaborate flowers. SUMMER’s hue is a variety of sun kissed yellows; its face and headdress sprout onions, garlic, corn, peas, a multiplicity of fruit and a cucumber nose. The sculptures are made of pigmented and painted fiberglass supported by interior steel frames.

Haas’ monumental art takes center stage at the Gardens“I started the FOUR SEASONS project wanting to bring Arcimboldo’s Renaissance painted nature imagery into the 21st Century physical world,” said Haas. “I can’t think of a better venue than Pinecrest Gardens to inaugurate the Florida tour of this work, where the sculptures will arrive in the one of the oldest outposts of the New World, having fled their earlier homes as paintings in European museums to now rest and blend in for an extended period amid the lush tropical flora, rock formations and historic water features.”

In marrying sculpture, painting, film and architecture, Haas has created a contemporary visual vocabulary all his own. He describes his process as “sculpting by thinking.” His groundbreaking artwork has been featured in museums, including the National Gallery of Art (Washington DC), the Kimbell Art Museum (Ft. Worth), Dulwich Picture Gallery (United Kingdom) and Centre Georges Pompidou (Paris).

In the public realm, his work has been exhibited in the Piazza del Duomo (Milan) and the Gardens of Versailles (France). His feature films include Angels & Insects, The Music of Chance and Up at the Villa. He is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and numerous other awards. He has taught in the visual arts and creative writing programs at Princeton University, and he lives and works in New York and London.

The connection between the FOUR SEASONS exhibit at the Gardens and the Historic Preservation Association of Coral Gables (HPACG) is a timely one. The four-seasons theme is legendary to the founding of Coral Gables and reflected in the artistry of many Coral Gables landmarks such as the City Hall dome murals, the relief panels on the De Soto fountain and on the White Way Lights, where the design of the lamp bases represent the Four Seasons/Ages theme and depict labor, architecture, horticulture, and art.

The association is working with Pinecrest Gardens and Coral Gables officials to focus attention on the need for maintenance, restoration and preservation of the 70 remaining historic street lights in the Riviera section. The “White Way Lights” were designed in the early 1920s by artist Denman Fink — named artistic advisor to the city by founder George Merrick — were designated an historic landmark site in 1981 and included on the city historic landmark inventory.

Grab your tissue box and put on your waterproof mascara because drama, seduction and gypsy passion are brought to life when Miami Lyric Opera performs a concert version (orchestra and singers on stage together) of Bizet’s Carmen for one night only in the Banyan Bowl, Saturday, Nov. 8, at 8 p.m. Experience Bizet’s riveting drama of love and jealousy that is filled with opera’s most renowned, recognizable and alluring melodies. Tickets are $33 and are available on line at pinecrestgardens.org.

Tradition — a word synonymous with the musical, “A fiddler on the Roof”! Don’t miss the opportunity to see this winner of nine Tony Awards and a record-setting Broadway run. Fiddler has become an American classic. Miami Acting Company presents this theatrical masterpiece for four performances only, Thursday through Sunday, Nov. 13-16. Thursday-Saturday performances are at 8 p.m. and the Sunday curtain is at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets are $30 adults, $25 seniors and $20 for students with a valid student ID. Group rates are available. Go to pinecrstgardens.org.

Don’t miss our November Family Friday featuring Despical Me 2 along with Flashlight Tours and your fill of hot dogs and popcorn. Gates open at 6:30 p.m., flashlight tours start at 7:15 p.m. and the movie begins at 8 p.m. It’s the best family fun available in South Miami-Dade. General admission is $5.

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