December 16th, 2022

Francine Birbragher Hosts a Curatorial Exploration for South Florida's Artistic Elite

By MoCA-Americas Team

The inaugural exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art of the Americas (MoCA-Americas), "Subverting Materials: Textile and Fiber Art by Women Artists," continues to serve as a platform for supporting women in the arts, particularly highlighting women artists' use of textile materials in their work. On the evening of December 15th, the exhibition's curator, Francine Birbragher, with support from the MoCA-Americas team, welcomed guests, many of them collectors, for a tour of the exhibition and the museum, showcasing the museum's commitment to elevating the contributions of women in the realm of contemporary art.

"Subverting Materials: Textile and Fiber Art by Women Artists" continues the long-standing mission of the Museum of Contemporary Art of the Americas (MoCA-Americas) to promote and exhibit the work of women artists, supplementing the museum's annual "Women in the Arts" program. In partnership with the city-wide event "Threading the City" and the Fiber Artist Miami Association (FAMA), the exhibition highlights how artists use textile, fiber, and thread as innovative mediums for creating fine art.

During the Guided Curatorial Tour, Francine Birbragher elucidated the significance behind the works of all nine female artists. Several artists, including Aimée Perez, Ivonne Ferrer, Evelyn Politzer, and Milena Martínez Pedrosa, participated in the discussion, sharing insights into their creative process, materials, assembly, and thought processes. Milena Martínez Pedrosa shared the poetic and symbolic nature of her installation, inviting reflections on the relationship between humanity and spirituality. Ivonne Ferrer discussed her use of sacred geometry, the combination of different media and techniques, and women's connection to motherhood and their children. Similarly, Evelyn Politzer incorporates yarn, wool, and fabric strands, natural materials that "have stories to tell," according to her. Aimée Perez's work continues to reclaim the stories and legends of famous, powerful women, retelling them from her unique perspective.

The tour concluded in the gallery space housing works from The Rodríguez Collection, featuring a selection of notable Cuban and Latin American artists, meticulously curated by the museum's chief curator, Jorge Rodriguez Diez (R10). Museum director Odette Lopez gave a brief overview of the collection's history and highlighted some of the renowned artists on display, such as José Bedia, Pedro de Oráa, Wifredo Lam, Amelia Peláez, Aldo Menéndez, and Rubén Rodríguez, among others. MoCA-Americas supports visual, literary, and performing arts, aiming to blend them in programs dedicated to supporting and promoting not just women artists but also curators, writers, collectors, and more. With this event, the museum continues to emphasize the importance of collaboration and fruitful relationships within the art world.

Francine Birbragher-Rozencwaig is an art historian, independent curator, and art critic. She received a Master’s in art history and a Ph.D. in Latin American history from the University of Miami. She is a founding and contributing editor of ArtNexus magazine. Since 1989, she has written about modern and contemporary art for specialized magazines, newspapers, artists' monographs, and exhibition catalogs. She specializes in Latin American and Caribbean art, with an emphasis on young emerging artists and pioneering women artists from the 20th century, such as Myra Landau, María Teresa Hincapié, and María Thereza Negreiros. She is the author of the book Essays on 20th Century Latin American Art (Routledge, 2022). From 2008 to 2015, she worked as an adjunct curator at The Patricia and Phillip Frost Art Museum, Florida International University, Miami, Florida. As an independent curator, she has organized over one hundred exhibitions in the United States and Latin America. She co-curated with Juan Canela the XXIII Bienal de Arte Paiz in Guatemala in 2023. She is a former founding board member of the Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami (MOCA), and Founding Arts Broward. She currently serves on the Advisory Board of the Friends of the Uffizi Gallery, Florence, Italy, and the Board of Directors of The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art Foundation, Sarasota, Florida. She belongs to several professional organizations, including the International Association of Art Critics (AICA), the College Art Association (CAA), the Association for Latin American Art (ALAA), and Art Table.

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