From the team behind the films Great Gatsby and Moulin Rouge, multi-award winning director, writer, producer, music producer and visualist, Baz Luhrmann along with Oscar-winning production and costume designer and producer Catherine Martin, and award winning music composer Nellee Hooper, have brought their Hollywood glamour and cast their artistic vision on Art Basel Miami Beach 2014 with a unique installation for Swiss-based Galerie Gmurzynska. Even the Great Gatsby actor Tobey MaGuire paid homage to the director during the First Choice and VIP Preview on Wednesday, December 3. Other patrons include P. Diddy, Cassie Ventura, Swizz Beatz, Timbaland, Glenda Bailey, Spyros Niarchos, Diana Picasso, Michele Oka Doner, among others who admired the exhibition.

A private dinner was held the night before at Dolce Miami Beach which included Timbaland, Vikram Chatwal, Janice Combs, Rotraut Klein-Moquay, Fabian and Martina Basabe, Maria Brito, Dorian Grinspan, followed by an afterparty at the Rec Room.

“Nellee and I go back a long way. We collaborated on the music for Romeo + Juliet eighteen years ago. We’ve been friends ever since. When Nellee invited me to collaborate with Galerie Gmurzynska on this project for Art Basel, I was intrigued. The idea was to contextualize these works of art within a physical environment that would amplify a critique so often repeated about them: that ‘a kid could do that.’ What finally convinced me, though, was when I learned that a key piece in the exhibition was associated with the impresario of the Ballets Russes, Diaghilev. Diaghilev has, since my very early childhood, been a guiding light and compass in my creative journey. The piece is a painting by Miró. It was a central prop in Jeux D’Enfants, which was choreographed by Massine and performed for the first time in 1932 by the newly-formed Ballets Russe de Monte Carlo. On viewing the original footage of the ballet, I could do nothing less than say, “yes.” –Baz Luhrmann

he idea that modern art looks like something a child could do is one of the oldest clichés around; it has been with us since the inception of the avantgarde. In its most familiar form, the comparison of vanguard painting and sculpture with the “awkward scrawls” of children has served as a rhetoric for dismissing the significance of radical ideas in art, as when a German critic in 1933 described the work of Paul Klee as “mad, infantile smearings” – Jonathan Fineberg

Who hasn’t encountered the charge leveled at the bulk of twentieth-century modern art tout court? More importantly, yet: What to offer in return to such long held mistrust? Galerie Gmurzynska will meet this issue head-on by turning the flat condemnation “A Kid Could Do That!” into a rich curatorial experience.

Featuring key 20th century master works – some of which have just returned from major museum exhibitions, or, in turn, have not been seen in years – will be exhibited including: Francis Bacon, Robert Indiana, Wassily Kandinsky, Yves Klein, Wifredo Lam, Mikhail Larionov, Kazimir Malevich, Joan Miró, Pablo Picasso, Kurt Schwitters, Cy Twombly, among others.

The collection of historic works on display here are to open the question: Are you born with an eye for a certain style? If so, does that leave you when you are influenced to “Learn” about art and what is “Important”? – Nellee Hooper


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