While much of Miami Beach’s Lincoln Road Mall is colorful, crass and commercial, artist Dan Graham’s 10 foot glass sculpture at the quiet western edge of the shopping center provides a more minimalist reflection of everything and everyone around it. It could be said that this austere modesty is a perfect representation of it’s celebrated creator who refers to his life’s work as a passionate hobby rather that a dynamic series of architectural installations that range from the Arctic Circle to Norway.
In a review of his 2009 retrospective at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City, 67 year old Graham told the New York Times that he wants people to think of his glass works as existing “somewhere between architecture and television.” The curvaceous sculpture at the intersection of Lenox Avenue and Lincoln Road is called “Morris” after the mall’s original designer, Architect Morris Lapidus. Shoppers who might be tempted to wander inside it’s shapely enclosure will see themselves reflected in the concave and convex walls as if inside a post-modern hall of mirrors.
The water garden and public seating area just installed in front of the brand new Eleven Eleven building recalls the mall’s original black and white-striped sidewalks but reinterprets them with a mosaic of broken black and white tile. Graham’s clear glass sculpture reflects the quiet refuge and adds a rather zen-like element to the new upscale retail installation where Japanese designer Yohji Yamamoto’s Y-3 Adidas sportswear boutique has just opened.
After a busy day of shopping, dining and people watching, spend a few moments of quiet reflection inside Dan Graham’s “Morris” sculpture and see what South Beach looks like from an entirely new perspective.