151 NW 24 ST
Miami, FL 33127
Celebrate the opening of 30, a survey of artist Robert Thiele’s work from 1979 forward. The exhibition presents the first broad selection of the artist’s work, including sculpture, paintings and works on paper. The exhibition will occupy Dorsch Gallery’s entire 5,000 square foot space in the heart of Miami’s Wynwood Arts District during Art Basel Miami Beach 2009.
In the east gallery, the exhibition 30 will show, for the first time since the 1980s, Thiele’s monumental concrete column sculptures, some of which are over 10 feet tall. The exhibition pairs these haunting structures with a 1990s frieze of 20 white paintings, each between 2 and 3 feet tall and five inches deep. Selected paintings from the 1990s and 2000s will be in the west gallery, showing Thiele’s unique blend of painting and three-dimensional form, plexi-fronted constructions, opaque planes of color, figure and organic abstraction. The work oscillates between sculpture and painting, with materials often concealing rather than revealing the picture plane.
Thiele “has been at the center of the Miami art scene, as well as a participant in prestigious national and international exhibitions, for decades,” writes critic Helen Kohen. Thiele came to Miami in the 1960s, after earning a Bachelors and Masters in Art from Kent State University in Ohio, playing professional football, and being drafted into the armed services during the Vietnam War. He came to Miami at the request of Patrick DeLong to teach art at Miami Dade College. Over the next thirty years, he took part in Miami’s art scene as a practicing artist. As an educator, he shaped the perspectives of countless art students, some of whom are now well-known, including William Cordova and Gean Moreno. Thiele was instrumental in forming the beginnings of the College’s art collection, acquiring works by the likes of Joseph Beuys before most had caught on to that artist’s importance. The acquisition was fortuitous for the college, certainly; it also shows the nature of the ideas he brought to Miami at that time, and continues to bring to this day.
Thiele began exhibiting in the early 1970s. He participated in the Whitney Museum of American Art’s Biennial Exhibition in 1975. He and Salvatore La Rosa were the first South Florida artists to be included in this national biennial exhibition. He has been awarded Florida’s Individual Artist Fellowship three times. His numerous solo and group exhibitions include many in public institutions. Among these are the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art, Winston-Salem, North Carolina; Miami Art Museum, Miami, FL; Musee Cantini, Marseilles, France; Centre d’Art Contemporain, Geneva, Switzerland; Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; and Sculpture Center, NY. The distinguished critics and curators who have written essays on his work include Peter Frank, Paula Harper, Michael Kimmelman, Mark Ormond, Carter Ratcliff, and Robert J. Sindelir. Thiele divides his time between studios in Miami, Florida and New York since moving into the Brooklyn waterfront neighborhood DUMBO in 1990.
Look for Robert Thiele and Dorsch Gallery in the Nov/Dec issue of Art Papers and the Basel issue of Sculpture. You can also access a pdf version of the Robert Thiele newsletter, produced in conjunction with the exhibition, at http://dorschgallery.com/static/exhibitions/2009/11_thiele/thiele30.pdf