Gallery owner/art collector/publisher and all-around art maven Gary Nader recently announced his ambitious plans for The Latin American Art Museum (LAAM) during a private dinner in Miami.
LAAM will house his private collection of close to 1,000 works of mostly Latin American art, including pieces by Wifredo Lam, Roberto Matta, Rufino Tamayo, Joaquín Torres García, Carlos Cruz Díez, Jesús Rafael Soto, and Fernando Botero among many others. It is also the axis around which he intends to build an impressive real estate development project, which will include a five-star hotel (with a possible marina) and two residential towers, each featuring 300 units. Both towers are designed specifically with the art collector in mind, featuring very few windows and abundant 12-foot walls, perfect to display art with no obstacles in sight. Prices for the luxurious residences will range between $2 and $25 million. Residents will also be able to use the museum’s salons for private parties or corporate events. The exact site for the proposed development has not been revealed, only that it will be located in the heart of Downtown Miami.
“In this country, which has such a large population of Hispanics, it is both timely and necessary to have a museum that will show the world the immense talent of Latin American artists and what they have contributed to the artistic legacy of the United States,” he states, noting with great pride that “now Miami will not only have the largest collection of Latin American art, but also the most important one in the world.”
The building, designed by Mexican architect Fernando Romero (Carlos Slim’s Soumaya Museum in Mexico is also his creation), was conceived as “an experience” which extends far beyond the museum walls to the exterior space or sculptural park, which will showcase Nader’s private collection of monumental sculptures created by the great masters.
The successful collector envisions the 90,000 square foot campus as a cultural center. Its first three floors and its grand auditorium will feature interdisciplinary programming, including exhibitions, film screenings, live music performances, and fashion shows. Classes, conferences, workshops and educational activities will round out the list of offerings. “I want to create a new museum concept which is contrary to the rigorously serious art institution. Instead, I would like to offer the world a fun and warm experience”, Nader asserts.
The museum is set to open late in 2016 or early 2017. In the meantime Nader is planning to open promotional offices in Brazil, Mexico and the Dominican Republic to raise funds. Already several developers from Holland, Dubai and Brazil have expressed interest in replicating this concept—including the museum. “I do not discard the idea of opening another museum in a different country. Perhaps in Portugal Dubai or even Brazil”, says the art collector and entrepreneur.
With his characteristic talent and keen vision, Nader is ahead of the curve raising the profile of Latin American art in the US, a dream he has harbored for a very long time. ■