Gary Nader and his crusade for Latin American Art


By: Ana B. Remos

He opened his first art gallery in Santo Domingo when he was only 19 years old, and by the age of 23 he opened his second gallery in Miami. Since then, this seasoned Dominican of Lebanese descent named Gary Nader began to gain a foothold in the world of art and forged a name that would soon resonate beyond our borders. In his career of 30 years as gallery owner and art collector, Nader has managed to be amassing an important collection of modern and contemporary Latin American art, which, so far, has exhibited on a rotating basis at his Gary Nader Art Centre in Wynwood. Dedicated to modern and contemporary Latin American art, his gallery presents exhibitions and also offers services for publication of catalogues and books of art, certification and valuation of works, artistic advice and curatorship.


Also, on last October 30th, he opened a new art gallery in New York, Gary Nader NY (24 West 57th St.), a big step in his career. However, this event was eclipsed by the almost simultaneously revealed news that in our city he is planning to inaugurate in downtown the Latin American Art Museum (LAAM), a Museum of Latin American art, that besides housing his own collection, it will be the axis of a real estate project which, he said, has cost him $1 billion, and that includes a five-star hotel, perhaps a marina (yet to be defined) and two towers residential of 300 apartments, designed specifically for collectors, with few windows and abundant walls 12 feet high to hang pictures without problem. The price of the units ranges between $2 million and $25 million. The owners will also have priority when using the halls of the Museum for their big parties, private or corporate events.

"I already have an important collection of art, which is the most difficult. The Museum was something that sooner or later, had to happen. This country with so many Hispanics urged for too long having a museum, one showing the huge Latin American talent and their contribution to the United States ", said Nader, who proudly adds that "now Miami will have not only the largest Latin American art collection, but the most important in the world".


Designed by Mexican architect Fernando Romero (architect of the Soumaya Museum of Carlos Slim in Mexico), it is conceived, according to Nader, to be visited not only by its inside, but also by its outside, and it will have a stunning park that will exhibit its collection of monumental sculptures by great masters. The building will be a kind of cultural center of 90,000 square feet that will offer, in its first three floors halls and in the great auditorium, uninterrupted interdisciplinary programs, such as: exhibitions, screening of films, theatre, exhibitions of fashion (he failed to do something with his countryman Oscar de la Renta, but hopes to make it with Carolina Herrera and some other Hispanics), classes and conferences, educational activities and, especially, music, which is one of the great contributions of Latin America to the world. "I want to create a new concept of Museum that, contrary to the rigidity and severity of most of the museums in the world, offers a fun, warm experience," he says. The music will have an enormous presence in the LAAM, so Emilio Estefan, says Nader, is working hand-in-hand with him on this, designing speakers and monitoring systems of sound, installation, etc. The fourth floor of the Museum will be for a huge restaurant (this month he is interviewing four of the leading chefs in Latin America) and halls for events. 



The museum itself will house about 1,000 works from the private collection of Gary Nader, which includes works by Lam, Matta, Tamayo, Joaquín Torres García, Cruz Díez, Morales, Soto, Botero and a long etcetera. Besides, Nader will accept donations and says that so far more than 300 artists who want to donate works to the Museum have contacted him, as well as a prominent collector who wishes to donate his collection.  


The tentative inauguration date of the Museum is by late 2016 or early 2017. Between now and then, Nader has in agenda not only opening promotional offices in Brazil, Mexico and Dominican Republic but also a whole series of fundraising activities.


According to Nader, several foreign developers - in particular, of the Netherlands, Dubai and Brazil - expressed interest in accomplishing this real estate project (including the Museum).


"I don't discard the idea of opening another museum abroad. Maybe, Portugal, Dubai or Brazil", says Nader. The Festival of Art Basel is the opportunity to see the plans. But as the VP of the Knight Foundation Dennis Scholl Arts recently expressed to The Miami Herald: "the success of any museum depends on much of the programming that shows. The collection of Nader and his career as a gallery owner and art collector, inspire me faith in this project".


Source: El Nuevo Herald