Art Out on the Town

Little Havana's Viernes Culturales

From Calle Ocho to the Gables that same Friday night, two other exhibitions rocked the town. Broman Fine Art showed Perceptions (Percepciones), curated by Manola Payares, highlighting artists Maria Brito, Lilian Cuenca and Carolina Sardi. "Perceptions" sets the tone for a contemporary line of work Manola Payares wants to bring to the Gables, with toil and patience. The work is dark, but it pays off. Lilian Cuenca works in a kind of neosymbolism, with influences from Böcklin to von Stuck. Her semiabstract images take on the spirit of the movement, not the nostalgia. The brushwork is ponderously liquid, with big washes of light and shadow. She's convincing with these decadent quasi abstractions, hinting at a paragon beyond the mundane. For some time now Maria Brito's iconography has explored the tortures of the modern soul. Her powerful installations/paintings explore a kind of surreal realism in which she invites us to confront our own beasts. Brito produces unique assemblages where traumatic memories dwell amid bizarre chambers with duct-filled furniture for human exudation. Carolina Sardi's sculptures express the negation, or rather the deferral, of solidity: She reduces volume and turns content into fluid motion. Some of the pieces evoke self-inflicted pain and muted aggressiveness. Her later work, though, has moved out from darkness to a lighter, offbeat neominimalism, where less is better.

Carolina Sardi's My little suitcase to carry nothing
Carolina Sardi's My little suitcase to carry nothing


Broman Fine Art, "Perceptions," featuring Maria Brito, Lilian Cuenca and Carolina Sardi, runs through June 26 at Broman Fine Art, 2800 Ponce de Leon Blvd, Coral Gables; 305-552-0008.

"Manscape" by Alexis Rodriguez-Duarte, through July 3 at José Alonso Fine Arts, 3072 SW 38th Ave; 305-448-0007.

From Gables to off-Gables, Manscape, by photographer Alexis Rodriguez-Duarte, opened at José Alonso Fine Arts. Rodriguez-Duarte naturalizes the male penis very much the way Ansel Adams eroticized nature: The gonad metamorphosizes from rocket to flower to elephant's trunk to Lilliputian. He manages to present an aesthetic, humanistic view of a difficult and overrated subject. Yet for an exhibition that proposes to portray the male landscape broadly, the show includes only the genitalia of Caucasian men. That said, José Alonso's gesture in presenting this work is still quite daring for our sometimes conceptually provincial Miami.

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