What's in a Name?

Not what's in the good shows at MAM and The House

In spite of the problems of cultural identity, Latin American artists are succeeding in mapping out new territories. It will be always difficult -- wherever -- to disrupt conventional boundaries between high and low, abstraction and figuration, art and craft, landscape and history, and art and propaganda.

Staying firmly in the contemporary, there's another set of walls well worth your attention. "Native," the latest show over at The House, was put together by ex-Miamians now in New York exile. Daniel Arsham and Anat Ebgi are enthusiastic about sharing their New York discoveries with us. Displayed in installation (like the little house that jumps around), video (the MGM lion tells you that you will indeed die), photography (dressed in dry-cleaning waiting for the bus), and painting (one opponent in a tennis match is an armless statue of Alexander Hamilton), these are works from eleven lesser-known, very young New York artists who reflect a particular "urban bent different from Miami," explains Arsham. "A quick rhythm, a pulse that is unique to New York and that complements Miami's own," adds Ebgi. Read Arsham's cool, two-page essay that goes with the exhibit. What will you get? A nicely presented, witty, collagelike show of urban moods, filtered and percolated through the minds of these contemporary New York artists. Some of them miss, some hit the mark, but they all take the risk.

Mexico's Miguel Calderon has his own take on the Evolution of Man
Mexico's Miguel Calderon has his own take on the Evolution of Man


"Ultrabaroque: Aspects of Post-Latin American Art", Miami Art Museum, 101 W Flagler St
Through Sept. 1; 305-375-3000.

"Native", The House, 2330 NE 4th Ave
Through Aug. 14; 305-576-0274.

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