By John Thomason
By Benjy Caplan
By Artburst Miami
By Carlos Suarez De Jesus
By Daniel Reskin
Florida Artists Series: R.F. Buckley and Clive King: FIU visual arts faculty members Buckley and King exhibit way too many artworks in a small museum. Overhung inevitably leads to overworked. In the case of Buckley, despite a few serendipitous still life elements, the forged and welded aluminum doesn't reward the effort he applies to its patina. King's totemic wicker sculptures and drawings over photocopies of archaeological/mythic figures have a jittery, animated quality but suffer from a feeling of being canned. His triptych Dispatches from the Nether Regions conveys his themes more directly, and a spontaneous use of materials makes it immediately more vivid. -- Michelle Weinberg Through August 15. The Patricia and Phillip Frost Art Museum at Florida International University, University Park Campus. SW 107th Avenue and SW Eighth Street. 305-348-2890.
Latin American Graphics: The Evolution of Identity from the Mythical to the Personal: In an age in which digital media are ubiquitous in the making of art, it is instructive to review works of printmaking (silkscreen, lithography, intaglio) whose commitment to the mass dissemination of art images is an antecedent of today's high-tech electronic media. Some works from this traveling exhibition grapple with the weight of history as it defines ethnic identity, others illustrate folkloric and magical imagery (largely out of fashion today), and many expound on the radical utopianism that occupied Sixties and Seventies expression. The well-organized exhibition features the work of 39 artists, spanning roughly the past half-century, and much of it remains fresh. Of particular interest are Matta's lurid illustrations of A Season in Hell, Antonio Martorell's figure study Gestuario X, and Rodolfo Abularach's Sueño, a giant eye softly peeling itself open. -- Michelle Weinberg Through July 25. Lowe Art Museum, University of Miami, 1301 Stanford Dr., Coral Gables. 305-284-3535.
New Talent: Chris Babson, Lorena Cabrera, David Leroi: These three artists are toiling in well-trod territory. Babson's mannerist, naive style is limp. Cabrera's mannequin torsos with scraped and scratched surfaces are dull and familiar. Leroi's small-scale constructions depicting forlorn urban settings move beyond cliché as elements subvert expectations of scale, but the works become muddled in their narrative content. All would benefit from enlarging their respective artistic visions and taking greater risks. -- Michelle Weinberg Through August 30. Barbara Gillman Gallery, 3814 NE Miami Ct. 305-573-1920.
Alette Simmons-Jimenez: Stylized portraiture of pretty women in pensive poses combined with handwritten texts that evoke earnest diary entries -- the paintings and mixed-media works of Alette Simmons-Jimenez are crying out to be romance-novel book jackets. These pieces behave more as illustrations, a result of Simmons-Jimenez's repeated cycling of such refined literary icons as generic cityscapes, elements from nature (a shell, a flower), and ornamental typography. What's lacking is an eccentric, raw experience of any of these things -- the city, nature, the body, the mind's eye, passionate scrawling. Such familiar metaphors require more radical formal treatment to become alive, to become invested with authentic meaning. -- Michelle Weinberg artformz Studio/Gallery, 130 NE 40th St. #2. 305-572-0040.
Spue: Robin Griffiths's sculpture exhibit at Dorsch Gallery is, in the context of today's sometimes-contrived art, a celebration of human invention. Part gallery-inside-a-gallery, part stage set for a Jules Verne movie, part mad scientist's cabinet of curiosities, part living-quarters-turned-art, Griffiths's sculptures pull you from different angles. Perhaps there's too much here, but it all makes sense because it's all about the métier. These are idiosyncratic displays of a life: Griffiths's high school jeans collection, his proto-modern yellow sofa, his guitar and stereo playing Miles Davis's Kind of Blue. It is art mimicking life, and vice versa -- but truly authentic. -- Alfredo Triff Through August 28. Dorsch Gallery, 151 NW 24th St. 305-576-1278.