House and Garden: A Dip in the Deep End of Domesticity: Chad Abel, an artist and photographer with a taste for parody, revulsion, and the grotesque, works with surfaces, paint and glaze, reassembled plastic toys, and makeshift furniture to set up bizarre sculptures. He is also a good painter. Interact with his troupe of the misshapen: hopping duck-feet dildos, shit-mound figures on the floor comically attending a talking-dog sermon. The bulbous cocoons from which these creatures would surface literally take over the gallery, their colorful tentacles reaching ceiling and walls. It's an inventive display of pulp and biting cultural satire. Abel's paintings are less overt, conveying a more intricate vision. Some are very busy in a psychedelic kind of way. Others (my favorites) are more laid-back, radiating a lingering though not objectionable graphic-processed aftertaste. -- Alfredo Triff Through October 25. OBJEX Artspace, 203 NW 36th St., Miami; 305-573-4400.
The Pattern Playback: This show is named after a machine, developed in the late Forties, that converted the patterns of voice prints into actual sounds. Crowding together thirteen artists under one thematic umbrella may be justified by the tenuous link between this machine, John Cage's idea of chance, plus different art disciplines and audience interactivity. Though plausible, I find some of the connections between the artists' works trivial. Yet curator Sylvia Karman Cubiña is able to pull it off because the show does not pretend to offer anything more than "come see and have some fun." Along with some locals, there are several big international names, such as Cory Arcangel, Atelier Van Lieshout, Bjorn Copeland, Christian Jankowski and Mike Kelley, among others. My favorite work was Cristina Lei Rodriguez's black-magic room of dropping crystal tears and a plant arrangement that sweats pink, green, bluish opalescent icy juice. She is without doubt one of Miami's rising stars. -- Alfredo Triff Through November 1 (open Friday, Saturday, and by appointment). The Moore Space, second floor, 4040 NE Second Ave., Miami; 305-438-1163.
Reconstituted Landscape: Isaac Asimov once implied that the microcosm and the macrocosm are one and the same. This becomes apparent in Matthew Picton's "Reconstituted Landscape," now on display at Damien B. Contemporary Art Center. Picton's installation of cell-like lattices in red, purple, gray, and orange, take over the gallery space. They hang from dozens of Slinkies on a frame and rise from the gallery floor through the walls. The well-realized environment evokes a gigantic synapse transmission, as if inside a huge brain, reminiscent of Richard Fleischer's aesthetic vision in Fantastic Voyage. -- Alfredo Triff Through October 18. Damien B. Contemporary Art Center, 282 NW 36th St., Miami. 305-573-4949.