By John Thomason
By Benjy Caplan
By Artburst Miami
By Carlos Suarez De Jesus
By Daniel Reskin
The Gifts I Could Never Give You: In this show Bert Rodriguez shelves the "conceptual prankster" tag and wears his heart on his sleeve. You can't help but share his lament. The work delves into the detritus of failed relationships, shifting perception from visual displays of marketing props, mannequins, neon signs, and vitrines, into consumer odes to former flames that flickered out. A pair of male and female mannequins squares off in the center of the gallery. She wears boxing gloves, he sports a T-shirt that reads "Let me be your punching bag," and with self-effacing wit and poignancy the artist drops his guard to show an emotional side previously unexplored in his work. -- Carlos Suarez De JesusThrough January 30. Fredric Snitzer Gallery, 2247 NW First Pl., Miami; 305-448-8976.
Undercover: Nancy Gifford haunts British bookstores in search of sets of antiquarian titles, which supplies her with covers she arranges into handsome geometric compositions. Leather, marbling, and worn paper lend the works an air of studious concentration even as they play in the fields of abstract design. In Geo she tiles mustard-yellow book covers in a pattern of ascending staircases. In The Arrow That Cannot Be Removed, crimson double-headed arrows formed by spines and corners point left and right in a zippy, saturated composition that nevertheless retains its bibliophilistic atmosphere. Testament of Beauty, even with its gold-embossed lettering, recalls recently departed Agnes Martin with its pale, nuanced grid. -- Franklin Einspruch Through January. Wynwood Contemporary Gallery, 2320 N. Miami Ave., Miami; 786-877-9020.
X-mas in Guantánamo: George Maciunas's original motto, "promoting a revolutionary flood and tide in art," has vanished from our 9/11 postindustrial world. For a change, pay a visit to Antoni Miralda's installation. If ideas could hurt, this does. At the Food Culture Museum run by Miralda and his long-time collaborator Montse Guillen, Miralda transforms display cases into effective cryptograms. Coke bottles filled with rice and beans (known as "Moors and Christians") are pierced with hundreds of toothpicks. A metal tray (with aluminum cup) and a bun filled with magnetic audiotape are topped with dozens of tiny American flags. The bottom shelf includes Miralda's signature flamingo (now gagged and blindfolded) next to a piggy bank among hundreds of pennies. If you keep up with the news coming from Guantánamo's security prison and Iraq's Abu-Ghraib, you'll get it. -- Alfredo Triff Through January 30. TransEAT Food Culture Museum, 2417 N. Miami Ave., Miami; 305-576-0406, www.foodculturemuseum.com.