As a rule curators spend a crazy amount of time putting together a winning lineup when working with multiple artists during an exhibit, but in the case of tonight's opening reception from 7:00 to 10:00 at Bernice Steinbaum Gallery (3550 N. Miami Ave., Miami), kismet came into play. "It was just their time at bat and it seems like these artists do well together," promises Bernice Steinbaum, who has slugged one out of the park with a trio of shows delivering something (except peanuts and hot dogs) for everyone.
Donna Rosenthal's "His, Hers, and Theirs" is a series of toy-size men's suits and women's dresses that combine as visual dialogues examining the nature of relationships, gender roles, and social positions. They are labor-intensive works that evoke memories of cutout dolls, while remaining sophisticated and ironic in nature. Rosenthal subverts the gap between art and craft by using vintage comic books, cookbooks, romance novels and magazines, buttons, textiles, and costume jewelry she then crochets, embroiders, and knits, layering the pieces with text as a tool for social commentary.
The exquisite pencil and charcoal drawings of artist Hugo Crosthwaite, on view at ArtSpace/Virginia Miller Galleries (169 Madeira Ave., Coral Gables) through May 30, read like a passion play of despair and redemption. "Maniera Obscura/In a Dark Manner: 1998 -- 2005" marks the Tijuana native's first solo show in the United States and is remarkable for its meticulous execution and harrowing nature.
Crosthwaite's imagery ranges from Tinseltown depictions of romanticized war scenes to flayed and crucified Catholic martyrs alongside Iraqi prisoners being tortured by American soldiers. In another series depicting the dismal streets of his hometown, the artist juxtaposes an armless beggar with a ham-thighed harlot whose limbs are knotted behind her neck like a pretzel in a work that verges on poetry. Call 305-444-4493, or visit www.virginiamiller.com. --Carlos Suarez de Jesus