By Ciara LaVelle
By Jose D. Duran
By Kat Bein
By Juan Barquin
By Ciara LaVelle
By George Martinez
By Kat Bein
By Ciara LaVelle
Christo and Jeanne-Claude: The Würth Museum Collection: The works of Christo and his wife/collaborator Jeanne-Claude -- notably their projects of wrapped monumental structures -- have to be seen in context. They manifest much of their sublimeness through the ephemeral and temporary nature of their existence. This show of 65 collages, drawings, photographs, and scale models from the Würth Museum Collection will hardly provide viewers with the profound aesthetic experience of seeing the real, finished installations. However, what this exhibit can do is display compelling documentation of the technical requirements and processes that eventually lead to the completion of their ambitious projects, from their Wrapped Coast in Little Bay, Australia, to their most recent project, The Gates (7500 saffron fabric panels suspended from frames that snaked throughout the pathways in New York's Central Park). -- Omar Sommereyns Through June 26. Bass Museum of Art, 2121 Park Ave., Miami Beach; 305-673-7530.
I Love You, Valparaíso: Joseph Tamargo is a professor of photography at Miami-Dade College, a Fulbright scholar, and a veteran of the camera. His latest photo exhibit puts on view an introverted study of Chile's largest port, Valparaíso. Tamargo's eye moves from the walls enclosing domestic interiors to the street and then slowly into open cityscapes. Though people are absent in most of the photos, the colors are exuberant, the texture attractive, the mood introverted. A snapshot of an empty room -- flowers on a table, a view of the frozen garden through a dampened window, a slightly moving curtain -- carries a touch of mystery, heightened by a wicker-knitted armchair. How can one really show the spirit of a city with photography? "You have to love it," seems to be Tamargo's answer. -- Alfredo Triff Through May 1. Books & Books, 265 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables; 305-442-4408.
In a Dark Manner: 1998-2005: The drawings of Mexican painter Hugo Crosthwaite borrow from plenty of disparate sources: José Guadalupe Posada; Mexican novelétas; Baroque figuration; daguerreotype; and the Mexican fascination with death. Imagine this narrative against the hackneyed urban landscapes of contemporary Tijuana, a Surrealist collage of decay and misery -- as if out of Paco Ignacio Taibo's noir novels. Crosthwaite's explorations of today's actual issues in Pescadores (dealing with prostitution on the U.S.-Mexican border), Beso Escondido (looking at transvestism), or in his Bartolomé (refracting the Abu Ghraib scandal) are momentous and -- against all this human drama -- even hopeful. -- Alfredo Triff Through May 30. ArtSpace/Virginia Miller Galleries, 169 Madeira Ave., Coral Gables; 305-444-4493.
The Last Picture Show: Artists Using Photography, 1960-1982: Works by 57 international artists using photography reflect the meteoric cultural and perceptual changes afoot in the United States and abroad during this period. A countercultural movement of anti-photography rebelled against the pristine modernist photographic masterwork, and many artists capitalized on the instability of the photographic image; it was fertile ground for eccentric artistic exploration. This is an in-depth look at a rich period in art production, one vastly different from the moment we are now experiencing. The works exhibited encourage intellectual liberation as they court the absurd, the unpredictable, and the mysterious. -- Michelle Weinberg Through June 12. Miami Art Central, 5960 Red Rd., South Miami; 305-455-3333.
Lucid Flats: Do war, oil prices, the threat of terrorism, pandemics, and a rise in Puritanism worry you? These headaches are more than enough for a reprise of the Nineteenth Century's world-weariness, which is Reeve Schumacher's motto. A bit of caricature, a bit of revised Beardsley, Schumacher's collages and mural work take us to a poetic space of subjectivity, akin to the beginnings of Modernity, where "man becomes aware of himself." See the self-absorbed artist (in heroic pose) along with languid women and the wicked in this Alfred Jarry-like representation of absurdity and reality. Stop by the artist's little framed vignettes, which show an imaginative, curvy pulse -- very promising work. -- Alfredo Triff Through May 9. Damien B. Contemporary Art Center, 282 NW 36th St., Miami. 305-573-4949.
Madria Tiri: Cundo Bermudez comes from a generation of modern Cuban painters who redefined color, shapes, and themes from the legacy of Matisse and Picasso and the local influences of René Portocarrero and Amelia Peláez. But his art also retains a tasteful post-Cubist tone implicit in Havana's Fifties architectural style. Don't miss his Madria Tiri, seven-by-eleven-foot oil on canvas. This handsome panel displays Bermudez's signature busts -- devoid of mouths and donning all sorts of head gear. It feels young, considering that Bermudez was born in 1914. -- Alfredo Triff Through May 6. Cernuda Arte, 3155 Ponce de Leon Blvd., Coral Gables; 305-461-1050.