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
Anne Chu: This exhibition begins with a wide tabletop full of short human figures based on funerary guardians from China's T'ang Dynasty. Carved roughly from wood, the figures are then painted with casein in a style that seems to draw from Impressionist watercolors. Indeed Chu's nearby watercolor studies, executed with admirable economy and freshness, clearly informed the carved works. Despite the references to historical art sources, Chu's work has its own distinct personality. The stars of this show are her life-size marionettes, which dominate with their sizable physical and psychological presence. Many of them could be made to work, given a team of strong puppeteers at a high elevation. Chu's watercolor studies for them reflect the best traditions of both the Eastern and Western worlds. This dual-worldly existence that seems to transcend time animates her work with a courageous energy -- energy which makes this exhibit a tour de force. -- Franklin Einspruch Through July 3. Museum of Contemporary Art, 770 NE 125th St., North Miami; 305-893-6211.
The Art of Aggression: This timely and thoughtful exhibition refracts contemporary political art through a prism of global terrorism and conflict. Several artists journey to the heart of their work via detached, analytical paths reminiscent of the increasingly complex machinations that characterize global warfare today. Dominic McGill's The Zapruder Covert Waltz is an elaborate drawing that graphs the myriad theories surrounding the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Mark Lombardi's lyrical drawings play connect-the-dots, forming lacy constellations that link business transactions in the military-industrial complex. Josh On and Futurefarmers, a San Francisco-based new-media cooperative, presents Antiwargame and They Rule. These interactive Web-based works spoof war video games, inviting users to visualize the overlapping affiliations of corporate honchos who control the world's most powerful companies. The curators demonstrate that artists are the flies in the ointment of empire, the collective conscience and whistleblowers for the military and industrial powers that be, persistently knocking on the closed-door proceedings at the highest echelons of government and business. -- Michelle Weinberg Through July 1. The Moore Space, 4040 NE Second Ave., second floor, Miami; 305-438-1163.
The Artist's Studio: Paintings, Photographs, and Sculptures by Joe Fig: Fig's miniature constructions of artists' studios encourage voyeurism. Viewers are invited to peek inside the cloistered areas where artists struggle with creativity in isolation, a kind of sacred atelier immune to the outside art world. Fig manages to respect his real-life subjects by crafting delicate and tremendously detailed compositions that don't necessarily infringe on the artists' privacy. Rather they celebrate their talent and the setting in which they create most of their work. Glance into painter Chuck Close's studio, which, like Close's work, is realistic down to the smallest detail (there are even specific art magazines scattered across his desk). In Jackson Pollock's Long Island sanctum we see the artist pondering one of his action paintings laid out on the floor. -- Omar Sommereyns Through July 11. Bass Museum of Art, 2121 Park Ave., Miami Beach; 305-673-7530.
AT THIS TIME, 10 Miami Artists: Donald and Mera Rubell's newly refurbished warehouse and legendary art holdings make the Rubell Family Collection one of America's best privately owned contemporary venues. Its current exhibit suggests Miami artists are internationally respected. Curator Mark Coetzee created a dynamic interaction among the pieces by not hanging each artist's works separately, thereby allowing viewers to move from the awe-inspiring -- José Bedia's raft installation -- to the bizarre -- Cooper's cryptic and angst-ridden Our American Cousin assemblage. Naomi Fisher offers some of her color-saturated and visually enticing Assy Flora series, while Jiae Hwang showcases I'm the Real Princess of the Magical Land, a witty and delicate collection of pencil drawings. Miami and its art scene are relatively young, and with an eye on the future, one easily understands why shows like this are needed: They bring to light historic points of reference for tomorrow's artists and historians. -- Alfredo Triff Through October 30. Rubell Family Collection, 95 NW 29th St., Miami; 305-573-6090.
marking time: moving images: Science, technology, and the speed with which we communicate today have altered modern-day perception of reality. The world is so much more accessible nowadays that time has become a fluid medium flashing back and forth -- as if we were living inside a movie. Curated by Lorie Mertes, MAM's new show (of mostly videos) centers on internalized time and showcases the works of ten artists, including Janine Antoni, Miguel Angel Rios, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Dara Friedman, and Ann Hamilton. Take home a Gonzalez-Torres piece, talk into Ann Hamilton's installation, or simply enjoy Friedman's offbeat sequences of people making out. Don't miss Paul Pfieffer's metaphysical video concerned with light and color. It will make you feel -- if German poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was right about the power of art -- as though you're the sole survivor of a universal flood. -- Alfredo Triff Through September 11. Miami Art Museum, 101 W. Flagler St., Miami; 305-375-3000.
Robert Rauschenberg: Considered a central figure in late-twentieth-century art, Rauschenberg is also a long-time resident of Captiva Island, Florida. His recent work has begun to reflect distinctively local input: gators, punchy shadows, pink and green. His move to water-based media, inspired by safety and environmental concerns, forced his palette into a gentler range of intensity. This makes his new works more pleasant to look at than the saturated images he became known for, but the oomph has gone out of them as well. They're fun and lighthearted (the man is famous for being the same), but they seem to want for more resolution and gravitas. -- Franklin Einspruch Through July 3. Miami Art Museum, 101 W. Flagler St., Miami; 305-375-3000.