From his early soft-focus self-portraits and pictorials to his later high-contrast landscapes and edgy, natural-form closeups, Edward Weston was a master of manipulating shadow and light to reflect the pure beauty of simple contours and infinite lines. Weston's famous nudes are curved and turned into poses reminiscent of the sensual, windswept waves of the Oceano, California dunes and the calculated curls of seashells he also loved to photograph. Weston described his passion for working with such diverse objects quite simply: "The camera should be used for a recording of life, for rendering the very substance and quintessence of the thing itself, whether it be polished steel or palpitating flesh."
"Edward Weston: Life Work," a 100-image survey of this brilliant photographer's work spanning 40 years, opens tonight at the Lowe Art Museum (1301 Stanford Dr., Coral Gables). Rare self-portraits, striking landscapes of the Southwest, and his familiar Pepper No. 30 will be on view, in addition to many of his famous portraits, including D.H. Lawrence, Mexico, Diego Rivera, and Igor Stravinsky. The final image in the exhibit -- The "Dody Rocks," Point Lobos ("Something out of Nothing") -- a beautiful silver gelatin print of white rocks nestled in the black-flecked sand near Weston's home in Carmel, California, is also his last photograph, shot two years after he began suffering from Parkinson's disease and ten years before his death in 1958. Weston's images are an inspiration to anyone who's ever dabbled in film and should not be missed.
Also opening tonight is "Apocalypse Then: Images of Destruction, Prophecy, and Judgment from Dürer to the Twentieth Century," which offers selections of artists' renditions of their perceptions of the end of time. Beginning with Albrecht Dürer's fifteenth-century woodcuts, the exhibit spans five centuries and includes the works of William Blake, Pablo Picasso, Ed Ruscha, and Jasper Johns. Learn more about these haunting images of the end times when exhibition curator Timothy Riggs from the Ackland Art Museum presents a lecture at 7:00. You can get a peek at both exhibits (on view through November 13) from 8:00 to 10:00. Admission is five dollars, free for members. Call 305-284-3535, or visit www.lowemuseum.org. --Lyssa Oberkreser
Surrealism's audacious showman Salvador Dali recognized the value of moonlighting as a media lightning rod. He was once photographed wrapped in a full-length mink while walking an anteater on a leash. At another event, "The Big Bigote" arrived wearing a frogman's suit while squirming in cabbage inside a Rolls Royce. During a "subdued" press conference, Dali hammed it up with an eight-foot croissant for no apparent reason. Newshounds gorged.
Today contemporary artists feebly flirt with big-top attention. One artist poaches headlines shagging collectors for money. Another melts glacier shards and bottles the water. (He became news when an unsuspecting janitor drank it.) This summer an artist created buzz when his bar of soap "sculpture," crafted from fat sucked out of the Italian prime minister's haunches, sold for 10,000 euros. HUMBUG! No one has raised holy hell like Dali, and the Art + Gallery proves it, plunking fifteen of his colossal bronzes down at the hoity-toity Village of Merrick Park (358 San Lorenzo Ave., Coral Gables) beginning today, with an official ribbon-cutting ceremony scheduled for 5:30 p.m. on October 4. Call 786-497-1111, or visit www.artplusgallery.com. -- Carlos Suarez De Jesus
Drunk with Pretty, Swirling Colors
A cinematic splash of psychedelia
Christopher Doyle's body of work reminds cineastes that cinematography is art. Doyle is responsible for some of the most iconic film images in recent years: two assassins fighting on the mirror-smooth surface of a lake in Jet Li's Hero, the bleak and unforgiving Australian outback in Rabbit-Proof Fence, the graphic shots in Gus Van Sant's widely panned remake of Hitchcock's Psycho. Doyle is best known for his prolific, decade-long relationship with notoriously enigmatic Chinese director Wong Kar Wai. Their films, including Chungking Express and In the Mood for Love, featured a refreshing, fluid, vibrant use of color that noticeably influenced the work of Hollywood directors like Quentin Tarantino and Sofia Coppola. As part of its month-long series Photographers and Their Films, the Miami Beach Cinematheque (512 Española Way, Miami Beach) is screening Doyle's first directorial effort, the intensely personal, visually intoxicating Away with Words. The film begins tonight at 8:30. Tickets range from six to ten dollars. Call 305-673-4567, or visit www.mbcinema.com. --Patrice Elizabeth Grell Yursik
The Nazis used hair from the heads of their victims to weave rugs. Holocaust survivor Esther Nisenthal Krinitz used textile arts to depict her life, ensure that her stories carried on, and portray the destruction of her family. "Through the Eye of the Needle" is Krinitz's artistic journey that explores the emotions and events of her life before and after the Nazi destruction. The series of 36 stitched narratives opens today from 1:00 to 5:00 at the Dave and Mary Alper JCC (11155 SW 112th Ave., Kendall), accompanied by a thirteen-minute documentary of Krinitz and her younger sister, the only other family member to survive. As in many areas of Poland, almost the entire Jewish population of her town was killed. When Nazis invaded Miniszek to force Jews into cattle cars headed for concentration camps, Krinitz convinced her sister to escape with her. They survived by hiding in homes of non-Jewish neighbors, adopting different names, and working on farms and as housekeepers. Admission is free. Call 305-271-9000, ext. 268, or visit www.alperjcc.org. -- Karen Dale Wolman