Paranoia, Planes, and Parachutes

This menagerie promises equal doses of angst, solitude, and euphoria

Home features a frontal view of a commercial airplane docked at a airport gate. Once again, there are no passengers in sight. Crisp red and blue lines stand out sharply on the craft's nose. At the top of the canvas, effortlessly applied yellow paint drips downward, muddily suggesting an early-evening arrival and a dullish rather than vivifying environment.

A more energetic piece that seems to vibrate with a quality of interior life is Leaving.This small painting depicts what appears to be an airport shuttle in transit, seen as if through a car window. The painting's bright colors shimmer with movement. As the bus heads toward its destination, the street lights, painted off to one side, glow in a pattern of circular white swirls. This work was by far my favorite in Sanchez's exhibit. It provided a nice contrast to the eerie sense of melancholia and detached loneliness present in most of the other paintings, which is odd considering airports are among the best places to fold oneself into, if not get lost in, humanity.

At MoCA at Goldman Warehouse, "Natalia Benedetti: Luminosity" is the artist's first solo museum show. The exhibit comprises two videos on continuous loops projected onto nine-by-twelve-foot screens. Flexibility and Lightness depicts Benedetti skydiving. Luminosity is a fluid study of sunlight as it ripples across the surface of a lake. Both works are shown together, which creates an engulfing experience enhanced by a soundtrack of rushing wind.

Brian Reedy's You Better Run at the Dorsch Gallery
Brian Reedy's You Better Run at the Dorsch Gallery
Brian Reedy's You Better Run at the Dorsch Gallery
Brian Reedy's You Better Run at the Dorsch Gallery

Details

"Eleventh Hour" and "Take Off": Through April 1. and “Natalia Benedetti: Luminosity”: Through June 4.
"Eleventh Hour" and "Take Off: Dorsch Gallery, 151 NW 24th St, Miami; 305-576-1278.
“Natalia Benedetti: Luminosity”: MoCA at Goldman Warehouse, 404 NW 26th St, Miami; 305-893-6211.

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The scale of the works creates a sense of meditative contemplation. The howling wind that cuts through the gallery space adds to the sense of being outdoors in the thick of the action. The viewer watches as the artist, strapped to an instructor, jumps from a twin-engine aircraft at 18,000 feet and freefalls at 125 miles per hour. The figures twirl and tumble through the air like addled acrobats, the velocity of their descent betrayed by the flapping of their clothes. On the other screen, a dazzling light dancing on the lake's waves mimics the intense rippled snapping of the skydivers' garments.

The sensory-seducing sounds and vast expanse of sun-dappled water on one screen juxtaposed with the gorgeous blue sky and shimmering coastline on the other transport the spectator to a space somewhere between Heaven and Earth with a sublime thrill. They also trumpet that Benedetti has parachuted into her first solo museum show with head-turning aplomb.

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