By John Thomason
By Benjy Caplan
By Artburst Miami
By Carlos Suarez De Jesus
By Daniel Reskin
Big Juicy Paintings (and more): On view through the summer, "Juicy" features nearly 50 works from the permanent collection, including a number of new acquisitions making their Miami debut. The brawny exhibit is complemented by a handful of works on loan from area collectors. This marks the first time since 2002's "Miami Currents" that MAM has turned over its main exhibition space to its growing collection. Organized by the museum's senior curator, Peter Boswell, the exhibit is primarily devoted to paintings but also features several large-scale sculptural installations. An elated Boswell mentions MAM's collection is growing so rapidly that visitors will encounter a show that is "bigger and juicier than we could have imagined even six months ago." Jesse Bransford's No Ship features a boom crane at its far right and Star Trek's Enterprise approaching warp speed near the lower left. It's a dandy metaphor for MAM's making quantum spurts in its collection and for the sky being the limit. Carlos Suarez De Jesus Through September 17. 101 W. Flagler St., Miami; 305-375-3000, www.miamiartmuseum.org.
I’m So Much Better than You: Magnus Sigurdarson’s installation features four tons of Miami New Times papers interlocked like bricks to form a curving hip-high wall. It houses a DVD player and monitor where the artist is seen performing a puppet show in Xiamen, China. Sigurdarson, who was born in Iceland, filmed the performance during a three-month residency there last autumn. Ironically Sigurdarson’s installation at Javogue’s space, with its imposing mass and volume, evokes a sense of the wall erected to separate China from the rest of the world. The work shares a relevancy with plans for a wall cutting off the United States from its neighbors to the south. Carlos Suarez De Jesus Ongoing; by appointment only. Emmanuel Javogue Fine Arts, 123 NW 23rd St., Miami; 305-573-3904, www.ejfa.net.
I Used to Believe: This group show features the work of twelve emerging artists who explore the realm of adolescent creativity and how it has influenced their adult careers. The exhibit encompasses a wide range of media video, installation, drawings, photography, painting and exudes a lighthearted, playful feel. One of the most striking pieces is a wood-panel-and-string installation by Chris Duncan. For those of you feeling as if you wake up to the smell of napalm and are weary of the sting of adulthood on the soul, this show might transport you to a time when frittering away your life in a sandbox was worth risking getting sent to bed without supper. Carlos Suarez De Jesus Through July 31. David Castillo Gallery, 2234 NW Second Ave., Miami; 305-573-8110, www.castilloart.com.
Various Exhibits at the Bass Museum of Art: With a bushel of blue-ribbon shows, the Bass has embarked on perhaps its busiest programming season. For art lovers accustomed to a lull in activity during the dog days of summer, deciding on which shows to see among the museum's expansive menu might be as slippery as handling a hog in a greased-pig contest. But that is bell-clanging news. The Bass is featuring everything from Haitian art to Renaissance altarpieces to embroidered silk robes from the Chinese Imperial court and, not unlike a country fair, boasting a little something for everyone. Through the end of July, the museum celebrates Haitian culture via three exhibits. Although there was too much to sink the teeth into during a recent visit, I left thinking. Carlos Suarez De Jesus Ongoing. Bass Museum of Art, 2121 Park Ave., Miami Beach; 305-673-7530, www.bassmuseum.org.