"Delivered"

 "Delivered": In his photos on exhibit in "Delivered," a group show curated by Orestes Diaz of the nomadic ISM Gallery and on view at the Fire Haus Project in West Miami-Dade County, Nestor Arenas uses road kill, action figures, and toy soldiers to depict a world where violence is the supreme authority and naked force is counted on to save the day. The Cuban-born artist constructs complex scenes out of a combination of miniature models, dead animals, creepy crawlies, and insects arranged in brutal firefights that deliver a scathing indictment on the Iraq War. Arenas has used frogs, turtles, gators, ducks, birds, and fish in his work. Other postcard-size images are more playful, depicting a giant grasshopper wreaking havoc in a crowded park, or a Mickey Mouse-eared tyke astride a squirrel. But these lack the visceral impact of Arenas's fun-ass militaristic scenes, which, in combining innocent childhood toys with nature as the enemy, darkly suggest a picture of a doddering prez wrapping himself up in Old Glory and urging Congress to sign off on killing anything with more than two legs. The exhibition also includes work by Serge Lis, Ahmed Gomez, and Gerry Stecca, but it is Arenas who steals the thunder in a cunning, cheesy action film kind of way. — Carlos Suarez de Jesus Through May 19. Fire Haus Project, 7970 Coral Way, Miami. Call 305-310-2797, or visit www.ism-gallery.com.

"Sol LeWitt x 2": Sol LeWitt earned himself a place in history books as one of the Johnny Appleseeds of the minimal and conceptual art movements during the Sixties. He's also among the most prolific artists of the mid-Twentieth Century. "Sol LeWitt x 2," a two-part exhibition at the Miami Art Museum (MAM), offers fertile ground to explore both the artist's influential work and the contemporary art collection he has created over the past 50 years. Featuring 45 works on paper and sculptures, "Sol LeWitt: Structure and Line" provides a broad look at the artist's oeuvre, spanning from his early grid-based modular constructions of the Sixties to his recent series of Scribble drawings making their debut at MAM. — Carlos Suarez de Jesus Through June 3. Miami Art Museum, 101 W. Flagler St., Miami. Call 305-305-375-3000, or visit www.miamiartmuseum.org.

"You've got to trust space": Video artist Natalia Benedetti's work, part of Dr. Arturo Mosquera's Art @ Work project, includes Perfume, a video piece in which a veil of mist detonates over what appears to be the bottom of a copper pot. As the fountain catches the light like a Fourth of July sparkler, the sweet scent of lavender from an atomizer freshens the air. On a monitor tucked in the far lobby corner, The Sun and the Moon captures incandescent drops of water as they accumulate on a pane of glass. The light illuminating the rising steam from behind gives the impression of a canopy of stars under the night sky. Next to the monitor, the artist has drawn a pair of disembodied hands with graphite right onto the wall. — Carlos Suarez de Jesus Through June 30. Art @ Work, 1245 SW 87th Avenue, Miami. 305-264-3355.

 
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