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
Merce Cunningham: Dancing on the Cutting Edge Part 2, Daniel Arsham: MoCA's much-ballyhooed salute to the avant choreographer culminates with a turbo-charged bang at its Wynwood annex space. This exhibit focuses on Merce Cunningham's eyeSpace, a collaboration with Miami artist Daniel Arsham and composer Daniel Berman, which premiered at the Carnival Center for the Performing Arts this past February. The set Arsham designed for eyeSpace anchors the show. In ODE/EON, Arsham used forced perspective to create a set resembling the faade of an Art Deco movie theater, with the top half suspended overhead and the lower section crashing through the stage. A huge neon marquee rips like a steamer's prow through a wall. Arsham has also re-created the performance's lighting in the space for dramatic effect and included a series of gouache-on-Mylar studies inspired by his tete-a-tetes with Merce during the legend's South Florida debut. The electronic soundtrack of Berman's score, Long Throw, pierces the air, adding a haunting note to the affair. -- Carlos Suarez De Jesus Through June 23. MoCA at the Goldman Warehouse, 404 NW 26th St., Miami; 305-893-6211, www.mocanomi.org.
Panorama LatinoAmericano Part II: Culled from the gallery's holdings, and mixed and matched as Virginia Miller's ongoing summer sale continues, this painting and sculpture exhibit pairs the work of established masters with that of midcareer artists from Argentina, Brazil, Cuba, El Salvador, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and Venezuela. It includes an oil-on-canvas painting by Cuba's Wifredo Lam from 1959, and a warped perspective watercolor of several bird-brained figures in a room dating to 1965 by Mexico's Francisco Toledo. Carrousel, a whopping canvas by El Salvador's Cesar Menendez, depicts two voluptuous female nudes atop mechanical ponies on a spinning merry-go-round. Half-Hidden, a huge work by Brazil's Antonio Amaral, engulfs the spectator with lush bamboolike tropical green ribbons arcing upward across the canvas and swallowing pink lobster claws and thorny gray structures as if they were the inexorable tide of nature decimating a futuristic city. Argentine Mateo Arguello Pitt's installation features a large mixed-media-on-panel painting covered in a riot of figures celebrating a wedding and confronted by three of his life-size mutt sculptures coated in nifty mosaic patterns. Venezuelan Alfredo Arcia's pillow-case-size oil-on-canvas scream, Dos Demagogos en la Bay Street, depicts a scrawny Satan scrapping over scripture with a pork-bellied preacher in a gritty urban setting. -- Carlos Suarez De Jesus Through June 30. ArtSpace/Virginia Miller Galleries, 169 Madeira Ave., Coral Gables; 305-444-4493, www.virginiamiller.com.
You've Got to Trust Space: Video artist Natalia Benedetti's work is just one part of Dr. Arturo Mosquera's Art @ Work project, in which the orthodontist showcases the work of local artists at his office in West Dade. Near the office entrance, check out 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. In Everything in Between, colorful grains of rice seem to magically fall from the sky and onto a metal surface, filling the screen and ricocheting off the metal as they produce the sound of a tinny drum. The green, yellow, blue, and pink candylike bits fly about like salmon swimming upstream until a hand appears to clear the mound in a clean sweep. On a small DVD 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 used graphite to draw right onto the wall a pair of disembodied hands, which appear to hover in space in a prayerful pose. -- Carlos Suarez De Jesus Through June 30. Art @ Work, 1245 SW 87th Ave., Miami; 305-264-3355.
Essential Collection: In 1992 Bosnian artist Sadko Hadzihasanovic and his Orthodox Serbian wife stowed away on a cargo plane to flee Sarajevo and the specter of genocide. Since relocating to Canada in 1993, the artist has mined themes of displacement and civil strife in his work, tempering these with his experiences in a new country where he often finds escapism the popular pastime. With wry political satire, his paintings on vintage wallpaper skewer historical art figures, pop culture, and home and hearth. Massacre at Chios is a nod to Delacroix’s classical painting commemorating the Turkish bloodbath that resulted in the deaths of more than 40,000 Greeks in 1822, and depicts a handful of barely rendered turbaned waifs upon a background of scarlet and gold wallpaper festooned with farmers harvesting hay. Other works feature youngsters at play waving AK-47s overhead, or starving artists feasting on Big Macs. In Super Self-Portrait as a Little Boy with David Letterman, the artist renders himself as a wee tyke sporting striped skivvies and smirking at the spectator from against sallow Eisenhower-era wallpaper covered in blue posies and rows of Letterman’s leering gob. There is a sense of absence fighting to shine through in Hi My Name Is Van Gogh, I Like to Shave. In it the loosely modeled figure of a boy holds a razor aloft in his hand as he grins through a lathered face, appearing somewhat like Beaver Cleaver in the midst of a prank. These works are as loaded with biting irony as they are pitched with echoes of loss. — Carlos Suarez De Jesus Through July 12. Kunsthaus Miami Contemporary Art Space, 3312 N. Miami Ave., Miami; 305-438-1333, www.kunsthaus.org.mx.
New Paintings: In Victor Payares’s paintings, abstract and figurative elements collide in whimsical, almost hallucinatory ways. Mangled cartoon trees, flaming boxcars, scooters, and pickup trucks pinwheel across a blazing sunflower yellow field. A spaceship and a skier bubble up in acid green and hot Pepto-Bismol pink swirls. Helicopter gunships battle in a fog inside a room of an old house. A piano made of bricks explodes while a family bleeds on the floor. The people, creatures, and machines in his large-scale canvases seem to defy gravity, or appear on the verge of hurtling off the world’s edge. Black Cloud, the largest work in the show and nearly the size of a garage door, is awash in tarry black paint, suggesting deep space in which cotton candy nebulas shoot lightning bolts and a toy robot hitches a ride atop a car crumpled like a beer can. The artist’s paintings vibrate with energy and narrative possibility, reflecting a remarkably inventive mind and a world where the laws of physics are twisted beyond belief. Even more impressive is the fact that the artist is only 21 years old, and half of the works on exhibit were snapped up by collectors during his solo debut. — Carlos Suarez De Jesus Through July 12. Lyle O. Reitzel Gallery, 2441 NW Second Ave., Miami; 305-573-1333, www.artnet.com/reitzel.html.