By John Thomason
By Benjy Caplan
By Artburst Miami
By Carlos Suarez De Jesus
By Daniel Reskin
Through August 31 at Edge Zones, 47 NE 25th St., Miami; 305-576-4001; edgezones.org. Open Wednesday through Saturday noon to 3 p.m. or by appointment.
Hector Madera's stark collages on view at Edge Zones offer a discordant commentary on many artists' unease with the brutal economy. His Recession Series, featuring works titled Unhappiness makes us creative and The American dream might be a nightmare, is cobbled from old bills and masking tape; the titles are scrawled boldly as strident protests. The Puerto Rican artist's largest work on display stitches together his car rental receipts, bank statements, hospital bills, sundry sales slips, and assorted announcements for gallery shows. It suggests that in the absence of a budget for canvas, Madera has chosen to use the contents of his mailbox to vent his creative angst. The works are part of "Painting," a group show at the Wynwood nonprofit in which some of the participants approach the medium in nontraditional ways. Smartly curated, the show offers a mixed bag of styles through the work of Kyle Barnette, David Brieske, Paloma Ferreyros, Daniel Fiorda, Robert Huff, François Ilnseher, Jay Oré, Mark Osterman, Raul Perdomo, and Claudia Scalise.
Palley Pavilion for Contemporary Glass and Studio Arts
Public funding for local culture might be sinking, but philanthropists Myrna and Sheldon Palley are throwing a lifeline. Last year, the couple donated nearly half of their vast glass art collection to the Lowe, along with a $1.7 million gift for the construction of a new wing to house the work. "They are amazingly generous," says William Carlson, an internationally renowned glass artist and UM art faculty member. "At a time when government grants are dwindling and even collectors are hesitant to buy art, the Palleys have plunged headlong in supporting both the university and the community." The Palleys, who have collected glass for more than 30 years, gave the Lowe more than 150 pieces by 53 artists. Their gift is valued in excess of $3.5 million and is considered one of the nation's finest collections of studio glass. When the Palley Pavilion opened in May 2008, it marked the first expansion of the Lowe in more than a decade. The Palleys' comprehensive collection at the museum includes works by Howard Ben Tré, José Chardiet, Dale Chihuly, Dan Dailey, Michael Glancy, Harvey Littleton, Stephen Weinberg, Stanislav Labinsky, and Lino Tagliapietra, among others.
Nela Ochoa: Genetic Portraits
"Nela Ochoa: Genetic Portraits" features an intriguing collection of complex pieces referencing the genetic code of human and plant life. The Venezuelan artist's work embraces the intersection of art and science in bold, imaginative ways, creating provocative installations and sculptures that unravel the mysteries of DNA. Outside the museum, one of her sprawling, serpentine sculptures resembles a giant centipede squirming across the lawn. Buccaneer Helix alludes to the DNA of an endangered species of a Florida palm tree. It was crafted from 868 sawed-off plastic baseball bats that stretch more than 50 feet across the ground. The stubby bats have been encased like sausages in hot pink, turquoise, cobalt, and black Lycra skins. Each of the corresponding colors symbolizes one of the nucleotides in the sequence of the palm's DNA structure. For her intriguing pieces, Ochoa typically selects four colors, evoking the four nucleotides, A, C, G, and T — adenine, cytosine, guanine, and thymine — in the DNA molecule. Genes, which determine heredity information, are made up of specific sequences of nucleotides.
Through the Lens: Photography from the Permanent Collection
Arnold Newman: Photographic Legacy
Through October 4 at the Lowe Art Museum, 1301 Stanford Dr., Coral Gables; 305-284-3535; lowemuseum.org. Open Tuesday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday noon to 4 p.m.
A new exhibit at the Lowe features a rare image of the Taj Mahal photographed in 1855 by John Murray. The physician produced the 19th Century's finest visual record of historic sites around Agra. Murray's picture is part of "Through the Lens: Photography from the Permanent Collection," displaying 100 photos from more than a thousand of the Lowe's photographic holdings. The stunning collection spans the development of the art form from its earliest inception in the mid-1800s to the present day. The museum's greatest-hits parade continues in the contemporary section of the exhibit, spinning with works by Vito Acconci, Sol LeWitt, William Wegman, Cindy Sherman, John Baldessari, and Gordon Matta-Clark — among the best-known figures of the late 20th Century. Also on display, in the rear of the museum, is "Arnold Newman: Photographic Legacy." Newman, considered one of the greatest portrait photographers of his age, has created incredible studies of artists such as Joan Miró, Pablo Picasso, Louise Nevelson, Isamu Noguchi, and Jasper Johns at work. It's an impressive complement to the Lowe's sweeping history-of-photography exhibition.
Through September 25 at ArtSpace/Virginia Miller Galleries, 169 Madeira Ave., Coral Gables; 305-444-4493; virginiamiller.com. Open Monday through Friday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday by appointment.