Through May 30. Bass Museum of Art, 2121 Park Ave., Miami Beach; 305-673-7530; bassmuseum.org. Wednesday through Sunday noon to 5 p.m.
If you haven't visited the Bass Museum in a while, a new exhibit will likely leave you scratching your head. Gone are the typical old-fangled portraits or Baroque paintings for which the museum was once known. Instead you'll find a giant chicharrón. The institution's bleeding-edge transformation has come courtesy of new director Silvia Karman Cubiñá. No parvenu, she comes from the now-defunct Moore Space in the Design District, which was one of the most provocative art venues in town. The gargantuan fiberglass pork rind is on view as part of "Where Do We Go From Here?: Selections From La Collección Jumex," representing one of the largest and most important collections of contemporary art in Latin America and marking the Mexico-based collection's stateside debut.
Through May 16. Frost Art Museum, 10975 SW 17th St., Miami; 305-348-2890; thefrost.fiu.edu. Tuesday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday noon to 5 p.m.
With his Mack truck-size opus on view at the Frost Art Museum, Yao Jui-cheng transports the spectator to the vertex where old Taiwan intersects the new. Heaven, Yao's photo and mixed-media installation, swallows most of the museum's center gallery. On the wall are 15 large black-and-white images treated with gold leaf and encased in hand-carved gold frames that recall the opulence of the past and the consumptive power of the present. The striking conglomeration of images includes mammoth crabs, Mandarin emperors, grappling dinosaurs, and a kowtowing baby with a sonic boom erupting from its ass. From these disparate pictures snakes a soaring sculptural mass of half-inch copper tubing attached to what looks like an old-fangled brass diving helmet. It floats at eye level and houses a small video monitor. Viewers are invited to slip their heads into the contraption, where the senses get sucked into a loopy realm that resembles a wormhole. Yao's installation is part of "Taiwan Discovered: In Place and Time," an intriguing exhibit featuring seven contemporary Taiwanese artists. Works range from video, sculpture, painting, multimedia installations, and rock art.
At the barely known and underused Little Haiti Cultural Center, a world-class exhibit focusing on the art of the Caribbean begs for attention. Curated by Miami's Edouard Duval-Carrié, largely funded by the French government, and cosponsored by the City of Miami and the Haitian Cultural Arts Alliance, "Global Caribbean" features the work of nearly 25 artists and offers a tantalizing survey of the region's top talent and contemporary trends. The exhibition showcases videos, sculpture, photography, painting, and mixed-media installations that gather the detritus of a colonized culture to create stunning collages of social commentary on the endless search for cultural identity.
"Art Encounters: Interstices Between Literature, Cinema, and Graphic Design"
Through March 20. CCE Miami, 800 Douglas Rd., Ste. 170, Coral Gables; 305-448-9676; ccemiami.org. Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Some people believe a picture is worth a thousand words, but others swear a well-made poster can more effectively sway the masses. The image of a slippery soap bar covered in pubic hair on display at CCE Miami evokes thoughts of a brutal prison rape. Instead, it is a shocking graphic design created by Mexico's Paul Domínguez to promote Marlon Brando's stab at porn in Bernardo Bertolucci's controversial Last Tango in Paris, which showcased the actor as a middle-aged widower who engages in a sexually violent relationship with an anonymous young woman. Domínguez's striking image is part of "Art Encounters: Interstices Between Literature, Cinema, and Graphic Design." The exhibit, featuring 50 provocative posters by several generations of Latin American artists, explores the corner where the disparate genres collide. In a separate room of the gallery, another 200 posters are continuously projected, offering a further examination of Latin America's rich graphic design tradition.