Egyptian mummies at the Bass

When the ancient working stiff was preparing for his journey into the afterlife, little did he know he would spend decades gathering dust in a musty Wynwood warehouse. But that's exactly where the Egyptian craftsman dating back to the 25th or 26th Dynasty (808-518 B.C.) was found inside a polychrome wood inner sarcophagus. The liberated mummy is on view as part of the newly inaugurated Egyptian Gallery at the Bass, which also features a modest collection of rare artifacts in the permanent display that marks the only space of its kind in Florida. The exhibit also showcases the Bass mummy's outer sarcophagus, a child's sarcophagus, and several stellar examples of Egyptian statuary, canopic jars, stela fragments, and pottery. Unfortunately, some bling-craving pharaohphiles or Tut freaks might leave the Bass feeling a bit E-gypped after experiencing the modest exhibit. Don't expect sensational gold-covered coffins or regal masks of the ancient kings and queens of Egypt. Instead, these are the types of artifacts that continue inspiring the inner Indiana Jones or armchair archaeologist in most of us and have always fueled curiosity about an enigmatic lost culture. It's well worth a visit. Carlos Suarez De Jesus

A guillotine looming menacingly outside the Freedom Tower evokes terrifying references ranging from the industrial-scale beheadings of the French Revolution to the U.S. government's recent reign of error in its war on terrorism. The diabolical device is on display at the historical landmark as part of "Instruments of Torture Through the Ages," a harrowing exhibit reflecting humanity's darkest nature and showcasing the evil implements of terror employed by the powerful to brutally control the masses. Inside the tower's chambers, many of the dreadful apparatuses on display make the guillotine appear a painless mode of execution. Earlier methods of capital punishment widely practiced throughout Europe included crucifixion, hanging, disembowelment, impalement, burning at the stake, dismemberment, drawing and quartering, flaying, or boiling in oil. The exhibit — coproduced by the Toscana Museum, in collaboration with Amnesty International, Centro Cultural Español, and the Dante Alighieri Society in Miami — brings these methods of torture and execution disturbingly alive. Carlos Suarez De Jesus

John Brevard is a man possessed. When cosmic forces revealed he was destined to become an artist, he didn't waste any time. He immediately began a series of skillfully executed black-and-white drawings titled The Death of the False Self, which are on display at his eponymous, freshly minted space in Wynwood. The puzzle-like compositions have a surrealist quality, with faces and labyrinths melting into each other in a muddled jumble at times reminiscent of Dali's loopier doodles. The globe-trotting artist — who has traveled all over Europe, Asia, and South America to study indigenous cultures — follows the principles of what he calls sacred geometry. He uses petrified wood that's millions of years old and has been mined by local extractors in Jakarta following ecologically strict guidelines. Brevard uses the prehistoric wood to forge his designs in a studio in Coral Gables. His sumptuous furniture pieces and distinctive sculptures are immaculately executed and are where Brevard's creative forte is most evident. Carlos Suarez De Jesus

Details

Ongoing Bass Museum of Art, 2121 Park Ave., Miami Beach 305-673-7530; bassmuseum.orgWednesday through Sunday noon to 5 p.m.Through August 29 Freedom Tower, 600 Biscayne Blvd., Miami 305-237-7700; miamitorture.comMonday through Friday noon to 5 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Ongoing Brevards Art Gallery, 2320 N. Miami Ave., Miami 305-576-5747; brevards.comMonday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Through May 30 Bass Museum of Art, 2121 Park Ave., Miami Beach 305-673-7530; bassmuseum.orgWednesday 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 Colección 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. Carlos Suarez De Jesus

 
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