Big Juicy Paintings (and more): "Juicy" features nearly 50 works from the permanent collection, including a number of new acquisitions making their Miami debut. The brawny exhibit is complemented by a handful of works on loan from area collectors. This marks the first time since 2002's "Miami Currents" that MAM has turned over its main exhibition space to its growing collection. Organized by the museum's senior curator, Peter Boswell, the exhibit is primarily devoted to paintings but also features several large-scale sculptural installations. An elated Boswell mentions MAM's collection is growing so rapidly that visitors will encounter a show that is "bigger and juicier than we could have imagined even six months ago." Carlos Suarez De Jesus Through September 17. 101 W. Flagler St., Miami; 305-375-3000, www.miamiartmuseum.org.
I'm So Much Better than You: Magnus Sigurdarson's installation features four tons of Miami New Times papers interlocked like bricks to form a curving hip-high wall. It houses a DVD player and monitor where the artist is seen performing a puppet show in Xiamen, China. Sigurdarson, who was born in Iceland, filmed the performance during a three-month residency there last autumn. Ironically Sigurdarson's installation at Javogue's space, with its imposing mass and volume, evokes a sense of the wall erected to separate China from the rest of the world. The work shares a relevancy with plans for a wall cutting off the United States from its neighbors to the south. Carlos Suarez De Jesus Ongoing; by appointment only. Emmanuel Javogue Fine Arts, 123 NW 23rd St., Miami; 305-573-3904, www.ejfa.net.
I Used to Believe: This group show features the work of twelve emerging artists who explore the realm of adolescent creativity and how it has influenced their adult careers. The exhibit encompasses a wide range of media video, installation, drawings, photography, painting and exudes a lighthearted, playful feel. One of the most striking pieces is a wood-panel-and-string installation by Chris Duncan. For those of you feeling as if you wake up to the smell of napalm and are weary of the sting of adulthood on the soul, this show might transport you to a time when frittering away your life in a sandbox was worth risking getting sent to bed without supper. Carlos Suarez De Jesus Through July 31. David Castillo Gallery, 2234 NW Second Ave., Miami; 305-573-8110, www.castilloart.com.
Snap Judgments: New Positions in Contemporary African Photography: Organized by New York City's International Center of Photography and curated by the Nigerian-born Okwui Enwezor, "Snap Judgments" features more than 200 works by 35 artists ranging from the Muslim cultures of North Africa to the sub-Saharan nations of the south, and seeks to dispel media-skewed notions of daily life in Africa. The sprawling show delivers an eclectic and wildly divergent vision of contemporary postcolonial Africa and also marks the first major U.S. exhibition examining current photographic works from the continent in a decade. Okwui Enwezor deserves a tip of the chapeau for illuminating the dynamic works produced in Africa during the past ten years and MAC likewise for staging this provocative show. A visit to "Snap Judgments" promises to change your image of the continent and its people in a way that cuts to the bone. Carlos Suarez De Jesus Through August 27. Miami Art Central, 5960 SW 57th Ave., Miami; 305-455-3333, www.miamiartcentral.org.
Various Exhibits at the Bass Museum of Art: With a bushel of blue-ribbon shows, the Bass has embarked on perhaps its busiest programming season. For art lovers accustomed to a lull in activity during the dog days of summer, deciding on which shows to see among the museums expansive menu might be as slippery as handling a hog in a greased-pig contest. But that is bell-clanging news. The Bass is featuring everything from Haitian art to Renaissance altarpieces to embroidered silk robes from the Chinese Imperial court and, not unlike a country fair, boasting a little something for everyone. Through the end of July, the museum celebrates Haitian culture via three exhibits. Although there was too much to sink the teeth into during a recent visit, I left thinking. Carlos Suarez De Jesus Ongoing. Bass Museum of Art, 2121 Park Ave., Miami Beach; 305-673-7530, www.bassmuseum.org.
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