Through October 3. Gallery Diet, 174 NW 23rd St., Miami; 305-571-2288; gallerydiet.com. Tuesday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Miami local art
Nina Johnson opened her season with "Dolos," by Chicago-based artists Dutes Miller and Stan Shellabarger, as part of her ongoing invitational series. She also featured "Steam," by Hills Snyder. Collaborating as Miller & Shellabarger, the Chicago couple performed Untitled (Pink Tube), a never-ending work in which the duo sits across from one another in the gallery while knitting a pink tube and conversing with the public. The men, who have worked on the piece for the past six years, engaged spectators through a ritualistic performance that poignantly links the two as partners, procreators, and artists. The idea behind it is that they will continue doing so indefinitely until one or the other passes away or can no longer continue; the other partner will unravel it when it's over. Snyder's "Steam" was presented inside a black-painted room where ambient sounds such as people murmuring and wind blowing was piped in. The artist affixed a montage of what appeared to be fragmented puzzle pieces scattered across the floors and walls. The Plexiglas forms were covered with photos of an azure sky and billowing clouds, adding a Chicken Little effect. The work includes fragments of falling sky based on hundreds of broken bicycle parts collected during a three-week jaunt in Amsterdam, a city of 1.5 million bicycles.
Through October 12. Lyle O. Reitzel Gallery, 2441 NW Second Ave., Miami; 305-573-1333; lyleoreitzel.com. Tuesday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Rendered in psychedelic spills of color, Luciano Goizueta's pieces strike a jarring note through their portrayals of people and recreational vehicles superimposed over concrete jungles. The artist, who often depicts Costa Rica's native wildlife as a commentary on the uneasy balance between ecotourism and urban sprawl, created several paintings for this show that highlight '60s-era flight attendants clad in funky mod fashions that add a quirky pop sensibility to his works. Fresh Fruit features a quartet of stewardesses wearing go-go boots and pink-and-orange uniforms. The women pose coquettishly with their hands on their hips as they seductively flash their pearlies at the spectator. An exotic bird plucks berries off a bush, dropping the ripe red fruit on the unsuspecting women. Many of Goizueta's other canvases depict decrepit RVs and people vacationing in the countryside. The paintings seem to employ stains as a metaphor for overpopulation and man's encroachment on the environment.
Girls with Guns
Through October 30. Dot Fiftyone Gallery, 51 NW 36th St., Miami; 305-573-9994, dotfiftyone.com. Monday through Friday noon to 7 p.m.
Natalie Silva's solo show at Wynwood's Dot Fiftyone Gallery features 14 large paintings inspired by '60s and '70s cinema molls. With tongue-in-cheek titles such as The Day We Killed Them All and Killer Looks, Silva's pop-influenced paintings explode with color and depict solitary women leveling pistols or rifles and raking spectators with gunfire. Silva uses acrylic and fluorescent paint on raw canvas to enhance her work's edgy veneer and achieve a glow-in-the-dark effect. She tinkers with symbolism and humor in paintings such as Damn Flies, in which a fetching brunette sporting an eyepatch blows an F-14 fighter jet out of the sky. She succeeds with aplomb at balancing desirable, glamorous vixens and menacing weapons. In Kitten, a painting recently exhibited in a summer group show at London's Royal Academy of the Arts, a chestnut-haired minx cocks her Saturday-night special with a Sarah Palin-esque wink and a nod at the viewer. Despite Silva's bubblegum palette choices and flatly rendered femme fatales, there is an innate psychological tension percolating under her images that keeps the paintings from feeling like the artist is firing one-note blanks.
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Through the Lens: Photography from the Permanent Collection
Arnold Newman: Photographic Legacy
Through October 4. Lowe Art Museum, 1301 Stanford Dr., Coral Gables; 305-284-3535; lowemuseum.org. Tuesday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and 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." Considered one of the greatest portrait photographers of his age, Newman has created incredible studies of artists such as Joan Miró, Pablo Picasso, Louise Nevelson, Isamu Noguchi, and Jasper Johns at work.