Check Out the New Guy

When the Museum of Contemporary Art (770 NE 125th St., North Miami) nabbed Alex Gartenfeld this spring, the hire made a big splash in local art circles. After all, the crackerjack curator had cut his teeth as cofounder of the Big Apple’s milk-carton-size West Street Gallery in his apartment and was responsible for launching the careers of noteworthy young talent. He was also turning heads as a critic and tastemaker with online magazines Art in America and Interview. Now you can catch a taste of what the buzz surrounding MOCA’s young curator is all about with “Open Systems: Works From the Permanent Collection,” the first show Gartenfeld has organized for the museum. It offers an enticing peek at the rising star’s approach to programming exhibits in a fresh way. On view is a sensory-engulfing multimedia installation by Brazil’s Assume Vivid Astro Focus that’s designed to hijack visitors’ bodies into a pulse-pounding groove. Meanwhile, L.A.’s Elad Lassry arranges TV actors and quirky props in candy-colored scenes to draw attention to the obsession with performing long after the camera has ceased to roll. Another artist who catches the eye is Francis Alys, who hired Mexican billboard painters to replicate his microsize diptych depicting a worker drone at his desk. The original and duplicate paintings are presented side-by-side to tweak perception and remind us that not everything we gaze upon is always as it first appears. The show runs through September 8. Admission costs $5. Call 305-893-6211 or visit
July 16-Sept. 8, 2013


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