Christo's The Gates enjoyed an extended run owing to overwhelming 
Christo's The Gates enjoyed an extended run owing to overwhelming popularity

Current Art Shows

The Artist's Studio: Paintings, Photographs, and Sculptures by Joe Fig: Fig's miniature constructions of artists' studios encourage voyeurism. Viewers are invited to peek inside the cloistered areas where artists struggle with creativity in isolation, a kind of sacred atelier immune to the outside art world. Fig manages to respect his real-life subjects by crafting delicate and tremendously detailed compositions that don't necessarily infringe on the artists' privacy. Rather they celebrate their talent and the setting in which they create most of their work. Glance into painter Chuck Close's studio, which, like Close's work, is realistic down to the smallest detail (there are even specific art magazines scattered across his desk). In Jackson Pollock's Long Island sanctum we see the artist pondering one of his action paintings laid out on the floor. -- Omar Sommereyns Through July 11. Bass Museum of Art, 2121 Park Ave., Miami Beach; 305-673-7530.

Beyond Geometry: Experiments in Form, 1940s-70s: There are still a few weeks left to see this amazing exhibit, which provides a fresh look at some of the most significant connections among contemporaneous works produced in America, Europe, and Latin America during this 40-year period. Worth noting: Max Bill's Tripartite Unity, a sculpture resembling an infinite surface folding in upon itself; Mauricio Nogueira Lima's exquisite Rhythmic Object, a work of optic energy and complexity; and François Morellet's Neon 0¬ 90¬ with 4 Interfering Rhythms, which is fun and interactive. For Lucio Fontana lovers there's one of his wounded canvases. Other highlights include Piero Manzoni's Achrome and Stanislaw Dróz¬dz¬¬'s Between, an entire room filled with letters of the alphabet. For aficionados of concrete poetry there are fine works by Eugen Gomringer, Reinaldo Azaredo, and Augusto de Campos. -- Alfredo Triff Through April 24. Miami Museum of Art, 101 W. Flagler St., Miami; 305-375-3000.

Christo and Jeanne-Claude: The Würth Museum Collection: The works of Christo and his wife/collaborator Jeanne-Claude -- notably their projects of wrapped monumental structures -- have to be seen in context. They manifest much of their sublimeness through the ephemeral and temporary nature of their existence. This show of 65 collages, drawings, photographs, and scale models from the Würth Museum Collection will hardly provide viewers with the profound aesthetic experience of seeing the real, finished installations. However, what this exhibit can do is display compelling documentation of the technical requirements and processes that eventually lead to the completion of their ambitious projects, from their Wrapped Coast in Little Bay, Australia, to their most recent project, The Gates (7500 saffron fabric panels suspended from frames that snaked throughout the pathways in New York's Central Park). -- Omar Sommereyns Through June 26. Bass Museum of Art, 2121 Park Ave., Miami Beach; 305-673-7530.

Crustacean in the Hall of Furies and Orly Genger: Despite the resemblance to your third-grade teacher's bulletin-board decorations, a sense of gloom pervades Locust Projects, courtesy of artist Frank Haines. Dismemberment, jousting, battling with axes and swords by armor-clad medievals, skulls dripping blood, Vikings, and a hellish grotto are selections from Haines's floor-to-ceiling work made of crudely cut and pasted felt, "Crustacean in the Hall of Furies." Obscure references from the dark ages of art history seem forced, and Haines's palette is limited by commercially dyed felt hues. But there is a reward in the Project Room, in the form of a hand-crocheted sculpture from New York artist Orly Genger. Ready You Are Almost There is made of knotted heavy-duty elastic straps, metallic ribbons, nylon ropes, and traditional yarn. It delivers a satisfying sense of weight and movement. The size of the knots gradually narrows from ultra-thick and burly to refined and delicate. The work feels like a giant cosmological model, with an Earthlike globe form perched at the center. -- Michelle Weinberg Through April 22. Locust Projects, 105 NW 23rd St., Miami; 305-576-8570.

I Love You, Valparaíso: Joseph Tamargo is a professor of photography at Miami-Dade College, a Fulbright scholar, and a veteran of the camera. His latest photo exhibit puts on view an introverted study of Chile's largest port, Valparaíso. Tamargo's eye moves from the walls enclosing domestic interiors to the street and then slowly into open cityscapes. Though people are absent in most of the photos, the colors are exuberant, the texture attractive, the mood introverted. A snapshot of an empty room -- flowers on a table, a view of the frozen garden through a dampened window, a slightly moving curtain -- carries a touch of mystery, heightened by a wicker-knitted armchair. How can one really show the spirit of a city with photography? "You have to love it," seems to be Tamargo's answer. -- Alfredo Triff Through May 1. Books & Books, 265 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables; 305-442-4408.

In a Dark Manner: 1998-2005: The drawings of Mexican painter Hugo Crosthwaite borrow from plenty of disparate sources: José Guadalupe Posada; Mexican novelétas; Baroque figuration; daguerreotype; and the Mexican fascination with death. Imagine this narrative against the hackneyed urban landscapes of contemporary Tijuana, a surrealist collage of decay and misery -- as if out of Paco Ignacio Taibo's noir novels. Crosthwaite's explorations of today's actual issues in Pescadores (dealing with prostitution on the U.S.-Mexican border), Beso Escondido (looking at transvestism), or in his Bartolomé (refracting the Abu Ghraib scandal) are momentous and -- against all this human drama -- even hopeful. -- Alfredo Triff Through May 30. ArtSpace/Virginia Miller Galleries, 169 Madeira Ave., Coral Gables; 305-444-4493.

The Last Picture Show: Artists Using Photography, 1960-1982: Works by 57 international artists using photography reflect the meteoric cultural and perceptual changes afoot in the United States and abroad during this period. A countercultural movement of anti-photography rebelled against the pristine modernist photographic masterwork, and many artists capitalized on the instability of the photographic image; it was fertile ground for eccentric artistic exploration. This is an in-depth look at a rich period in art production, one vastly different from the moment we are now experiencing. The works exhibited encourage intellectual liberation as they court the absurd, the unpredictable, and the mysterious. -- Michelle Weinberg Through June 12. Miami Art Central, 5960 Red Rd., South Miami; 305-455-3333.

Madria Tiri: Cundo Bermudez comes from a generation of modern Cuban painters who redefined color, shapes, and themes from the legacy of Matisse and Picasso and the local influences of René Portocarrero and Amelia Peláez. But his art also retains a tasteful post-Cubist tone implicit in Havana's Fifties architectural style. Don't miss his Madria Tiri, seven-by-eleven-foot oil on canvas. This handsome panel displays Bermudez's signature busts -- devoid of mouths and donning all sorts of head gear. It feels young, considering that Bermudez was born in 1914. -- Alfredo Triff Through May 6. Cernuda Arte, 3155 Ponce de Leon Blvd., Coral Gables; 305-461-1050.

Robert Rauschenberg: Considered a central figure in late-twentieth-century art, Rauschenberg is also a long-time resident of Captiva Island, Florida. His recent work has begun to reflect distinctively local input: gators, punchy shadows, pink and green. His move to water-based media, inspired by safety and environmental concerns, forced his palette into a gentler range of intensity. This makes his new works more pleasant to look at than the saturated images he became known for, but the oomph has gone out of them as well. They're fun and lighthearted (the man is famous for being the same), but they seem to want for more resolution and gravitas. -- Franklin Einspruch Through July 3. Miami Art Museum, 101 W. Flagler St., Miami; 305-375-3000.


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