Manimalism: Miami International University of Art & Design students and faculty have ripped a page from H.G. Wells's sci-fi classic The Island of Dr. Moreau and hatched their own crossbreed experiments with equally bizarre flair. "Manimalism" features more than twenty animal/human hybrid characters that curator and sculpture instructor Brian Hiveley says reveal inner truths about society, personal relationships, and self-awareness. Some of the unusual figures include a clammy frogman, a squidboy decked out as a cowpoke, a regal swan diva, and a potbellied, pig-faced pug. Hiveley thinks visitors might find a little bit of themselves in some of the figures. Or maybe they'll come away with notions that Borat has been getting chummy with livestock again. Carlos Suarez De Jesus Through November 22. Miami International University of Art & Design, Main Gallery, 1501 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; 305-428-5700, www.aii.edu/miami.
Asian Art from the Bass Museum Collection and Treasures from the Bass Museum of Art: With a bushel of blue-ribbon shows, the Bass has embarked on perhaps its busiest programming season. Deciding on which shows to see among the museum's 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 Renaissance altarpieces to embroidered silk robes from the Chinese Imperial court and, like a country fair, boasting something for everyone. Carlos Suarez De Jesus Ongoing. Bass Museum of Art, 2121 Park Ave., Miami Beach; 305-673-7530, www.bassmuseum.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.
True Stories: A big-nose profile. A closeup of breasts. A photo of a woman sporting a pig-snout mask while holding cutlery. These are just a few of Sophie Calle's photographic self-portraits. Above each 67-by-39-inch picture is a story about her life. Over the shnoz profile, Calle tells us that when she was fourteen, her grandparents suggested plastic surgery. She wasn't convinced about the alteration. But the doctor made the decision for her he died two days before the scheduled operation. These windows into Calle's life are angled, like her camera, to make us look twice. Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin sets the artist's exhibit, "True Stories," against Leandro Erlich's work, which is quite opposite. Full of semblance and deception, Erlich's pieces play with angles to create optical illusions. In light of Calle's truths, Erlich's illusions fall flat. His piece The Ring is a split boxing ring set up against a mirror. The viewer is meant to climb in and "experience the sphere of illusions, reversals, reflections," according to the gallery press release. Somehow a trick of the eye, no matter how masterful, seems weak in comparison with Calle's narratives of tousled beds, love letters, and nights spent atop the Eiffel Tower. Vanessa Garcia Through November 25. Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin, 194 NW 30th St., Miami; 305-573-2130, www.galerieperrotin.com.
Karel Appel: In Memoriam: Nothing like kicking the bucket to make others appreciate a person and this is doubly true for artists. In May the death of the Dutch abstract expressionist who helped found an art movement known as CoBrA (an acronym for the initial letters of the founders' cities of origin: Copenhagen, Brussels, and Amsterdam) inspired "Karel Appel: In Memoriam." As far as memorials go, this is an intimate one, composed of just eleven works from the museum's permanent collection. Despite its size, the exhibit not only honors the artist but also provides examples of his work in a variety of media. Though his work may be labeled abstract, it is not strictly so. Even in the ones that come the closest to being nonrepresentational, there is at least the hint of object. Using vivid colors applied in thick swipes and swirls, one untitled, undated oil painting (which is more nonspecific than abstract) might be construed as a portrait: Dark blue splotches suggest eyes; the rectangle at the bottom could be a mouth. Most works are abstract in the art term's original meaning the reduction of the subject to a simplified form. The works exhibited have a childlike quality in their simplicity, expressiveness, and playfulness. Marya Summers Through May 1. Museum of Art/Fort Lauderdale, 1 E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale; 954-525-5500.
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