Art Capsules

Earth, Water, and Fire: This group homage to three of the four fundamental elements — hurricane-force winds probably deserve an exhibit of their own — curated by FIU professor Carol Damian, hardly does justice to its almighty nomenclature, an imposing task no doubt. For the "Earth" segment, Tori Arpad — Damian's FIU colleague — displays Locale: Immersion, Extraction, the exhibit's most notable piece. In preparation for the work, Arpad traveled from Ohio to Arizona to Biscayne Bay, gathering clay samples containing varying amounts of contaminants and minerals. She then fired the specimens inside clay bowls, each of which reacted uniquely. The thirty-odd ceramic experiments are arranged in a tight circle and resemble a sort of Easy-Bake muffin-a-thon gone poisonously wrong. The installation is subtle yet dynamic, illuminating the power and beauty of nature without attempting to overshadow it. — K. Lee Sohn Through November 26. Praxis International Art, 2960 Ponce de Leon Blvd., Coral Gables; 305-443-9700.

Salvador Dali: Large and Monumental Sculptures: Amid the royal palms and thick-blade sod of the Village of Merrick Park plaza stand fifteen of Dali's colossal bronze sculptures. Their stylistic range gives a comprehensive overview of the eccentric, mustachioed Spaniard's work — not to mention talent — in this medium. Flanked by The Collection's latest offerings from Jaguar and Lotus, the dynamic pieces created from Dali's original casts quietly struggle to steal glances from the mall's haute couture seekers. Although Dali is most remembered for his dreamlike surrealist paintings, art historians are re-examining his work in other mediums, which only adds to the significance of this show. — K. Lee Sohn Through May 2006. Presented by Art + Gallery at the Village of Merrick Park, 358 San Lorenzo Ave., #3135, Coral Gables; 786-497-1111.

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