Under the threat of virulent Zika mosquitoes, Wynwood's summer art scene has ground to a halt. Gallery owners seem more concerned with treating standing pools of water and burning citronella than with luring crowds of visitors to see opening-night exhibits. Not Fredric Snitzer, owner of one of the top galleries in the neighborhood.
Snitzer's namesake has mounted a group show of 12 artists whose works are connected by a single thread: figuration.
"We have a lot of abstract art in the gallery," says Snitzer, wearing a mosquito-repellent wristband. "This was a way to show art from different generations and styles that was more representational."
Known for displaying stark, angular sculptures and abstract paintings, Fredric Snitzer Gallery has made a first attempt at highlighting representational work through paintings, video, sculpture, and installation via the show "Go Figure!" Young, midcareer, and established artists have all come together for a survey of work that harks back to "Unrealism" — the joint Larry Gagosian/Jeffrey Deitch show at the Moore Building that premiered to plaudits during Art Basel last year.
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The dozen artists in the show share several commonalities: All are men, and more than half are of Cuban descent. Most important, each piece speaks to a local sensibility. Dan Attoe lives and works in Portland, yet Stripping Money seems as if it were inspired by glittering champagne rooms at King of Diamonds in North Miami. This installation is a departure for Attoe, who usually works with hyper-realistic, large-scale paintings.
Luis Cruz Azaceta's Window Display shows a similar irreverent sense of humor. Born in Cuba, Azaceta came to the States by way of New York, where he produced work that spoke to the heart of the immigrant experience. His surreal canvases are confrontational and violent, filled with despair and isolation. Yet the comic style and clashing colors communicate a sense of irreverence.
Though the summer lull is still in effect, there are plenty of opportunities to check out gallery exhibits uncluttered by crowds of seasonal devotees. Zika's hold over Wynwood has drawn national attention, but "Go Figure!" reminds us of the neighborhood's original claim to fame.
Through August 14 at Fredric Snitzer Gallery, 1540 NE Miami Ct., Miami; 305-448-8976; snitzer.com.