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Second Saturday Art Walk Guide: April's Five Most Exciting Shows

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In 2000, Brook Dorsch became the first pioneer to move to Wynwood while it was a wild frontier, and has since witnessed the boom that has transported the area into a thriving cultural district while piloting his program into one of the most relevant in South Florida.

Beginning at 6 p.m. tonight, and continuing during tomorrow's Second Saturday Art Walk, the visionary dealer celebrates a new milestone with his completely renovated 3,500 square-foot digs that has been rechristened Emerson Dorsch to reflect his partnership with his wife, Tyler Emerson-Dorsch, who has emerged as a curatorial force in her own right. The couple is inaugurating their revamped space with two new exhibits: Brookhart Jonquil's "In a Perfect World" and Rene Barge's "Relay (Flow)," in the gallery's fresh-squeezed Project Room.

Our other picks for this edition of the culture crawl's top tickets include a photographer's exploration of the concrete jungle, a Japanese artist's pictures inspired by natural disaster, one man's dedication to destruction, and a Cold War-era mash up by a former UCLA quarterback.

See also:

- Wynwood's Dorsch Gallery Re-opens as Renovated Emerson Dorsch This Weekend

"In a Perfect World"

Brookhart Jonquil's new series of large scale sculptures rendered in wooden scaffolding and intricately angled mirrors are designed to tweak perception. The series of reflections creates a constantly shifting reality in a world where nothing truly remains as it first appears.

Meanwhile, Rene Barge's enigmatic "Relay (Flow)," a multi-channel, performative sound installation crafted simply from an amplifier with sonic drivers, bendable plywood, and Dynaband, will be altered by the artist each week during the course of the show as an aural experiment reflecting how sound plays a role in shaping our understanding of space.

Emerson Dorsch 151 NW 24th St., Miami. Call 305-576-1278 or visit emersondorsch.com.

"The Empire of Light"

Rome's Fabiano Parisi is a photographic flaneur whose poetic images of abandoned urban locations evoke a mysterious air of anticipation through haunting, almost surreal landscapes. In 2007 the artist began traveling the globe snapping photographs in countries ranging from Italy to Germany, the United Kingdom, Poland, Belgium, and the U.S. Parisi was seeking to recapture the grandeur of a fading world and long-ago popular spots now bereft of the humanity.

In addition, Lowenstein is presenting "Tend to" by Brooklyn-based artist Sterz, whose equally atmospheric video installations riff on the existential human condition and themes as disparate as the passage of time, sex, joy, despair, love, and disease.

Diana Lowenstein Fine Arts, 2043 N. Miami Ave., Miami. Call 305-576-1804 or visit dlfinearts.com.

"Kanako Sasaki: Illuminations"

At the Dina Mitrani Gallery, Japan's Kanako Sasaki is also showcasing an arresting series of photographs bereft of people. But these are inspired by the recent devastating earthquake and tsunami that rocked her homeland. Her hauntingly poetic solo boasts a video work as well, that like her photos conveys the emotional loss suffered in the wake of the natural disasters and portrays the symbolic memories of the places and things tragically washed away.

Dina Mitrani Gallery, 2620 NW Second Ave., Miami Call 786-486-7248 or visit dinamitranigallery.com.

"PUCHO, an Act of Vandalism"

This one man demolition derby was conceived as a "raw expression of vandalism, graffiti, and maximum coverage with minimum effort," say the organizers of this solo by Miami-based "PUCHO," who confesses a passion for "fucking things up" in a gallery handout. Engulfing Primary Projects' entire front room, viewers can expect a fair dose of mayhem while being exposed to the "paint, etchings, glass, and repetition that most closely captures destruction - and the joy of creation - in its most basic and unrestrained forms," the artist avows. 

Primary Projects, 4141 NE Second Ave., Suite 104, Miami. Call 954-296-1675 or visit primaryprojectsspace.com.

"Gold Chains and Champagne"

Ryan McCaan, who formerly played quarterback for the UCLA Bruins, made an impression with his "pyrography paintings" during his Wynwood debut at Black Square last year. McCaan, who is based out of LA, uses a blowtorch to burn images into wood and then layers text over it, creating ambiguous strikes against pop culture while parsing sociopolitical themes.

In his first solo South Florida exhibit, McCaan employs the excesses of the West in the form of 1990's American hip-hop and the scarcity and ideological foundations of Communism, conveying notions of a poor man's version of hedonism in this tongue-in-cheek show.

Black Square Gallery, 2248 NW First Place, Miami. Call 305-424-5002 or visit blacksquaregallery.com.

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