Water and Fire: Two Disparate Artists Soak and Scorch Senses at Frost

Two new shows at the Frost Art Museum, opening tonight from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., combine the elements of water and fire to transport the viewer to contrasting sensory experiences.

Magdalena Fernández's video installation, 2iPM009, recreates a kinetic rainstorm that engulfs unsuspecting spectators with the movement of light and the simulation of a torrential downpour. The haunting aural component of Fernandez's immersive installation, was created by the Perpetuum Jazzile choir, whose artistic director conducted them to snap their fingers, clap their hands on their knees, and jump on the floorboards at different moments to create the sound of rain

In "The Fire Next Time," Humberto Calzada, best known for his nostalgic, architectural paintings of Cuba freighted with the psychological drama of exile, tackles the destructive and regenerative properties of fire for his scorching exhibit.

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"Margarita, captures the sound and appearance of a rain storm in a mesmerizing work that evoke a mysterious mood in the space where her use of a chorale group to reproduce the sounds of rain falling add to the experience," says Carol Damien, the Frost's executive director and chief curator.

Damien says that for his part Calzada unveils a departure from past work that might surprise those familiar with his oeuvre.

"Humberto has created these stunning black paintings steeped with expanses of orange and red wildly clashing with his serene views of Old Havana typically, that were awash in soothing tropical hues," explains Damian. "Instead these new paintings represent the danger of fire, the uncertainty of exile and all the passion and fear fire entails," she concludes.

See "2iPM009," The Fire Next Time," through January 8, 2012 at the Frost Art Museum (10975 SW 17th St., Miami). Museum hours are Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday noon to 5 p.m. Free to the public. Call 305-348-2890 or visit thefrost.fiu.edu.

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