In a Dark Manner: 1998-2005: The drawings of Mexican painter Hugo Crosthwaite borrow from plenty of disparate sources: José Guadalupe Posada; Mexican novelétas; Baroque figuration; daguerreotype; and the Mexican fascination with death, suffering, and deformity. To top it off, imagine this narrative against the hackneyed urban landscapes of contemporary Tijuana, a surrealist collage of decay and misery -- as if out of Paco Ignacio Taibo's noir novels. Crosthwaite's explorations of today's actual issues in Pescadores (dealing with prostitution on the U.S.-Mexican border), Beso Escondido (looking at transvestism), or in his Bartolomé (refracting the Abu Ghraib scandal) are momentous and -- against all this human drama -- even hopeful. -- Alfredo Triff Through May 30. ArtSpace/Virginia Miller Galleries, 169 Madeira Ave., Coral Gables; 305-444-4493.
Southern Exposure and Images from Peru: While Cuban-born Mario Algaze has been shooting in South America for a long while, he now turns his lens to Miami and South Florida's motley expanse (from Miami Beach to Key West). These panoramic black-and-white images are sharply composed (in Savage Look the viewer first sees the swelling clouds and swamps of an Everglades landscape until, in the left corner, you notice the surreptitious alligator creeping in the water) and display crisp detail (see all the minutiae of a Little Havana cafetería in El Rey de los Fritas). Another show, by Algaze's long-time friend and photographer Javier Silva Meinel, presents inventive black-and-white photos of indigenous people in Peru, the artist's homeland. Many of these are posed, though they still are convincing because Meinel respectfully sets up his subjects in accordance with their heritage -- an Amazonian is portrayed with an armadillo carapace hanging from his neck, while a fisherwoman, dressed in a gown of fish, resembles a divine mermaid. -- Omar Sommereyns Through April 12. Barbara Gillman Gallery, 3814 NE Miami Ct., Miami; 305-573-1920.