Artbeat

Capsule reviews of current area art exhibitions.

"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. 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. (Through May 30 at ArtSpace/Virginia Miller Galleries, 169 Madeira Ave., Coral Gables. Call 305-444-4493.)

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