Artbeat

Capsule reviews of current area art exhibitions.

There's a dizzying moment of sensory overload when you enter Gemini Fine Art. The collection is eclectic, filled with diverse styles and brilliant colors that are as distracting as they are intriguing. Works by more than 80 artists are displayed and sold at Gemini, with styles ranging from beautifully executed classical portraits and Cezanne-influenced abstractions to garish glass sculptures that seem to reference the 1980s while mocking Picasso. A few of the artists are represented by the gallery, including Pino Dangelico, an Italian whose female portraits emulate the softness and elegance of Sargent's women, with brush strokes that are obviously the result of innate talent and technical training. Ukrainian Igor Korotosh paints some ordinary South Florida seascapes and beach scenes, but then he surprises you with a few pieces in which he uses old nautical maps as the canvas, with a loosely painted image that relates to the region. Then, beware. An arrangement of about a dozen paintings will capture you and hold you hostage. Italian-born Antonio Tamburro paints seductive, sensual scenes of women dressing and couples smoking at café tables enveloped in an ethereal background. The influence of Caravaggio is evident in his innovative use of chiaroscuro and composition. Tamburro, also influenced by the more disturbing, satirical paintings of Francis Bacon, uses a similarly dreamlike color scheme that ranges from muted, washed-out grays to a regal shade of red. His giclée prints and original oils are top sellers for Gemini Fine Art. (512 E. Atlantic Ave., Delray Beach. Call 561-276-7703.)

Now on Display

"Going, Going, Gone?"
"Going, Going, Gone?"

Because Broward County's architectural gems are spread around -- unlike Miami's famous Art Deco neighborhoods, where they tend to show up in clusters -- visitors rarely get a sense of the scope of Broward's midcentury modern designs. "Going, Going, Gone? Mid-Century Modern Architecture in South Florida," now at the Museum of Art, seeks to rectify this situation, albeit in the two-dimensional medium of photography. Broward's best are at least the equal of those in Miami. On one wall of the museum, 27 photographs by Robin Hill offer dramatic glimpses of buildings, hotels, and inns that appear both retro and new age. Shot from close and unusual angles, the energy-packed images are gripping. The icing on the cake is a 16-foot "Gold Coast" sign salvaged from the roof of the 1949 beachfront hotel of the same name. Its turquoise metal lettering with gold trim matches the hyperbright colors in Hill's pictures. Also in the exhibit are Hill's 16 photographs of Miami-Dade County landmarks, including the Fontainebleau Hotel and the Giller Building. The structures' carefree colors and swirling arches recall a time of child-like exuberance. Fort Lauderdale's Hyatt Regency Pier 66, with its glass-enclosed lounge topped with a crown of lit columns, seems ideal for a visit from the Jetsons. The Jolly Roger and Yankee Clipper look more like blown-up toys than buildings, remnants of an era whose motto was "Because We Can" instead of "The Bottom Line." Then visitors can leave the museum and see almost all of the structures for themselves. (Through November 6 at the Museum of Art, One E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale. Call 954-525-5500.)

As Rick and Ilsa moonily agreed at the end of Casablanca, "We'll always have Paris." The rest of us will as well, as long as there are exhibitions like "Brassaï's Paris" and "Robert Doisneau's Paris," a pair of evocative photography shows running concurrently at the Boca Raton Museum of Art. The two men were contemporaries -- Brassajavascript:passCharacter('207') lived from 1899 to 1984, Doisneau from 1912 to 1984 -- and both became known for chronicling street life in the City of Lights. Brassajavascript:passCharacter('207'), born Gyula Halász in Brass, Hungary, trained as a painter and sculptor and took up photography only after moving to Paris in the mid-'20s. His place in the history of the medium was secured, however, with the 1933 publication of his first book, Paris de nuit (Paris by Night). Nocturnal and gregarious (his wide circle of friends included Pablo Picasso, Henry Miller, and André Kertész), he plumbed the city for prostitutes, drug addicts, and transvestites, among others. This small show of 28 gelatin silver prints includes such material but also subjects like a bridge bathed in night fog and a little dog on a vast stretch of stone steps. The Paris of Doisneau encompasses an even broader spectrum of French life. The 117 black-and-white images are grouped loosely by subject, from schoolboys and laborers to nudes and artists and their models. Like Brassajavascript:passCharacter('207'), Doisneau knew many cultural figures of the time, and included here is his famous 1952 shot of Picasso with fat-fingered bread rolls for hands; there are also portraits of such writers as Colette and Jacques Prévert. Doisneau's sly humor is also much in evidence. He uses the Eiffel Tower as a backdrop for a clothesline of underwear, for instance, and shoots the tower from Notre Dame so that a gargoyle appears poised to bite off the top. Taken together, these two exhibitions remind us how strongly our impressions of Paris have been shaped by the many ways it has been photographed. (Through August 28 at the Boca Raton Museum of Art, 501 Plaza Real, Mizner Park, Boca Raton. Call 561-392-2500.)

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