Artbeat

Capsule reviews of current area art exhibitions.

 New Art 2005 at the Museum of Art culls an array of recent and older creations by nine winners of the South Florida Cultural Consortium Fellowship. Not only does the fellowship benefit the artists in terms of exposure and money ($15,000 to each artist, to be exact) but it also lets museum visitors see an unusually focused sampling of contemporary work. The artists explore a range of media -- painting, photography, sculptural installation, video, computer art -- but the exhibit is surprisingly consistent. The pieces eloquently marry materials and ideas, eliciting beauty and insight. For one of her installations, Miami¹s Karen A. Rifas has strung brown leaves on white threads that, arranged like shafts of light, emanate from the walls, floor, and ceiling. As the organic shapes cast shadows against the surrounding walls, the piece simultaneously conveys stillness and energy. It¹s titled I¹m Dancing as Fast as I Can. Hollywood¹s Thomas Nolan constructs a city of towers and skyscrapers out of hundreds of unused staples and screws, mounted on top of the base of a swivel chair. Called Newerness, its tiny objects evoke a miniature cityscape, a fantastic juxtaposition of simplicity and complexity. Not for the queasy, filmmaker Lisandro Pjavascript:passCharacter('233')rez-Rey is represented by several short videos, one of which shows a scientist dissecting an animal. But by capturing ordinary routines and interactions and splicing them together with their subjects¹ thoughts on life and love, Pjavascript:passCharacter('233')rez-Rey also offers touching vignettes. Call them portraits for the 21st Century. (Through November 6 at Museum of Art, One E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale. Call 954-525-5500.)
 
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