Artbeat

Capsule reviews of current area art exhibitions.

Now on Display

Don't think of it as commitment-phobia; think of it as curatorial caprice! Eaton Fine Art assures only one thing about its summer exhibit, "Summer Sculpture: A Changing Exhibition" — that visitors will see modern sculpture by a dozen respected artists, many of them innovators in their field. Depending upon what day you visit, you may see Rosemarie Castoro's black-painted steel Portrait Flasher, Knotched Head. But don't count on it. The same goes for Bernar Venet's abstract Arc series, its individual works named for the degree and number of arcs it contains. One day, you might see 82.5º Arc x 14, its rusted steel pieces extending three feet above its pedestal; on another, you might be confronted with 237.5º Arc x 4, its black steel near-circles nested on the bare floor. There's just no telling. It's probably a safe bet, however, that the large works in the sculpture garden outside — like Dennis Oppenheim's whimsical tree of flying toilets (Aerial Water Closets) — will remain for the duration of the exhibit. The same is true of Donald Lipski's sculptural installation Gathering Dust, a collection of diminutive "found items" (code for garbage). Each lost or discarded item — some independent (currency, candy packaging, half a book of matches) and some artfully combined (pieces of wood encircled with wire, toothpicks protruding through metal, cardboard wound around a pencil eraser) — is affixed to the wall with pins with the same obsessive precision one might give a rare collection of precious items. Also on display are works of Alexander Archipenko, Alexander Calder, Nassos Daphnis, Harriet Whitney Frishmuth, Patrick Ireland, Mark di Suvero, and William Zorach. (Through September at Eaton Fine Art, 435 Gardenia St., West Palm Beach. Call 561-833-4766.)

Now that it's summer and the locals have reclaimed their turf from the snowbirds, we have a chance to celebrate ourselves. It doesn't matter that most of us hail from somewhere else; now we're Floridians, and we're showcasing our talents in All-Florida art exhibits. The Cornell Museum at Old School Square launches the "13th Annual All-Florida Juried Fine Art Exhibition," which displays 59 works of its nearly 300 entries. Artists from Key West to St. Augustine entered works in a myriad of media — watercolor, oil, acrylic, graphite, mixed media, collage, pen and ink, batik, stone, wood, and digital and traditional photography. The idyllic subtropical culture here is the theme in Old School Square Commemorative Stamp, an acrylic painting that depicts its host venue on a larger-than-life stamp. But you can also find the uglier side of Florida — living images you'll never see come out of our state's department of tourism — in the six-pack of photos, Postcards, that pairs images like a moldy orange with the text "Beautiful Boca Raton" or dead fish with "See Sunny Sanibel." The exhibit is not as competitive as the concurrently running Boca Museum All-Florida Show, which is exhibiting nearly the same number of the best of more than 1,000 entries, but, hey, the Boca exhibit has 42 years up on its Delray counterpart. (Through September 9 at the Cornell Museum, 51 N. Swinton Ave., Delray Beach. Call 561-243-7922.)

Despite the current state of affairs in the Holy Land, "Treasures From the Cornell Museum: Voices of Israel" is not an explosive exhibit nor one with its voice raised in battle cries. In fact, if anything, the 30 exhibited works of Judaica — paintings, drawings, etchings, and mixed media by 20th-century Israeli artists — seem to whisper prayers as they reflect spiritual traditions and biblical lore. Some are images inside a synagogue; others read like storyboards telling the continuing saga of how the Jews were plucked from the hands of their enemies — like their exodus from slavery in Egypt and their salvation by Queen Esther from the evil plots of Hamen. Prominent artists Moshe Castel and Itzik Asher lend their names to this exhibit, which is mostly composed of their lesser-known compatriots and a couple of non-Israeli Jews. The Castel pieces are serigraphs, rather than originals, among them El Ritual, in which six stylistic figures stand before a religious text. And the exhibit offers just one untitled Asher piece — a painting rather than the sculpture he is known for — from the artist's "erotic period," though there's little that's erotic about it. The sea creatures, the many-oared boat, and the giant eye all seem to suggest the themes he ascribes to his later "journey period." Also included is an untitled oil painting of what looks a lot like a sea anemone work by Soshana — not actually an Israeli but included perhaps because of the Viennese artist's Jewish heritage; it's not quite clear. The same is true of Lennart Rosensohn, a Swedish Jew, whose hand-colored etchings are displayed. (Through September 9 at the Cornell Museum, 51 N. Swinton Ave., Delray Beach. Call 561-243-7922.)

 
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