"Ansel Adams: A Celebration of Genius/Clyde Butcher: Photographer of the Wilderness"
NOW ON DISPLAY
"Ansel Adams: A Celebration of Genius/Clyde Butcher: Photographer of the Wilderness" -- Two American giants specializing in black-and-white nature photography come together in this inspired pairing. Adams is the visual poet of the American West, here represented by more than 120 small but extraordinary images, including a few portraits, still lifes, and shots of buildings along with the many gorgeous landscapes for which he is best-known. Butcher, the "Ansel Adams of the Everglades," contributes relatively few pieces, but they're monumental in scale and mesh perfectly with the work of the Florida-based photographer's mentor. The lives and careers of these two men are a study in contrasts as well as comparisons, and the show is a satisfying tribute to their mutual passion and respect for the wilderness. The Adams show will be moving on to other venues, while the Butcher show will have its run extended and additional pieces added. ("Ansel Adams" through July 5 and "Clyde Butcher" through August 31, both at the Museum of Art, One E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, 954-525-5500.)
"Intimacy and Discomfort" -- Featuring the multimedia works of Laura Burns and Teresa Diehl, the show serves as a mirror for the viewer's own feelings toward close, personal contact. Diehl's theme is pure sensation, before it gets complicated by rational thought. Divided among four sections, the untitled projects work together, creating a womb-like atmosphere with dark lighting and soft furniture (a waterbed and foam seat) -- which, depending upon your level of squeamishness, may be the last bit of comfort you feel. After passing through the first two rooms, which include an extremely close-up, slow-motion video of a mother breastfeeding (you can't see much beyond mouth and nipple), the mother/baby theme changes to man/woman. This time, the zoomed-in video shots include mouth on ear, followed by ice being rubbed on the head of a penis. If that makes you wiggle in discomfort, then you probably wouldn't have taken part in Burns' "Other People's Beds" photo series/social experiment, in which the artist visited about 90 people -- many complete strangers -- and asked them to photograph her naked in their beds. (Through June 27 at the Art and Culture Center of Hollywood, 1650 Harrison St. Call 954-921-3274.)
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