What do you call a show featuring items associated with an artist who gave his paintings titles like Dal, at the Age of Six When He Believed Himself to Be a Young Girl, Lifting the Skin of the Water to Observe a Dog Sleeping in the Shadow of the Sea? Why, "The Inspired Moustache: An Exhibition of Diverse Expressions of Salvador Dal through Books and Memorabilia from the Collection of Rik Pavlescak," of course. This quirky excursion through Dalwood, now at the Bienes Center for the Literary Arts at the Broward County Main Library, features 116 items drawn from the "much larger and comprehensive collection" of Pavlescak, who lives in West Palm Beach and works as a private human-services consultant and as grants and education manager for the Comprehensive AIDS Program of Palm Beach County. Bienes Center librarian James A. Findlay, who helped coordinate the show, sums it up this way: "As is so often the case, it begins with a casual acquisition, leads to more detailed investigation and research, and ends with a compulsion to acquire as much material as possible..." In Pavlescak's case, that means books by, about, and illustrated by Dal, as well as puzzles, games, record sleeves, sheet music, Tarot cards, magazine covers and ads, lithographs, ceramic tiles and plates, perfume bottles, and much more designed by the surrealist. For those who have always dismissed Dal as a shameless huckster/artistic whore, this orgy of Dalana will only confirm their worst suspicions and then some. For those of us who have always seen Dal for who and what he was and adore him in spite of or even because of it, this weird little show is great fun. (Through January 15 at the Bienes Center for the Literary Arts, Sixth Floor, Broward County Main Library, 100 S. Andrews Ave., Fort Lauderdale, 954-357-8692.) -- Michael Mills
NOW ON DISPLAY
"Diana, A Celebration" is even more lacking in actual art than last year's Vatican show at MoA. We get battered childhood toys, a few dozen of Diana's steppin'-out gowns, photographs of the Spencer family estate, a looped tape of Elton John singing "A Candle in the Wind," a very valuable-looking tiara (the impression of value reinforced by the presence of two edgy guards hovering next to it), and the Wedding Dress. Ah, the Dress. It's big, all right. There are 25 yards of silk taffeta in it, 100 yards of tulle crinoline, and 150 yards of veil netting, and it's mounted on a faceless mannequin in a 30-foot-long glass case; every inch of its 25-foot train is on full display. But somehow, it doesn't live up to the hype. Those blousy sleeves, the beaded bodice, the lacy collar, the little bows, the embroidered hem line -- they all add up to one clunker of a gown. This was before Diana discovered herself as a public figure, of course, and you're left with the impression that the royal matriarchs, Queen E. and the Queen Mum, had her tightly in their clutches. The dress must have been suffocating to wear. Pictures of Diana in it somehow bring back a long-forgotten impulse to rescue her -- to leap into that vast froth of fabric and drag her coughing and gasping back to shore -- and the show prompts a similar impulse. Can we drag the real Diana out of there? (Through December 31 at the Museum of Art, 1 E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, 954-525-5500.)
"The Four Seasons" -- An exhibition-sized, site-specific installation at the Art and Culture Center of Hollywood by Guerra de la Paz, the collaborative name of two Miami-based Cuban artists, Alain Guerra and Neraldo de la Paz. Working out of their studio in Little Haiti, they create what they call "clothing sculpture" by using leftovers from neighborhood rag shops that export used clothing to underdeveloped countries. For this show, they fill the museum with about two dozen pieces, most of them linked to a specific season. What first feels refreshingly silly about the exhibition ends up seeming contrived, gimmicky, and a little too self-satisfied, although specific pieces have their undeniable charms. (Through December 5 at the Art and Culture Center of Hollywood, 1650 Harrison St., Hollywood, 954-921-3274.)
Get the Arts & Culture Newsletter
Find out about upcoming performances, exhibitions, openings and special events happening in the South Florida art and theater scene.