Blast from the Past

THU 5/8

Attention, South Florida history buffs, art connoisseurs, and nostalgic ladies and gentlemen! The Museum of Art, Fort Lauderdale (1 E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale) brings you "The Tumultuous Fifties: Photography from the New York Times." Through 200 vintage photographs, this exhibition strives to outline the dynamism of one of the most culturally, politically, and scientifically significant and diverse decades of the past century. The 1950s marked the beginning of an era of contemporary pop culture, the emergence of a unique brand of avant-garde in the arts, and the onset of cold war politics. The photographs cover the decade and on up through the early 1960s, covering pivotal topics like McCarthyism, space travel, civil rights, Soviet-era politics, post-bebop, abstract expressionism, and beat poetry. To enhance the historical experience, the museum also features an old jukebox blasting '50s pop favorites, an antiquated television playing classic programming, and an assortment of selected news reels. You can discover or rediscover the fifties from May 8 through July 13. Call 954-525-5500. -- Alexis Berkowitz

FRI 5/9 Express Yourself

Is art dead? No, not really. Let's just say it passed out by the Dumpster behind Sizzler after drinking a bottle of Old Crow, and it just came to. Art movements come and go in a cyclical nature, some weathering the fickle tastes of the industry, others disappearing faster than Michael Jackson's nose. Expressionism, that edgy movement of the early 20th century, gained popularity in the turbulence of 1920s Europe with works by Edvard Munch and Vasily Kandinsky. Local Expressionist artist Al Razza's new exhibit revives the same abstract beauty and spirit of those formative artists with large brush strokes, geometrical patterns, symbolic colors, and a penchant for mythology and social observation. The exhibit runs through August 27 and takes place in the Eissey Theatre Lobby Gallery, 3160 PGA Blvd., Palm Beach Gardens. Call 561-207-5905. -- Audra Schroeder

THU 5/8 Is It Art?

PBICA Panel Discussion

The Gulfstream Hotel (1 Lake Ave., Lake Worth) plays host to a discussion of the work of four contemporary artists at 7 p.m. Thursday. But instead of relying on the dubious eye of the critic, people who listen in on this panel discussion get the story straight from the horse's mouth -- or rather, the artist's mouth. Naomi Fisher, Anna Gaskell, and Douglas Gordon discuss their photography and video works with Dennis Scholl, whose "Imperfect Innocence" exhibit is currently on display at the Palm Beach Institute of Contemporary Art. Seating is limited, so you artsy types get a move on and call 561-582-0006, ext. 6. -- Dan Sweeney

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