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Now On Display

"Steve McCurry: Photographs of Asia" -- McCurry is best known for his haunting portrait of an Afghan girl taken for National Geographic during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. This small, excellent show puts that picture front and center. It also includes another 50 or so color shots by McCurry, who like the best photojournalists has an uncanny ability to capture extraordinary images on the fly, a knack for picking up on fleeting moments that resonate emotionally, even spiritually, as well as aesthetically. He rarely strays far from imagery charged by its cultural and historical context, and he reinvigorates subject matter we think we know all too well. (Through August 29 at the Boca Raton Museum of Art, 501 Plaza Real, Mizner Park, Boca Raton, 561-392-2500.)

"Birdspace: A Post-Audubon Artists Aviary" -- A richly satisfying exhibition assembled by the Contemporary Arts Center in New Orleans that surveys 50 artists takes on birds. Most of the artists are Americans born in the 1950s and 1960s; a few of them maintain direct aesthetic ties to the great John James Audubon, whose multivolume The Birds of America is one of the touchstones of bird-based art. Some combine Audubon's attention to detail with his cool detachment; others put a sociopolitical spin on Audubon-style imagery; and still others use birds as an impetus for the creation of highly original, often moving works in a variety of media, from paintings, drawings, and sculptures to installations. Among the artists represented are Ross Bleckner, Enrique Martnez Celaya, and Kiki Smith. One of the strongest, strangest shows of the year so far. (Through August 15 at Norton Museum of Art, 1451 S. Olive Ave., West Palm Beach, 561-832-5196.)

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