Depending upon your source, minimalism ended in the mid-1970s. Tell that to Yoko Ono. The notorious Beatle widow has never been one to heed the dictates of the art world, as she demonstrated in a recent landmark retrospective at the Museum of Contemporary Art. The piece? A simple white Slimline telephone, with an equally simple instruction posted nearby: "When the telephone rings, pick up the receiver and talk to Yoko Ono." And for the show's three-month run, Ono made random calls and chatted with whoever answered. You can't get much more minimal than that.
Photography has a very good friend in Maria Martínez-Cañas, whose retrospective at Fort Lauderdale's Museum of Art last year was her first one-woman show at a South Florida museum. The Cuban-born, Puerto Rican-reared, Miami-based artist in a very real sense reinvents photography, transforming it into a hybrid medium better suited to her needs. She's smart to steer clear of digitally manipulated photography, which is still new enough to come across, in most hands, as gimmicky and contrived, but she also eschews what we usually think of as photography: no portraits, no still lifes, no landscapes, at least not in any ordinary sense. Instead, Martínez-Cañas incorporates drawing and collage into her photographs, manipulating the imagery in her own ways to make it extraordinarily expressive -- she snips photographs into fragments that she then uses as compositional elements, or she takes them apart and reassembles them in unexpected ways. At a time when the medium is just over a century old and still coming to terms with its long-fought-for status as an art form, Martínez-Cañas takes that status for granted and runs with it.
Photography has a very good friend in Maria Martínez-Cañas, whose retrospective at Fort Lauderdale's Museum of Art last year was her first one-woman show at a South Florida museum. The Cuban-born, Puerto Rican-reared, Miami-based artist in a very real sense reinvents photography, transforming it into a hybrid medium better suited to her needs. She's smart to steer clear of digitally manipulated photography, which is still new enough to come across, in most hands, as gimmicky and contrived, but she also eschews what we usually think of as photography: no portraits, no still lifes, no landscapes, at least not in any ordinary sense. Instead, Martínez-Cañas incorporates drawing and collage into her photographs, manipulating the imagery in her own ways to make it extraordinarily expressive -- she snips photographs into fragments that she then uses as compositional elements, or she takes them apart and reassembles them in unexpected ways. At a time when the medium is just over a century old and still coming to terms with its long-fought-for status as an art form, Martínez-Cañas takes that status for granted and runs with it.
As a rule, group exhibitions are a mixed bag, as likely to include misses as hits. The Boca Raton Museum of Art's "Reality and Figuration" was one of the rare exceptions. The show featured works by ten living artists, all but two in their 40s, representing half a dozen Latin American countries: three each from Cuba and Argentina, one each from Brazil, Chile, Mexico, and Uruguay. Other than their ethnic origins, however, these artists have little in common except the idea of exile -- most have studied and worked abroad, and most are now expatriates. But their work, executed in dramatically different styles, touches on a variety of themes, and most amazingly, almost every piece in the show clicks. Credit Executive Director George S. Bolge, formerly of Fort Lauderdale's Museum of Art, who has taken the Boca museum to new heights during his tenure. This exhibition was one of them.

As a rule, group exhibitions are a mixed bag, as likely to include misses as hits. The Boca Raton Museum of Art's "Reality and Figuration" was one of the rare exceptions. The show featured works by ten living artists, all but two in their 40s, representing half a dozen Latin American countries: three each from Cuba and Argentina, one each from Brazil, Chile, Mexico, and Uruguay. Other than their ethnic origins, however, these artists have little in common except the idea of exile -- most have studied and worked abroad, and most are now expatriates. But their work, executed in dramatically different styles, touches on a variety of themes, and most amazingly, almost every piece in the show clicks. Credit Executive Director George S. Bolge, formerly of Fort Lauderdale's Museum of Art, who has taken the Boca museum to new heights during his tenure. This exhibition was one of them.

Known to his friends as Eston, this local sci-fi novelist is the queen of publicity. He somehow manages to get himself booked into every reading in town, then shoots off a press release before the hosting organization even jots the event in its calendar. Dunn founded ArtsUnited as a way to showcase local gay artists, including himself. If a book festival doesn't invite him to perform, he rents a booth. Dunn even found a way to put a positive spin on his rejected work: While his ideas for episodes of Space: 1999, Battlestar Galactica, and Buck Rogers in the 25th Century were turned down, his press releases boast the show titles by saying he submitted story lines. At readings, he claims none of the shows were progressive enough to even consider them. His novel, Echelon's End, twists gender and sexual orientation on a series of planets where same-sex relationships are the norm and heterosexuality a necessary evil that exists only to propagate the species. His work seems to resonate with a lot of people. While he doesn't have his own personal Trekkies, he does have a loyal following that shows up at Borders, the Pride Factory, the Gay and Lesbian Community Center -- wherever Dunn has booked himself an event.
Known to his friends as Eston, this local sci-fi novelist is the queen of publicity. He somehow manages to get himself booked into every reading in town, then shoots off a press release before the hosting organization even jots the event in its calendar. Dunn founded ArtsUnited as a way to showcase local gay artists, including himself. If a book festival doesn't invite him to perform, he rents a booth. Dunn even found a way to put a positive spin on his rejected work: While his ideas for episodes of Space: 1999, Battlestar Galactica, and Buck Rogers in the 25th Century were turned down, his press releases boast the show titles by saying he submitted story lines. At readings, he claims none of the shows were progressive enough to even consider them. His novel, Echelon's End, twists gender and sexual orientation on a series of planets where same-sex relationships are the norm and heterosexuality a necessary evil that exists only to propagate the species. His work seems to resonate with a lot of people. While he doesn't have his own personal Trekkies, he does have a loyal following that shows up at Borders, the Pride Factory, the Gay and Lesbian Community Center -- wherever Dunn has booked himself an event.
It's rare to get a gourmet dinner in the same place you can catch a show, but the addition of Gemini Cafe inside the building that houses the Carefree Theater in West Palm Beach provides a one-stop spot for dinner and a movie. The Carefree, Palm Beach County's only moviehouse dedicated to foreign and alternative films, is a well-suited match for Gemini, which moved into an adjoining spot in the building that houses the theater. Gemini's menu, which changes every week, is as different as the movies playing next door. A recent menu ranged from the $22 New York strip glazed with balsamic vinegar and gorgonzola to the vegetarian black bean flautas covered in three sauces, for $8. Since its opening earlier this year, Gemini has already received a rave review from the Palm Beach Post and a mention as a hot spot in none other than the New York Times. Be sure to get comfy at the eclectic Gemini before spending a couple of hours on the hard, old-school seats inside the Carefree.
It's rare to get a gourmet dinner in the same place you can catch a show, but the addition of Gemini Cafe inside the building that houses the Carefree Theater in West Palm Beach provides a one-stop spot for dinner and a movie. The Carefree, Palm Beach County's only moviehouse dedicated to foreign and alternative films, is a well-suited match for Gemini, which moved into an adjoining spot in the building that houses the theater. Gemini's menu, which changes every week, is as different as the movies playing next door. A recent menu ranged from the $22 New York strip glazed with balsamic vinegar and gorgonzola to the vegetarian black bean flautas covered in three sauces, for $8. Since its opening earlier this year, Gemini has already received a rave review from the Palm Beach Post and a mention as a hot spot in none other than the New York Times. Be sure to get comfy at the eclectic Gemini before spending a couple of hours on the hard, old-school seats inside the Carefree.
A meal and a movie -- how much more basic can you get? That's what distinguishes the Premier, which brings these two quintessential American experiences together for maximum convenience and enjoyment. Granted, it'll cost you more -- admission is $13 before 4 p.m., $17 thereafter -- but you'll definitely feel pampered. First, there's no scouring the parking lot for a good space. Just pull up to the entrance and a valet will take it from there. Once inside, you can select your seats, if you haven't already called to do so in advance. Then, when you step off the gleaming escalator that takes you up one level, you can wonder, like Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, if you've taken a wrong turn somewhere along the way. This is no ordinary theater lobby -- it's a full-service restaurant and bar. At a concierge-like counter, there's someone to help you work out the logistics: lunch or dinner before or after the movie? Either way, you'll be able to choose from Chef Adam Lamb's extensive menu. On your way into the theater area, you can pick up your complimentary popcorn (including refills) at a concession stand that offers a few out-of-the-ordinary items such as beer, wine, champagne, pizza, and sushi. Then an usher will take you to your plush, oversize seat (or a loveseat, if you like) in one of six small balcony auditoriums that give you a view far superior to what the riffraff below have. After all this pampering, the state-of-the-art sound and projection will seem almost anticlimactic. And if you've suffered through one too many movies with screaming kids in the audience, a Premier bonus is that it caters to ages 21 and older.

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