When the summer heat becomes overwhelming, head inside for a blast of art. Here are some of June’s top offerings:
▪ Onajide Shabaka, “Alosúgbe: A Journey Across Time,” Emerson Dorsch Gallery
If you are not familiar with the unique art of South Florida’s Onajide Shabaka, his first solo show at the gallery offers a great introduction. Shabaka — almost as much a botanist and anthropologist as photographer, sculptor and painter — has studied and followed the paths of various plants, foods and cultures that crossed the Atlantic during the slave trade. “Alosúgbe” traces the botanical and historical roots of much of the Americas through photographs and collages on paper that resulted from years of research in the Carolinas, Georgia and the Caribbean. Through June 22;
▪ “June 16, 2018” by Jorge Rios, Pan American Art Projects
Havana-born Jorge Rios’s concept for this solo show riffs on the novel “Ulysses” by James Joyce as he seeks to recreate the sky every two hours for one day through a series of paintings. The work is at once deeply philosophical and simple, offering a glimpse of the vast universe where the ephemeral and fleeting meet the ever-present canopy above us. Through June 28
Pan American Art Projects, 174 NE 67th Street, Miami. 305-751-2550; panamericanart.com.
▪ “Cut: Abstraction in the United States from the 1970s to the Present,” Frost Art Museum at FIU
In the latter part of the 20th century, American artists started to change how we look at abstract art, that defining movement when art moved from the representational painting of the Renaissance to a non-narrative form. In the 1970s, Americans put their own twist on the genre by using new tools to cut, carve and manipulating canvases, making three-dimensional pieces. This fascinating multi-generational show at the Frost includes major names such as Elizabeth Murray, Jack Whitten and Mark Bradford (who, in a recent “60 Minutes” profile, Anderson Cooper called “one of the most important and influential artists in America today”), to local practitioners including Loriel Beltran and Clara Varas. The exhibit focuses on “the fundamental role abstraction has played in elevating American art to an international stage while pushing traditional interpretations of what it means to be ‘American.’” Through Aug. 25.
▪ “Beyond the Cape! Comics and Contemporary Art,” Boca Raton Museum of Art
Graphic books and comics have become a key influence on today’s artists. Those colorful superheroes and exaggerated scenes that have become so much a part of modern visual culture appear in murals, video, photography, drawings, paintings and even tapestries by Kenny Scharf, Takeshi Murakami, Renee Cox and Peter Soul, to name but a few. At the Boca Museum’s show, fine art works are coupled with rare comic and cartoon examples — a few from almost 100 years ago — in an eye-opening show. The exhibit also shows how much of this “comic” art addresses heavy issues such as race, climate change, and LGBTQ struggles in over 80 works. Through Oct. 6.
Boca Raton Museum of Art, 501 Plaza Real, Mizner Park, Boca Raton. 561-392-2500, ext. 103; www.bocamuseum.org.
▪ “Zhao Gang: History Painting,” Perez Art Museum Miami
At 16, when Zhao Gang came of age as the youngest member of China’s first contemporary art movement, the Stars Group, his career paralleled that of his country. The early 1980s saw the Middle Kingdom emerge from its self-induced shell, giving the 21st century an Asian face. Zhao left China during those first years of awakening, returning only in 2017 to experience the new world of his old home. The past and the present emerge in the “apartment”-style exhibit at PAMM, which recalls the apartments that served in the 1980s as China’s avant-garde art venues. This solo outing is Zhao’s first in his adopted home, America, making it an important statement on many levels. Through January 2020.
Perez Art Museum Miami, 1103 Biscayne Blvd.. 305-375-3000; pamm.org.