By Sandra Schulman
The art season in Broward County looks to be heavy with lighthearted art, from the big name laden Happy! show at NSU to the merry visual mischief of Mr. Brainwash. Artist studios get the artists point of view treatment at Art and Culture Center, while Fort Lauderdale’s ArtServe celebrates 30 years.
NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale
Get your upside on this season at NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale’s giddy show Happy!, a yin-and-yang exhibit curated by Bonnie Clearwater, the museum’s director and chief curator. Why Happy!?
“Many of these artists acknowledge that making art is an essential means for them to work out their own trauma and frustrations, and they suggest that art can provide viewers with a sense of well-being that will help them cope with life’s challenges,” Clearwater says. This large group show aims for the lighthearted and engages art from the 1950s to now with Francesco Clemente, Tracey Emin, Keith Haring, KAWS, Jeff Koons, Richard Prince, Rob Pruitt, Mark Rothko, Kenny Scharf, and other big smiley-face names. Oct. 27–July 5.
I Paint My Reality, the other new season show, displays the flowering and manifestation of Surrealism in Latin America from the 1930s on. Based on dream worlds, psychoanalysis and random chance, these works challenge the subconscious. Drawn from the NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale’s in-depth collection of Latin American art and promised gifts from the Stanley and Pearl Goodman collection, the exhibition features Frida Kahlo, Wifredo Lam, Roberto Matta, Carlos Mérida, Wolfgang Paalen, Amelia Peláez, Rufino Tamayo, Joaquín Torres-García, Xul Solar and Remedios Varo, among others. Nov. 17-June 30. www.nsuartmuseum.org 954-525-5500.
Coral Springs Museum of Art
Mr. Brainwash, aka Thierry Guetta, has been colliding street art and pop art in a most artful fashion for decades. Many know him through his acclaimed documentary, Exit Through the Gift Shop. This Academy-nominated film traces the evolution of the street art movement with Banksy and Mr. Brainwash. Taking the most eye-popping elements from pop art’s catalog and the rough-edged imagery of street art, he creates larger-than-life exhibitions and collaborations. Circumnavigating the worlds of film, celebrity culture, music, and sports, Mr. Brainwash has taken his art to such big pop names as Madonna, Rick Ross, and KYGO, films such as Molly’s Game, Billions, and Shameless; as well as brands like Hublot, Coca-Cola, and Marvel Comics. Nov. 30–March 7. www.coralspringsmuseum.org 954-340-5000
Art and Culture Center Hollywood
Onajide Shabaka: Floridian Lacunae: This South Florida-based artist has a “studio” that occupies a hike within the city’s urban environment. He takes imagery from lots, considered “weed”-infested or “vacant,” then makes work — drawings, watercolors, photographs, video and installation to incorporate plants, people, and history in his own narrative manner. The gallery space will be an interactive work area where viewers are invited to draw with colored pencils and markers on the plants and rocks he has installed. A flag designed by Shabaka will fly on the Art and Culture Center’s flagpole, to mark his interest in mapping and locating places and points of interest. Through Oct. 27.
Guest curator Michelle Weinberg has invited more than 50 artists to create drawings of their workplaces to explore how artists perceive their own creative work and lives, different in a way that a photograph might. Now that art districts are tourist destinations, Artists Draw Their Studios is a way for the public to appreciate within a gallery the spaces that artists interpret as their work space and think tank. No guidelines were given other than that the works be drawings. The result is that some drawings are observational, others are more conceptual representations of a studio. The norm is easels and paint-spattered rags, but some exist solely on a laptop in electronic format. Now through Jan. 5. www.artandculturecenter.org 954-921-3274
The Frank Gallery
Inflated: Volume and form make up the dimensions, shape and aesthetic of artworks and sculpture. This exhibit explores the differences and similarities of “inflated form” or “deflated form,” sometimes found in the same work at once. Nov. 14-Jan. 20.
The Academy: New academic works from the new Florida International University Academy of Portrait and Figurative Art will be on display February 13-April 25.
In Children’s China: Culture, Character and Confucius, viewers leap across the big pond as West meets the East in an interactive exhibit where a fast-changing modern lifestyle plays Chinese checkers with ancient values. May 28-Aug. 8. www.thefrankgallery.org 954-392-2120
Young at Art Museum
Jen Clay has been voted “Best Emerging Artist” by New Times of Broward and Palm Beach and “Best Artist in South Florida” by SouthFlorida.com for her bizarre, lifesize textile puppets. Her newest show, Welcome to You & Me, invites viewers to step into her alien gallery world with characters from the planet in her head. Now through Jan. 5.
The Japanese concept of “ikigai” or “a reason for being” is the basis for an unusual show, Nice’n Easy: Innerspace, that reimagines a home where the very furniture and environment become submerged with a subtropical island. Nov. 2-April 26. Youngatartmuseum.org 954-424-0085
ArtServe serves up its 30th Anniversary Season Preview, with curated visual and performing art that explores culture, spirituality, identity and environment in a fragile world. Now through Dec. 2.
Roots of the Spirit: A collaboration with Curator Ludlow Bailey, this multimedia exhibition engages philosophical and spiritual ideas from the African diaspora in visual arts, music, film and dance disciplines. Jan. 15–Feb. 27.
Women’s History Month Exhibition: The 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the vote, sets the stage for an exploration OF women’s rights. Guest curator Dayalis Gonzalez presents multi-disciplinary work from dance to film to photos. March 4–March 27.
Changing Landscapes: Featuring performing and visual artworks, the exhibit composed of hundreds of works asks audiences to consider the needs of the global environment and the human impact on South Florida’s fragile ecosystem. April 8-May 29. www.ArtServe.org 954-462-8190