GO FIGURE: SHOWS CELEBRATE THE HUMAN FORM
You could call it a high form of navel gazing. Our fascination with ourselves, in the form of our forms, is centuries old and remains undimmed.
The best example here is "The Figure Examined: Masterworks From the Kasser Mochary Art Foundation" at the Tampa Museum of Art. It features 70 artists and more than 100 paintings, sculptures and works on paper that celebrate the figure as perceived by 19th and 20th century artists. They range from realist to abstract with marquee names represented. Among them: Picasso, Renoir, Matisse, Degas, Rodin and Warhol. The show continues through May 30. The museum, at 120 W Gasparilla Plaza, Tampa, is open Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Friday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $15 adults; $7.50 seniors, Florida educators and military; $5 students; and free for children younger than 6. (813) 274-8130. tampamuseum.org.
"Figuring It Out" is another show of figurative art, though much smaller, at Dabbert Gallery. The group show features contemporary artists Jeff Cornell, Bill Farnsworth, William Jerdon, Victoria Mayol, Beatrice del Perugia, Nancy Turner and Yuqi Wang. See it at the gallery, 76 S Palm Ave., Sarasota, through April 30. Hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Free. (941) 955-1315. dabbertgallery.com.
TECO PUBLIC ART GALLERY: LESLIE JEFFERY
Leslie Jeffery's paintings are all about process. Her large abstract works are full of color, texture, various techniques and even media. See a group of them at TECO Public Art Gallery, 702 N Franklin St., Tampa, through May 31. Free. Hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. That 8 a.m. opening is early by gallery and museum standards, but downtown Tampa is becoming such an eclectic place, you can go early and stay for breakfast at one of the many restaurants and cafes nearby.
THE RINGLING: CHANGES AHEAD
The Ringling, 5401 Bayshore Road, Sarasota, recently broke ground on the Kotler-Coville Glass Pavilion. It will be located at the complex's main entrance adjacent to the John McKay Visitor Center. When complete, estimated for fall 2017, the pavilion will serve as the entrance to the Ringling's historic Asolo Theater, now part of the visitor center. So be aware that there might be a bit of a bottleneck occasionally during construction. It'll be worth any slight inconvenience. As you see in this architectural rendering, the space, designed by Lewis + Whitlock, has a sculptural facade with glass panels that will allow views of the studio glass inside. (Glass is one of the few media that can take a lot of light exposure.) Its 5,500 square feet will display glass objects from the Ringling's permanent collection.
Another amenity on the way at the Ringling: the Center for Asian Art, which includes a dramatic addition to the south wing of the Ringling's art museum, covered in green ceramic tile that emulates those traditionally used on buildings in many Asian countries. The grand opening is May 15, but some of the galleries are already open. It's huge with 25,000 square feet containing galleries, a lecture hall and open storage spaces that give visitors more access to all the museum's Asian art holdings. (941) 359-5700. ringling.org.