TAMPA MUSEUM OF ART: NEW MOBILE SWINGS IN
It has been a while since the colorful Alexander Calder mobile left its perch in the museum's soaring atrium to return to its owners. (And we thank them for the long-term loan beginning in 2010 when the current building opened.)
Now a replacement has been installed, a hanging sculpture by German artist Wolfgang Flad. The work consists of about 30 wooden elements inspired by natural forms, and utilizes recycled materials. The artist spends time each year in Florida so Kiss and Tell also has a resemblance to our mangroves.
I haven't seen it firsthand — it was just installed at my deadline — only in photographs such as this one sent by Nancy Kipnis, the museum's public relations and marketing director. So I can't make a judgment without seeing it in the context of the space. What I can say is it's a beautiful area, all glass and light at floor level with its famous walls of punched-out metal surround on the upper floors. Very dramatic but, as far as the metal goes, busy, too. Even the Calder, which had his signature combination of simple shapes and primary colors, threatened to get lost in it. This work is more muted but also more complex so I'm interested in seeing how it hangs out. Let me know what you think! You won't have to pay admission for the first floor.
Fun plan Grab lunch at Sono Café, which is also on the first floor; peruse the new work which includes a cool kinetic sculpture and enjoy lunch on the terrace overlooking Curtis Hixon Park. The cafe is run by the peerless folks at Mise en Place. Keep in mind that on the upper gallery level, for which a fee is required, there are several good shows worth the price.
The museum, 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 to the galleries is $15 adults, $7.50 seniors and active military and $5 students. Kids 6 and younger are free. (813) 274-8130. tampamuseum.org.
THE DALÍ MUSEUM: STILL TIME TO SEE ESCHER
M.C. Escher's complex puzzle prints had a cult following long before they went mainstream and this terrific exhibition at the Dalí Museum bears witness to his deserved reputation as a brilliant and creative artist with 135 works. If you haven't yet seen it, go soon because it closes Jan. 2. Give the gift of an admission to someone special for a day at this museum or any other in our region and share the experience.
Fun plan The Dalí, as with many of our museums, has a cafe, the Gala, named after the artist's wife, which offers salads, sandwiches, tapas, soups and beverages, many of them Spanish. (I like the caldo gallego soup and the pressed pork sandwich, similar to a Cuban.) Cafe Gala is open during museum hours so stay for lunch in the museum (no admission charge needed for the cafe) and enjoy its beautiful architecture or take it outside to the waterfront Avant Garden.
The Dalí Museum is located at 1 Dalí Blvd. (Bayshore Drive at Fifth Avenue SE), St. Petersburg. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily with extended hours to 8 p.m. Thursday. Admission is $24 adults, $22 seniors, military, police, firefighters and educators with ID, $17 youths 13-17 and students with ID, $10 kids 6-12 and free for ages 5 and younger. After 5 p.m. Thursdays, $10 adults and $8 kids. (727) 823-3767. thedali.org.
ARTICLES GALLERY: THE TEMPEST AND THE TEAPOT
The clever title for the new show at ARTicles, the Leslie Curran Gallery, refers to the work of the two featured artists, painter Ummarid "Tony" Eitharong and ceramicist Robert Lawarre III. Eitharong is a well-known presence on the art festival circuit, winning Best of Show multiple times as well as exhibiting in museums. Lawarre, too, has a strong exhibition track record, though they work in different media, they have in common a visceral, muscular aesthetic. The show is at Curran's new, free-standing gallery which is not part of the original ARTicles, also a gallery and a frame shop. This one is located at 1431 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. "The Tempest and the Teapot" continues through Jan. 2. Free. (727) 898-6061.