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Capsule Reviews

A picture of our opinions on local exhibitions

The Passionate Adventure of the Real: Collage, Assemblage and the Object in 20th Century Art Seriously mundane objects (discarded toys, wrecked cars, worn shoes, packing crates, burlap, seashells, wallpaper, animal skins, dolls, dirt, twigs, rusty nails, bottle caps, porcelain birds, pictures of rap stars) sometimes become sublime in the hands of the artists featured in The Passionate Adventure of the Real. And sometimes they remain mundane. Machine parts are turned into flowers; a plaster Venus de Milo is adorned with thorns and a feathered serpent; smashed auto body parts are twisted into precarious balance. Wallpaper and upholstery fabric tell the stories of an Argentinean prostitute. Memorials to children lost in the holocaust and immigrants suffocated in a boxcar stand next to one another. Epoxy flies are embedded in a large abstract painting. And motors, pulleys, belts and tubing are combined into elaborate machines which seem to do nothing at all. As an assembly of assemblages, the show is more like a pile of jigsaw pieces than a connected puzzle. Featured are works by artists in Italy, Paraguay, Hungary, Argentina, New York and even Houston. Through March 7. Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, 1001 Bissonnet, 713-639-7300.

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