Faculty show at Goucher ART REVIEW

March 19, 1991|By John Dorsey | John Dorsey,Sun Art Critic

Goucher College's new Meyerhoff Arts Center, which officially opened at the beginning of the month, contains facilities for theater and art including a small exhibitions gallery.

The college's main exhibition space will continue to be the Rosenberg Gallery in the lobby of Kraushaar Auditorium, so this supplementary one will be used primarily for student shows; but it can showcase faculty and other shows as well, and it's open free to the public (Mondays through Fridays 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays 1 to 5 p.m.).

At the moment, it hosts the works of three faculty members in an exhibit that, although it opened on March 2, had a somewhat thrown-together look about it as of last Thursday afternoon. The wall reliefs of Stuart Abarbanel had no labels, and two paintings, also by Abarbanel, were likewise unlabeled. Some labels of other works were placed on the floor, not the best idea.

A series of photographs by Ed Worteck were pinned to two different-colored backgrounds -- white and gray. Worteck says this two-toned look is something he's experimenting with, but it makes a series that looks unfinished anyway seem even more so. The series itself involves experiments in juxtaposing photographs of people with photographs of buildings and manufactured objects. It's an interesting concept, and one can see parallels between animate and inanimate in certain compositional elements here. But the idea needs further develop


Abarbanel's wall pieces, like similar works of his seen elsewhere, possess a pinch of humor and a certain audacious mystery: The question they pose most insistently is whether there is more there than meets the eye.

Karen Acker's surrealist porcelain and steel sculptures present the human body much as we might see it in our worst nightmares or hallucinations: broken into pieces, cracked, pierced by holes. These represent fears and neuroses rendered in physical rather than mental terms, as can happen in dreams -- as, for instance, the fear of failure might manifest itself as an object which becomes more elusive the more determinedly one pursues it. Acker's bodies are frightening and haunting, and as such are clearly the most successful works in this show.

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