New art gallery aims to showcase local --and affordable--sculptures

April 25, 1991|By John Dorsey | John Dorsey,Sun Art Critic

Mary Jo Gordon has wanted to open an art gallery for a long time. Now she has done so and what does she call it?

Galerie Francoise et Ses Freres.

Five words long? And French, too?

"I know, I know," she says, "it goes against everything you should do in business. But I didn't want to name it after myself, so I named it after my daughter Francoise and her two brothers."

If the French name makes it sound like she sells Toulouse-Lautrec posters, that's not it at all. The clean, white gallery space at the Green Spring Station office and shopping complex opens tomorrow with a show devoted primarily to small sculpture by contemporary area artists. And that will be the main focus of the gallery.

"I want to have area artists with a sprinkling of others," she says. "I want to be interesting and unpredictable, and educate people about art."

It's an understandable goal for someone who has been educating herself about art for more than 20 years now. In the 1960s she studied art education at Towson State University, and then taught art in Baltimore County.

"After that I was a docent at the Baltimore Museum of Art. Being in the presence of the art was the most mind-opening experience," says Ms. Gordon, who has also been an art consultant, studied at the Maryland Institute and Johns Hopkins University, worked at the former BMA sales and rental gallery and volunteered at School 33 Art Center. Two years ago she began doing outdoor sculpture shows in the courtyard at Green Spring Station.

She credits the complex's part owners Tom and Catherine Peddy with encouraging her interest, and says she was aided by advice from painter Eugene Leake and dealer Constantine Grimaldis.

A thorough Francophile, Ms. Gordon also decided on a French name for her first exhibit, "Sur la Table." It offers a potpourri of tabletop-sized sculpture including one of Gagik Aroutiunian's world-weary contraptions, "Traveller and His Road #20"; the organic, sea-creature-like "Magenta Carnivore" by Nicole Fall; David Hess' brooding "Mace," a shaft of wood sprouting a head of nails; and the compact presence of Doug Gray's stone "Coralith."

Among others represented are Paul Daniel, Greg Moring, Ivy Parsons, David Gleeson, Paul Glasgow, Jim Paulsen and Bill Duffy; and there are a few two-dimensional works, including "Hushed Hour" and two other expressive abstractions by Holly Hofmann.

Future shows, Ms. Gordon says, include one of figurative sculpture by Barry Johnston (also represented in the current show), a two-person show of Hess and Leonard Streckfus, a show of works by couples who are both artists, and a show of New York painter Emilio Cruz which would consist of one large painting and about 30 studies for it.

"I want to have art of quality that's affordable," she says.

Galerie Francoise et Ses Freres

Galerie Francoise et Ses Freres

Where: Green Spring Station, Falls and Joppa roads.

Hours: Opening party (the public is invited) tomorrow at 6 p.m.; regular hours are Mondays through Saturdays 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Sundays 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Current show continues through June 3.

Call: 337-2787.

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