Photographers' works display potential


July 09, 1991|By John Dorsey | John Dorsey,Sun Art Critic

Sara Glik and Stephanie Sdanowich, whose works form the present show at the Katzenstein Gallery (through July 31), are not collaborators, but both work in photography. Both also have potential, though they have some distance to go before fully realizing it.

Glik's photographs are mostly black and white but occasionally hand-colored and some employ infrared film. Her images here are primarily of nudes and abandoned cars, with the latter (though fewer in number) more consistently successful. In the pictures of these vehicles, rotting and slowly succumbing to the processes of nature ("Car in Charleston," "Car at Woodstock"), Glik explores light, tone and meaning. Weeds grow up around them, offering mute testimony to the transience of human life and desires.

Some of Glik's nudes are also effective, notably the hand-colored "Nude Series 3," in which a nude and a cascade of foliage blend against a yellow-toned background. This rather simple, lovely image works better than others involving an apparently more complex but elusive narrative.

Sdanowich's color photo montages are reminiscent of David Hockney's work in the same vein. This kind of thing can be awfully contrived, and much of Sdanowich's work here succumbs to that pitfall to some degree.

An exception is provided by "Blue Bird," in which a billboard for a furniture discount store has been broken up so that it speaks of the fragmented way in which we receive all kinds of stimuli, from billboards to media advertising. It provides its own relief, too, with bits and pieces apparently dropping from the billboard and floating quietly down to the bricks below. A lone figure provides a kind of visual punctuation. This is definitely Sdanowich's best in this exhibit.

... Katzenstein's is located at 729 E. Pratt St. in Scarlett Place. Three blocks west is the World Trade Center, and its "Top of the World" observation floor currently plays host to an brief exhibit of "Graphic Art from Lithuania" (through July 14). A high level of execution marks the eleven artists' three dozen works, including etchings, aquatints, lithographs and silk screens. Among the more notable examples are R. Kepelzinskas' "Lyrics of Love" series (the labels do not give first names) and R. Bartkus' sensitive "The Dreamers."

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