BAUhouse chooses 'Games' for annual benefit


March 18, 1992|By John Dorsey | John Dorsey,Art Critic

For its annual benefit show, the BAUhouse has chosen the theme of "Games." One should probably approach this in the spirit in which it was intended, or not at all. That is to say, do have what fun you can with it, but don't demand much in the way of art.

For if you approach this as an art show, disappointment is sure. While some of the works fit into the category of art, they range from the somewhat imaginative to the definitely dull, and others are simply antique toys. A number inviteviewer participation.

In the art category, Stephen J. Dinser's and Kent Rigby's "Vatican Chess" consists of a chess board peopled with nuns as pawns, candles as rooks, and various religious figures playing the rest of the pieces. Steve Nelson has a "Board Game," on which you can play checkers or nine-men's morris -- a game played with counters -- and a "Meditation Board," which, presumably, you meditate.

Of Vera Kaminski's "Play" and "Score," one is a tic-tac-toe game with magnetized pieces, and the other is a little computer generated game that doesn't really go anywhere. A. Scott Harmon's "Shoes My Father Never Gave Me" consists of a board with big cloth-covered "horseshoes" on it that you can remove and arrange on a group of nails on the adjacent wall.

Other works are more for looking at, such as Caroline Bagenal's "The Mother's 1, 2, and 3," a series of little sculptures of women bowed down under piles of cosmetics, fast-food containers and household chores; or Stephen Lee's "Further Meditations on a Hobbyhorse," a head and torso (no legs) of an almost life-sized horse; or Elyse Strongin's three "board games," which are really paintings.

Some of the antique toys are amusing, especially the circus dancing clown with pantaloons. You wind it up and it does a ridiculous little dance. The wind-up roller coaster might be fun if it worked right, which it doesn't quite (or didn't for me). Others in this category also are just for looking at, such as "State Fair Bagatelle," a little, old pinball game hung on the wall.

In truth this show is at best only mildly diverting. But maybe these things will sell. I wish the BAUhouse well with its benefit.

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