'Angels' and 'Fallen Angels' Art: The exhibits at C. Grimaldis Gallery and the Walters Art Gallery complement each other.

Fine Arts

November 10, 1998|By John Dorsey | John Dorsey,SUN ART CRITIC

"Fallen Angels" at the C. Grimaldis Gallery is gallery owner Constantine Grimaldis' imaginative idea for a show to complement the Walters Art Gallery's just-opened "Angels from the Vatican."

In only one case, Joseph Sheppard's "The Fall and Metamorphosis of Lucifer," is the fallen angel of the biblical kind: Lucifer, or the devil, was banished from heaven to the nether regions for challenging God's authority and has here fallen naked to the ground.

The angels portrayed by the show's other 10 artists are of the human kind, flawed and earthbound creatures like the rest of us, struggling with their own failings.

Darrell Wilcox's "The Scream" stands as the show's quintessential work. Wilcox, of course, takes his title from the famous work by Edvard Munch, but in Munch's painting the demons that cause the scream are psychological. The man who screams in this urban park is surrounded by robbery, murder, drug addiction and other social ills so rampant that the buildings on the perimeter of the park are falling down, symbolizing the crumbling of civilization.

In Karl Connolly's "Under Investigation," two people armed only with teacups investigate a barren-looking landscape. They're in search of knowledge, truth, otherwise known as God, and the teacups symbolize how poorly equipped man is for this quest.

In Raoul Middleman's "Pandora's Box," the plagues unleashed on the world when Pandora opens her box are exclusively of the flesh. Sandy Jackson's "Madonna of the Specular Recognition" is about man having created God in his own image (not vice versa), warts and all. Richard Santiago's "Icarus" clips off his own wings, as if aware of the hopelessness of the human race's desire to rise above the ills of this earth and this life.

There are disappointments. Leland Rice's color photographs of graffiti on the Berlin wall don't relate to the theme well, and Trace Miller contributes four highly uneven works. But as a whole, "Fallen Angels" stands as the successful realization of an inspired concept.

The C. Grimaldis Gallery, at 523 N. Charles St., is open 10 a.m. to 5: 30 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays. The current show runs through Nov. 29. Call 410-539-1080.

Benefit art show

For its annual, weeklong benefit show and sale of art, the Baltimore Choral Arts Society usually rounds up an impressive list of artists, and this year's group is no exception. It numbers 29, including Philip Koch, Henry Coe, Mary Page Evans, Raoul Middleman, Rodney Carroll, Tammra Sigler, Catherine Behrent, Mark Barry and Robert Andriulli, and the show will contain more than 100 paintings, sculptures, prints, drawings and photographs.

The benefit begins at the Sheppard Pratt Conference Center with a $50-a-ticket preview party Friday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. The show then runs from this Saturday through Sunday, Nov. 22. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays and noon to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday. The Sheppard Pratt Conference Center is at 6501 N. Charles St. For information, call 410-523-7070.

In a different light

School 33 Art Center's current main gallery show features three artists who use photography in different ways. For his color work, Satre Stuelke creates highly artificial settings, populates them with everyday objects, then photographs them in dramatic contrasts of light and dark to suggest film noir narratives of mystery and menace. In a series of four photos constituting his best work here, a life-size vacuum cleaner interacts with a group of tiny vacuum cleaners that have red lights in their bags.

In "Hommage," two little ones look like the big one's minions, setting out to do his dirty work. There's satire here, but also a bit of a shiver, and Stuelke's carefully contrived sets have a certain colorful glamour.

Keith Tishken tries for similar results in the opposite way. He invents nothing. His urban photos capture posters that are peeling and have been torn away, so their successive layers create juxtapositions that sometimes create colored abstractions and sometimes suggest stories.

In "Torn Posters on Wall, London: Exotic/Erotique/Desire" a man looks out of the picture on the right while on the left a woman's raised red and white skirt reveals her legs. Perhaps he's a voyeur, perhaps she's a stripper. Tishken shows 30 works, including enough good ones to make the display as a whole a success. But he could use better editing.

Judith Goodman uses photography as an element in her assemblage works. As an idea, it's a nice variation on the other two artists' work, but her aspirations outrun her achievements here. Or perhaps the three works shown are not enough to give a good idea of this artist's substance.

School 33 Art Center, at 1427 Light St., is open 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. The show runs through Dec. 4. For information, call 410-396-4641.

Photography show

The Washington County Museum of Fine Arts in Hagerstown is accepting entries for the 66th annual Cumberland Valley Photographic Salon. Residents of Maryland, Washington, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia may enter and send no more than four unframed prints (black and white or color) and four slides, for a total of eight possible entries.

Entries must be the work of the photographer and not commercially done and must have been taken within the last three years and not previously shown at the museum. Entry deadline is noon on Saturday, Dec. 5. Call 301-739-5727 or e-mail to WCMFol.com.

Pub Date: 11/10/98

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