Goya Girl showcases prints

Art: The current show at the gallery, `Editions 2000,' includes works by artists Joyce J. Scott, Power Boothe, Louisa Chase, Luis Flores, Debra Rubino and Mark Strand

Fine Arts

March 07, 2000|By Glenn McNatt | Glenn McNatt,SUN ART CRITIC

Goya Girl Press is a Baltimore gem that surely deserves wider recognition and appreciation.

Started in 1996 by artist Martha Macks, the press' studio at Mill Centre in Hampden provides workshop space, equipment and the services of two master printers who collaborate with artists to create works in a variety of printmaking media, including etching, lithography, screen printing and monotype.

The press also operates a gallery for works by local and nationally recognized artists and a publishing business that distributes prints by selected artists.

Its current show, "Editions 2000," features new prints by six artists published by the gallery. In the main room are works by Power Boothe, Louisa Chase, Luis Flores, Debra Rubino and Mark Strand.

An adjoining room presents prints by Baltimore multimedia artist Joyce J. Scott, whose beaded sculptures, fabric art and installation art are the subject of a major retrospective exhibit at the Baltimore Museum of Art.

Strand's moody, black-and-white prints of night skies illuminated by starlight and moonlight that reflect off patchy clouds are sly, tongue-in-cheek abstractions of physical phenomena unlikely to occur naturally.

Neither the apparent vantage point from which these scenes are observed nor the random patterns of glimmering starlight permit the viewer to discern any recognizable place or portion of the sky.

Yet the pictures look disconcertingly familiar, like half-remembered dreams, suggesting that Strand, who is a poet as well as a visual artist, is more concerned with expressing a mood than with describing a landscape in these enigmatic works.

Chase, who is represented by five small, colored solar etchings, seems to take a childlike delight in representing fearful creatures -- snakes, ants, spiders and the like.

There just doesn't seem to be much to really worry about here -- Chase's colors are mostly light and cheerful pastels -- and her innocently drawn critters appear more playful than menacing.

One hopes Chase doesn't take these "fears" too seriously -- or expect us to, either.

Boothe is a painter, printmaker and educator who has taught at the Maryland Institute, College of Art since 1993 and whose work has been widely exhibited.

He is represented in "Editions 2000" by a couple of minimalist prints that explore the illusion of space and perspective using line and color.

These works, which are quite modest in scale, conjure up images of vast expanses of terrain while suggesting the intense inwardness that accompanies contemplation of the very small.

They have a serene meditative quality reminiscent of a Zen koan, a puzzle that leads to enlightenment.

Flores and Rubino both produce lithographs, but where Flores' tropical imagery is allusive and abstract, Rubino's pictures of birds' nests and stones are marvelously concrete, even tactile.

Scott is represented by a series of monoprints that amplify the imagery of her "Soul Erased" series at the BMA.

Most of the prints involve variations on the themes of violence and redemption, symbolized by a young boy's encounter with a luminous scarlet angel.

Goya Girl Press is in Suite 214 of the Mill Centre Studio, 3000 Chestnut Ave..

Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays. For more information, call 410-366-2001.

Admission changes

A reminder: The cost of admission and hours at the Walters Art Gallery will be different for visitors to the new exhibit "Gold of the Nomads: Scythian Treasures from Ancient Ukraine," which opens today and runs through May 28.

Hours will be extended by one hour most days (Tuesday through Friday and Sunday), from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. On Saturday, the museum will be open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Admission to "Gold of the Nomads" will be by special timed and dated tickets. Prices range from $6.50 to $12 (discounted group rates also available).

For visitors not intending to see "Gold of the Nomads," general admission prices remain $5 for adults, students and seniors $3, children younger than 6 free.

For information, call the Walters at 410-547-9000 or TicketMaster at 410-752-1200.

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