Regional artists are united in `death' exhibit

It's at Area 405 in the Station North arts district

Arts: museums, literature

January 29, 2004|By Sarah Schaffer | Sarah Schaffer,SUN STAFF

Existential boundaries are explored in death, a group show opening Sunday at Area 405.

More than a dozen local and regional artists contributed to the show, which features mostly sculptural forms that address the ways in which the end -- of an existence, of a life phase, of an era -- can affect or even transform those who remain.

Lincoln Mudd's cast copper piece By Bread Alone is a 290-pound pillow-shaped form that is marked on its top by two deep loaf-shaped impressions.

"The gist of the piece ... is the presence of absence," said Mudd, who believes that the substantial sculpture questions which has greater consequence, the marks left by the two now removed items (the spiritual) or the actual items themselves (the physical).

Similar meanings are woven into Wilfredo Valladares' monumental fabric installation.

His Rio Copan is a series of six large satin printing scrolls.

The large ink-impregnated ribbons, normally used in mammoth industrial machines, hang from high points on the wall, each cascading down to the floor, forming a canopy of graceful black arches.

Valladares, a native of Honduras who said his work is frequently influenced by Mayan mythology, stitched one continuous line of white thread through all of the fabric pieces, the tiny and pale additions -- unceasing and dynamic -- representing the endurance of the Copan River.

"I was thinking in terms of that river," he said of the still lively body of water that once helped to sustain the ancient Central American culture.

For him, completion of the work was "almost like reviving the souls of the Mayan people."

Also in the show are works on canvas by Faith Wilson.

The artist, who lives outside Chestertown, has included a number of large-scale works that deal with a more personal life change, the departure of children from the nest.

And though Wilson said that "death of life" as she knew it was one of the major themes of the shown works, the forms used in the mixed-media creations were also influenced by her visits to antebellum grave sites near her home.

The exhibit death will remain on display through March 6. A reception will be held 4 p.m.-9 p.m. on Feb. 14.

Area 405 is at 405 E. Oliver St., in the city's Station North Arts District in the vicinity of Penn Station. Hours are noon-3 p.m. Sundays and by appointment. Call 410-528-2101 or visit www.area405.com.

For more art events, see page 39.

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