Kevin Mellema of FCNP reviews McLean Project for the Arts shows - including Allegra Marquart and Michael Janis' glass artwork. Novie Trump's ceramic works are also reviewed.
Kevin also reviews Michael Janis and Allegra Marquart at Maurine Littleton Gallery.
Click HERE for the link to the entire article.
excerpt from the FCNP:
To Tell the Tale: Works by Allegra Marquart, Michael Janis and Tom Baker, at the MPA (1234 Ingleside Ave., McLean). The exhibit runs through Nov. 7, and the gallery is open Tuesday – Friday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. and Saturday 1 – 5 p.m. For more details, call 703-790-1953 or visit www.mpaart.org.
Allegra Marquart and Michael Janis both work in glass out of the Washington Glass School in Mt. Rainier, Md. Tom Baker is a print maker from New Jersey.
Baker's prints seem to juxtapose destructive and utilitarian objects in playfully similar ways. A coil spring stands beside a falling bomb with corkscrew spiraling trajectory trailing behind it. Similarly, an underwater mine sits ready to destroy anything that touches it, while a ship's propeller motors past unscathed.
Allegra Marquart produces multi-colored relief glass panels that depict children's fables. Maraquart's works resemble wood block prints, not surprisingly, because she came from printing to glass making and at times, still makes wood block prints.
Marquart's panels spare none of the gory details in what are often fairly graphic childhood tales. The combination of crude, often heavy handed childhood tales, with the cool, highly polished glass surfaces, gives the works a natural sense of tension.
Michael Janis is showing his re-interpretations of tarot cards.
In addition to the images here at MPA, both Janis and Marquart have works on view through October at the Maurine Littleton Gallery in upper Georgetown (1667 Wisconsin Ave. NW, Washington, D.C.). The Georgetown gallery is open Tuesday – Saturday, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. For more details, call 202-333-9307 or visit www.Littletongallery.com).
Marquart's work seems of a uniform mien at both locations. Janis however has two new large panel works and nine smaller 12-by-12-inch panels at Littleton Gallery.
While the tarot card pieces are interesting, they come off as a bit literal at times. The new smaller pieces at Littleton, however, are anything but. Those works have a mysterious dream state sense of surrealism that engages the viewer on a deeper more engrossing level. Using figures, text and common objects we are left to our own devices to figure out the story.
One fairly straightforward image titled, "Words Left Unsaid," shows a man with a jumble of letters floating in his throat. It's a notion most all of us can relate to. How would things be different if we released the words behind our mouths. Would the world be better or worse for it? Would our lives be fulfilled, or would our deepest fears be realized by their release? Would we even have the chance to say them at all if we wait too long?
We can't answer any of those questions here. All we can do is stare at the man and wonder at his fate and the fate of those around him. We sense his need to speak, but can't make out what it is from the disjointed jumble of letters on view. Perhaps even he doesn't yet know exactly what to say just yet. All nine of the smaller panels are filled with entertaining and somewhat voyeuristic questions.