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It's all artists and no themes at C. Grimaldis

The C. Grimaldis Gallery has gone casual with Summer '03, the art space's annual group show.

Instead of another topical or solo exhibition, the gallery created a display in which art is defined through various methods, moods and forms.

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"This has no particular theme other than to put forth again things that we did last year, and [to display] some things that we will do next year," said owner Costas Grimaldis.

The lack of an overarching subject gives the show a laid-back feel, allowing viewers the freedom to experience the works as individual pieces without pre-conceived notions of premise or tone, he added.

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Works of disparate media and styles - the creations of both locally and nationally known artists - occupy the space, with Anthony Caro's abstract steel and bronze sculptures sharing the gallery with a more traditional landscape painting by Henry Coe.

In addition to providing a more casual atmosphere, the themeless display also shows the gallery's appreciation for each artist's unique vision, Grimaldis said.

Beverly McIver's large-scale oil, Dora's Dance, which was on display in March, is one of the first pieces visitors see as they walk through the gallery door. The work is a colorful and dynamic depiction of a lone, costumed woman; the strong brush strokes coupled with the stylized face of the figure make the piece reminiscent of paintings by French master Toulouse-Lautrec.

Other displayed creations give visitors a glimpse into coming C. Grimaldis shows.

Grace Hartigan's Tristan and Isolde is a technical and stylistic tour de force, a prime example of the acclaimed painter's methods.

Thin applications of oils provide both organic and graphic effects in the piece, which depicts two clothed figures. The pair's somber, gestural poses are outlined in dark hues while portions of their exposed skin are rendered as panels of flat, peachy color.

More of Hartigan's work is scheduled for display in the gallery in November.

In all, nearly 50 works are displayed in the eclectic exhibition.

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Because the group show "allows for more art to go on the wall," it has become a favorite among the gallery's clientele, Grimaldis said.

The annual event became a staple at the Charles Street gallery after its first run in 1978.

"I think that it has come to be expected," Grimaldis said.

Summer '03 continues through Aug. 9. The C. Grimaldis Gallery is at 523 N. Charles St. For more information, call 410-539-1080.

For more art events, see page 44.


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