The summer group shows at C. Grimaldis Gallery are opportunities to catch up on artists whose solo shows one may have missed during the regular season as well as a chance to re-evaluate one's earlier judgments of their work, both pro and con.
This year, for example, I'm ready to admit being a bit more impressed than I originally was by British sculptor Anthony Caro, one of whose signature painted steel abstractions is a highlight of Grimaldis' show.
Caro's importance seems to stem as much from the new sense of possibility he imparted to succeeding generations of artists as from the many merits of his own works, which are indisputable. Caro's sculptures have incredible presence, and they are just unpredictable enough to keep you looking.
So if I still cannot quite bring myself to love these harsh and angular pieces, at least I'm learning to respect them a little more.
By contrast, each time I see one of Greek photographer Dimitra Lazaridou's very large color photographs of empty streets and buildings in Athens, I find new things to adore in her haunting imagery.
Since Lazaridou's first Grimaldis show in 2002, the German-trained photographer's pallette has become considerably lighter, warmer and more expressive as her subject matter evolved from the electric greens and yellows of her night photography phase to the pale lavenders and blues of her current early-morning daylight images.
In Lazaridou's photographs, the impressive scale is integral to the meaning of the works, and her jumbo C-prints, mounted on minimalist aluminum sandwich panels, also show off the artist's impeccable technique and refined pictorial imagination.
Other highlights include Yannick Demmerle's near life-size forest image from Germany, Rene Cox's provocative self-portrait as leather-clad mistress of sexual pleasure -- the piece must still be one of the most shocking works on view anywhere in Baltimore -- and Jon Isherwood's virtuoso stone sculptures.
The exhibition runs through July 30. The gallery is at 523 N. Charles St. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday. Call 410-539-1080.
For more art events, see Page 32.