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Chester County Press

Circles are the theme at Square Pear Gallery

03/11/2019 12:05PM ● By J. Chambless

This series of panels by Lee Muslin is united by a looping black line.

By John Chambless
Staff Writer

It’s easy to pick up the theme of the March show at the Square Pear Gallery in Kennett Square, “Round and Round.” The show, which is more abstract than recent exhibitions there, has circles and loops everywhere, and the variety of materials and styles keeps it all fresh and unexpected.

Charles Emlen’s “Gas Phase Orbiter” is a whimsical, Sputnik-like metal sculpture bristling with appendages that do nothing, but look like they should. All of Emlen’s sculptures are great fun, and make dynamic gestures in the gallery.

Susan Melrath has several large encaustic/mixed media abstracts that incorporate circles and a whole lot more. The translucent layers of paint and the overlapped, etched surfaces are endlessly fascinating, and plunging into the depths of the paint is as intriguing as trying to puzzle out the interplay of the elements in each composition. Melrath’s “Dot Com” is a room-filling piece, but even her small works – such as “Small Mercies” – have lovely details.

Rhoda Kahler’s stoneware panel “Balance” is a serene composition with a jumble of letters and numbers on one side, and a single, tranquil O on the other – suggesting layers of interpretation. And Kahler’s “Mother Sphere,” shown in the gallery window, is a world of textures and hidden interior spaces.

Lee Muslin has a row of vividly colored abstract acrylics that dart and jump with restless energy. Sculptor Thomas Ransom shows a lovely, simple metal sculpture, “The Balancer’s Eye,” that ever so carefully intertwines two curved metal ribbons that almost – but not quite – touch in the center, balancing each other perfectly.

Sculptor Stan Smokler has two spheres in the front gallery that suggest molten planets, perhaps, and the larger one has peep holes so you can see through it to the other side.

In a more traditional vein are floral still lifes by Monique Sarkessian, with round blooms that fit into the “Round and Round” theme very well. Lele Galer has one metal sculpture on view, a series of circular holes filled with variously twisted and coiled metal, titled “Seven Days a Week.” And there’s a series of four vertical abstract paintings by Lee Muslin that share a joyously looping black line that darts through each panel. Each painting, though, stands on its own, with orange/red tones that recall a Southwest sunset.

“Round and Round” continues at the Square Pear Gallery (200 E. State St., Kennett Square) through March 29. Gallery hours are Wednesday to Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

To contact Staff Writer John Chambless, email jchambless@chestercounty.com.

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