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Chester County Press

New works bring fresh perspectives to ‘Spaces & Faces’ exhibit

09/17/2019 11:36AM ● By J. Chambless

Painted clay sculptures by Zhanna Martin.

By John Chambless
Staff Writer

The “Spaces & Faces” show at the Square Pear Gallery, which continues through the end of the month, continues the gallery’s policy of introducing artists who are new to the region, along with some local favorites.

One of the most talked-about new artists will have to be Zhanna Martin, who exhibits a striking collection of arrestingly lifelike clay faces. Capturing every detail of skin and hair and expression, they are supremely skillfully done, with a “just-about-to-breathe” level of realism that takes you by surprise. Lingering over them feels almost like an invasion of someone’s personal space.

In the front gallery, Kimberly Hoescht’s paintings of interiors make the most of glowing light and richly textured rugs and fabrics. The many angles of railing and doorways in “Hall, Interior” are fascinating, and she goes large in “A Little Night Music,” a hotel lobby with a piano, and a sun-warmed lobby in the distance.

There’s one very strong charcoal portrait by Linda Harris Reynolds, “The Traveler,” that has a strong presence. Nearby is a nice grouping of stoneware cityscapes by Rhoda Kahler, including the ambitious, 14-piece “Cloud” and a series of six small works that have little charms all their own.

Kevin Cummins shows etchings/aquatints of Philadelphia – and one of West Chester – that capture vivid details of light and shadow, and a strong sense of a city’s energy.

Robert Jenkins has three large watercolors of abandoned industrial interiors that explore decay and grime, and hint at long-ago labors, now ended. His three-dimensional insect paintings on glass are featured as well, and they are a different kind of artistic sleight-of-hand.

There are several of Lele Galer’s metal heart sculptures that are bent and a little ragged, but holding strong. Brad Earl’s acrylic paintings of city storefronts are wonderful and warm, capturing the elegant architecture of a bygone era. Each one glows with sunlight and deep shadow, making them look almost three-dimensional.

There’s one strong painting of an atmospheric gallery interior, “Absorbing the Johnson Collection,” by Heather Lynn Gibson, that captures visitors in mid-gaze. It’s a strong composition that leaves you wanting to see more from the artist.

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

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

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