Four by Four 

Work by Anton Weiss, Jared Small, Cathy Lancaster, and Demetrius Oliver.

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In his L Ross Gallery exhibition "Fortitude," Anton Weiss takes the long view. Dark, cratered moons float above sienna and umber worlds. Loosely knit, ragged rectangles look like city-states coalescing and decaying, like civilizations rising and falling.

A scarred metal rectangle reinforces the bottom edge of one of Weiss' most expressive works, Fortitude #5. Long slender lines of horizon, cut deep into the painting's metal surface, divide a glowing earth from a luminous sky. Another rectangle at the top of the work dissolves into the soft-gray background.

Tested and tempered as a child in Yugoslavia during WWII, Weiss has learned the art of "fortitude" — how to live creatively and with conviction — what Weiss describes as being "always in revolt, looking for new, individual forms of expression." Through March 31st

Jared Small's David Lusk show "Ramshackled Perfection" strikes viewers with a revelation: Sunlight transforms the most modest dwelling into a thing of beauty. Small also paints complex portraits of childhood. The child crowned with a silver tiara in It's My Party folds her arms across her pink taffeta gown and slumps against a wall that sags, bleeds, dissolves. She looks baffled by her parents' demand that she play the part of princess when her home is no castle. Through March 28th In her Perry Nicole exhibition, "Color Me Beautiful," abstract impressionist Cathy Lancaster paints orange-reds that glow like hearths next to melting fields of snow in Winter. Her greens pulse with the light of sap rising in the fields of Spring. But the power of these paintings lies in their subtlety. Lancaster's faintly drawn boundaries feel permeable. Her amorphous shapes hover and brush gently against one another. There's lots of room in these paintings to pause and breathe, to immerse ourselves in Lancaster's radiant washes of color. Through March 31st Demetrius Oliver asks us to entertain several points of view simultaneously as we explore worlds within worlds in "Sidereal," his mixed-media exhibition at Clough-Hanson Gallery.

For the hauntingly original installation Almanac, scenes from the artist's studio were reflected onto the surfaces of teakettles and photographed.

In one of the "teakettle" images, the artist's camera sits on Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass and in another on top of Hazrat Inayat Khan's The Mysticism of Sound and Music. The camera's viewfinder looks at viewers looking at Oliver looking for new ways to understand the world.

Just when we think Oliver's getting too esoteric, he pulls us back into the "real" world with wry, raw humor as he wraps uncooked bacon around his finger and blows into a trumpet.

Instead of sublime music or angelic choirs in the digital video Harmonic Spheres, you'll hear what sound like tectonic plates grinding, foghorns blasting, and muffled trumpets wailing. The camera zooms in and out of smoke and slowly pans a dark globe that proves to be the back of Oliver's head rather than the orbiting planets suggested by the title. Through March 27th


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