Baltimore’s newest contemporary art space, sophiajacob, has opened in a gorgeous storefront on Franklin Street. Directors David Armacost, Jordan Bernier, and Steven Riddle have chosen a three-person show featuring Ariel Dill of New York, Leah Mackin of Philadelphia, and Zach Storm of Baltimore as their first offering. All three artists have a practice based in studio work and abstraction. Painting, drawing, and printmaking are all represented here in works that are detailed, layered, and engaging while foregoing preciousness. These are artist’s artists, and observing the sense of experimentation and care that they obviously bring to their practice makes one want to go and make art of their own. Smart curatorial choices here help to simultaneously highlight the visual connections between the three artists, and create moments of focus for each one.
Ariel Dill, who also has a solo show up right now at Southfirst in Brooklyn, paints primarily in acrylic and oil (she has watercolor pieces on display, as well). Acrylic washes form a ground on top of which Dill applies oil in stretched out grids and lines or snaking mosaic patterns. Dill paints mostly in a standard size of 20 x 16 inches, a uniformity which allows the viewer to really focus in on these patterns and discover relationships between paintings.
Leah Mackin has a book/zine and a few individual pieces on a nearby wall on display. Particularly successful in the case of the book, Mackin’s works create a mesmerizing photocopied vortex.
Zach Storm employs a variety of techniques and media in making his art, but this show displays works from his “Portraits” series, colored pencil and graphite line drawings built up to form sculptural volumes of women’s hair. Displayed in the primary exhibition space on a wooden table, and in a small space on its own on a wall in the back of the gallery, the works are a pleasure to peer over and examine or walk up to and watch glow and resonate.
inaugural will be on display until May 27th. sophiajacob is located at 510 Franklin (near the H & H), hours are by appointment.
Thanks to sophiajacob for the images.