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Posted at 11:35 AM ET, 03/08/2012

Art in focus: ‘The Sum of the Parts’

Made of clay and yarn, Emily Barletta's “Untitled (fingers)” is one of several works by the artist that evoke body parts. (Michael O'Sullivan)
Multiplicity — the repetition of smaller component parts to create a larger whole — is central to a lot of art, from the terra-cotta army of Chinese emperor Qin Shihuangdi to Andy Warhol’s soup cans. It’s the unifying element that ties four artists together in“The Sum of the Parts,” a fine group show at Baltimore’s Maryland Art Place. Using fiber, ceramics, hand-cut paper, drawing and installation, artists Emily Barletta, Jerry Kaba, Lauren Clay and Nikki Painter each create works that gain power, in different ways, through the accumulation of parts.

Read my review of the show, and check out a sampling of images after the jump. Or just head on up there on Saturday to check it out yourself, and sit in on a free knitting and crochet workshop, plus an opportunity to meet the curator, Amy Boone-McCreesh.

Barletta’s “Pelt” (seen in this detail) resembles microscopic cells writ large. The process of crochet, which uses small units to build a larger whole, mimics the growth of biological organisms. (Michael O'Sullivan)

Hundreds of hand-cut paper strips, painted with acrylic, combine to form Lauren Clay's “Peggotty.” (Michael O'Sullivan)

The tension between the one and the many lends visual interest to Clay’s “Lonely Rainbow Picket Holding the Ten Thousand Things.” a sculptural installation made of foam and cut paper. (Michael O'Sullivan)

Made of roughly cast ceramic, Jerry Kaba's “Toms River” (foreground) comments on the impersonal sameness of manufactured goods. (Michael O'Sullivan)

Kaba’s “Outmoded” is a pile of seemingly discarded and obsolete industrial objects, whose purpose we can only guess at. (Michael O'Sullivan)

Nikki Painter’s punningly titled installation “Play” has both a childlike simplicity and a theatrical sense of drama. It’s like an abstract drawing, rendered in 3D. (Michael O'Sullivan)

Painter contributes several drawings to “The Sum of the Parts.” In the artist’s signature style, “Tilt” creates a sense of architectural space that feels at once impossible and plausible. (Michael O'Sullivan)

By  |  11:35 AM ET, 03/08/2012

Categories:  Events, Museums

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