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July21, 1985

Philadelphia Inquirer
On galleries

"New talent is spotlighted in annual summer show"
by Victoria Donohoe
    The custom of presenting group shows of new talent during the summer is not as widespread here as in other cities, but it has a strong advocate in Marian Locks Gallery. In its 16th annual New talent Show, Locks spotlights six young artists, and it has a fairly extensive body of work from each one. Gary Robbins could be considered a 'difficult' artis4 and this how gives the public at least alighting chance to become better acquainted with his style.
His walk-in room environment teeming with overgrown shapes and arched passages, focuses on spirited content and personal myth. Half genre and half social symbols, his people an appear rather fiendish. Painted vehemently, infused with emotional purpose and suggesting some sort of brazen social comment that never be comes expM4 this installation intrigues the viewer more on sociological than painterly terms. With the flair of a stage-set designer, Robbins mms the passing scene into spectacle and entertainment. From work that so intensely projects emotional forces, we move to the fragile inventiveness of Richard Stevens, who has devised a process to make photogravure images from single flowers or other plant forms. A general contractor in the field of restoration carpentry, Stevens had been investigating the interrelation ship between photography and philosophy for six years. The up shot of that research, these images look as if they were etched with the thinnest of filament lines. Nancy Fried's work is a reminder that approaches to sculpture are now wide open. In that field, no single way of looking at things is being pushed, as new-wave painting has been lately by a small well-heeled circle of enthusiasts. Here the peculiar ornate ness of Fried's painted clay pieces are balanced between art nou veau and something more new and interesting. She has captured the spirit of a pre-Romantic
artisan here,

    It's a complete change of pace to see next Kurt Solmssen's high contrast sunny winter afternoon landscapes of Manayunk and vicinity . Done outdoors, these big paintings derive from the old masters their ideals and their wish to elevate their subject. Solmssen's art is concerned with physical presence. He looks as if he might be ready to explore the possibilities of a new narrative, as so many serious artists are doing today. His vigorous talents seem starved for tasks more demanding than the
mere rehearsal of form.
Annabelle Meacham, mean while, is a different kind of realist who favors still lifes painted with a sharply defined verisimilitude. This she combines with a broad and rhythmically decorative patterning and a touch of humor and sentiment. John Carlano, a photographer, here turns to the medium of collage. He pieces his small pictures together pertly, nonchalantly from many small graphic-looking and sometimes painterly parts with a certain gestural elan and conviction.
Marian Locks Gallery, IS24 Walnut St. 546-0322. Monday to Friday 10am. to 5 p.m. $225 to $1,500. Through Aug. 31.