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If it surprises us a bit, so much the better: This modest but intriguing exhibition of nine abstract artists' work demands our responsive interaction. For instance, D'Arrigo's large piece, more than 5 feet long and partly covered with a plasterlike material, quickly takes on different identities: One moment it conjures up the parched, white throat of a beached whale, the next it looks like a giant flower's pistil. (D'Arrigo's wall sculpture "Dependent No. 2," with a knotty cluster of dark, podlike forms, is a much less successful effort. )
Both Michael Kessler and Michael Tetherow employ biomorphic shapes in their paintings. In Kessler's "Grasps," a scratched and sanded painting on wood, two elongated forms seem to struggle for their rightful relationship to the teeming atmosphere surrounding them. Tetherow's forms look more distinctly like primitive, microscopic life - oddly beautiful paramecia floating in a watery world.
While many of these pieces are intentionally amorphous in image or shape, Peter Brown's elegant, painted wood sculptures and Ellen Wiener's small, contained canvases have a decided precision about them. Brown's wall pieces, painted in subtly shimmering, almost marbleized hues, look like animal tusks or horns, perhaps used as symbols or talismen. His simple, sinuous "Earth and Sky," a U-shape pressed in and thinned toward the top, is especially lovely.