Blake Gopnik reviews Baltimore artist Christine Bailey's new exhibit of paintings found in a Baltimore coporate lobby (100 East Pratt Street) in today's Washington Post. The exhibit is a collection of paintings by Bailey made to look exactly like those of another Baltimore painter, Cara Ober. Interesting choice. Bailey's inspiration comes from the corporate model of the "designer replica" and intends to see if it translates to the business of art. In other words, Bailey seeks to be the Old Navy to Ober's The Gap. As the article points out, Ober does not take kindly to this.
Oddly, Gopnick declares the exhibit "one of the most stimulating local shows I've seen in ages." Seriously, Blake? It's just a concept show. It builds an obvious fence between those who believe Bailey has created an intreguing experiement, and those who consider her work fake and unoriginal. Heck, you can choose the side of the fence you sit on without even seeing the exhibit. In my mind, this does not qualify it as "the most stumulating" of shows. Tintilating? Yes, briefly. Newsworthy? Sort of. Provocative? Barely. I'd rather judge how stimulating an exhibit is by actually attending it rather than by reading about its concept in the newspaper.
FYI: Cara Ober will open a new show of her work at the Randall Scott Gallery in DC on March 8.