Enamored with enamel: Glick shows her metal mettle

When Kristina Glick first exhibited her work at the McGuffey Art Center three years ago, her jewelry stole the show. She wowed viewers with necklaces that interspersed semi-precious stones with magnolia scales and abstract pendants that fused enamel and electroformed copper. Recognizing her unusual aesthetic and commitment to craft, Angelo quickly added Glick to its stable of artistic jewelers.

But when one’s jewelry is already on display, what does one show when given an art exhibit at the same venue? Glick’s solution in “Tangent to Earth,” currently on view at Angelo, is to highlight work similar to that which was overshadowed in her earlier McGuffey show: small enamel-on-metal paintings and larger prints created from such compositions.

“My work," Glick writes in her artist’s statement, "is a transformation of physical materials, such as metal and glass, into expressions of my relationships.”

She takes elements from the world around her— as large as train tracks cutting across a lonely landscape or as small as veins spreading across a leaf— and abstracts them to create fluid compositions that are emotionally evocative.

Glick’s pleasure in her materials is evident in the way she utilizes the colors and patterns created when heated copper oxidizes. She effectively contrasts the mottled yet matte flatness of the underlying metal with the glossy surface of the enamel paint, tracing lines through the once-liquid glass to create subtle sculptural dimensions. Oranges, sooty grays, reds, browns, and purples dominate Glick’s earthy palette, with the occasional appearance of aqua and green.

Three white enamel-on-steel pieces offer noteworthy exceptions. Refreshingly wintry, they include a startling departure from Glick’s normal approach. In “Ezekiel’s Mist,” a stencil of a sun-like gear radiates at the center of a pocked square of blackened steel overlaid with a silvery sheen. Stark and geometric, this simple composition is one of Glick’s strongest.

Less successful are Glick’s inkjet prints. Although the paper images elucidate the colors and fine details of her enamel-on-metal pieces, they lose the sculptural element and textural contrasts that make the smaller works so compelling. Enlarged and made two-dimensional, Glick’s compositions are pretty but less impressive, with the exceptions of “Tracks” and “Tangent to the Earth,” where oversized verticality works in their favor. 

Needless to say, Glick’s jewelry holds its own in Angelo’s glass cases, but it’s her enamel-on-metal works on the walls that currently command attention.

 Krstina Glick’s exhibit, “Tangent to Earth,” is on view through August 31 at Angelo, 220 E. Main St. on the Downtown Mall. 971-9256.