"Mechanick Exercises"

Through Oct. 17

Colin Van Winkle's wooden sculptures look like well-preserved remnants or fragments from a woodworker's shop, in part because of their mystery—we want to think that there was at some point a form or function behind them. In 'Placking Horse,' two pieces of wood are joined in a T shape and stand on three wooden legs, while three short, simple supports come out of the top of this T shape at different points, each holding up a long, thin piece of wood. Those thin pieces are all cut into distinctive shapes. At first glance, we'd believe it if you told us that this thing used to serve some utilitarian purpose, but in trying to figure out what it might do, we get distracted by each component's attractive shape and clean craftsmanship. Inspired by the early 18th century "Mechanick Exercises: Or, the Doctrine of Handy-Works" by Joseph Moxon—a book on various trades, such as blacksmithing and cabinetry and others—Van Winkle uses techniques from 300 years ago and tries to reconcile craftsmanship with today's abstract aesthetics. C. Grimaldis Gallery, 523 N. Charles St., (410) 539-1080, cgrimaldisgallery.com, free. (Rebekah Kirkman)

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