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Inside the Looking Glass


Michael Janis creates tableaux that reveal planes of existence in panes of glass. Using the ancient technique of sgraffito, Janis carefully applies layers of glass dust to a piece of kiln-worked glass and then scratches and carves his figures in the surface with scalpel blades and brushes. The level of detail is remarkable: Milky faces gaze ineffably out at this world, seemingly trapped in but not a part of the glass that holds them; tiny human forms float across a pale gray background, an etched magnifying glass hovering over one revealing eye sockets and even a discernable brow; the downy feathers of a bird's breast blend into the off-white of its stomach with a hint of ruffling. The longer you gaze into them, the more you see looking back at you. Michael Janis: New Work, a collection of the Washington D.C.-based artist's recent work opens with a free public reception from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, May 15, at the Duane Reed Gallery's new location in the Central West End (4729 McPherson Avenue; 314-361-4100 or The show remains up through Saturday, June 13, and the gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday.
Tuesdays-Saturdays. Starts: May 15. Continues through June 13, 2009