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Universal Appeal

Two celebrated artists aim to enlighten with exhibitions at Baldwin Gallery.

Matthew Ritchie, “Letter From a Traveler,” 2012, oil and ink on linen with vinyl decal, 18 1/8 inches by 22 inches; framed: 19 inches by 22 inches; overall with vinyl: 39.5 inches by 39 inches

Matthew Ritchie, “Writing in a Time of War,” 2012, oil and ink on linen with vinyl decal, 24 1/16 inches by 22 1/16 inches; framed: 24 15/16 inches by 22 15/16 inches; overall with vinyl: 52 inches by 39 inches

George Stoll, “Untitled (9 tumblers on a stepped corner pyramid) #2,” 2011, beeswax, paraffin, paint and plywood, 12 inches by 64 3/4 inches by 12 inches

B orn in London, and currently living and working in New York, Matthew Ritchie has devoted his artistic endeavor to representing the universe and the many veins that form humanity’s multifaceted experience of it. Compiling findings from physics, philosophy and ancient myth, Ritchie tells stories of the cosmos in the form of drawings, paintings, sculpture, architecture, set design, sound and performance. The artist, who frequently collaborates with composers like Hector Parra and musicians such as Aaron Dessner and Bryce Dessner of The National, describes his work as “paintings of songs, performances… and the forces of the universe at the same time.”

For Baldwin Gallery’s Slow Light exhibition, he will present sets of seven paintings, drawings and diagrams of various sizes that support his ongoing chronicle. Ritchie comments, “If we could see all the invisible forces that underlie the universe, we would witness these gorgeous spectacles.” The abstract, dreamlike depictions that result appear delicate and dazzling, yet they also allude to the overwhelming force of the vast realms beyond our reach.

Also on view at Baldwin Gallery will be an exhibition of work entitled Garden of Earthly Delights by Los Angeles-based artist George Stoll. A recipient of the prestigious Rome Prize, Stoll is recognized for his handmade sculptures of consumer goods, such as Christmas lights, party streamers, Tupperware, flags and sponges. These sculptures are meticulously crafted in materials like balsa wood and beeswax, elevating the composition of everyday objects.

Stoll’s Tupperware tumblers are the most celebrated of his collection of household items. They are elegant and minimal, yet their hues, which Stoll refers to as “America’s colors,” leave a strong impression. The vessels are typically arranged in white framed boxes or on multilevel pedestals to resemble altarpieces, though the works’ imperfections—a dimple here, the trace of finger marks there—are what make them precious, the ideal representation of a consumed good. Both July 26-Sept. 2, diagram workshop to accompany Ritchie’s exhibit, open to all ages, 209 S. Galena St., baldwingallery.com