Delivering American University's news and views since 1925. | Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Zenith Gallery presents ‘The Strange World of Cassie Taggart’

Zenith Gallery presents ‘The Strange World of Cassie Taggart’

The Zenith Gallery, located in Silver Spring, is not your ordinary wait-in-line, pay at the door kind of exhibition. The gallery is located in the home of Margery Goldberg, who converted her house into an art salon, creating a cozy and intimate environment for exhibits. The gallery opened its doors to “The Strange World of Cassie Taggart” on Nov. 15 with an afternoon reception joined by the artist and a tour from Goldberg herself.

Although the gallery sits along an ordinary residential street, it offers anything but the customary. Massive sculptures sit in its front yard, including a multi-colored carriage carved with astonishing detail.

The doors opened to a whole new world that feels like stepping into a forbidden dimension. Every room is filled with art. Tapestries hung in on walls as sculptured furniture took the place of a regular worn-out couch. The possibility of your eyes locking with a plain white wall are slim to none, since every space is occupied by a painting of some sort.

Small steps lead down to the basement, where Taggard enjoyed wine and crackers with a small crowd chatting about her paintings and sculptures. Her paintings seemed to almost blend into the walls and perfectly assimilate to the style of the gallery itself. That is, until taking a closer look and realizing that what Taggard depicts are bizarre scenes with even more bizarre objects.

Her most talked about piece “The Meeting,” hung center stage, a depiction of a naked woman lying down surrounded by three men in suits, one caressing her strawberry blonde hair. Perhaps the reason this piece stands apart from the rest is the fact that her other paintings mostly depict women in domestic places “so rich with objects they border on cramped,” according to her artist statement.

When Taggard was asked why the words “go” and “away” were carved into the only objects in the painting, she explained, “I wish to incorporate the element of confusion.” In exploring all her other paintings that seem melancholy at first glance, she certainly keeps true to this notion of creating confusion. She got the inspiration for this piece from a bachelor party she had attended, where the stripper had so much control over the guests that she was taken aback.

The last stop on the Zenith Gallery tour was the home’s backyard, where Goldberg converted her swimming pool into a full blown sculpture exhibit. The walls are painted green and blue and there are steps leading down to the 4 feet deep enclosure. Goldberg takes pride in the fact that there are only a handful of these “pool exhibits”.

Goldberg revolutionizes the meaning of an art gallery by inviting the public into her cozy Iris Street home to enjoy an evening of art and friendly talk. The level of comfort she provides is beyond any other galleries, along with her charming personality that makes the experience even more indulging.

Zenith Gallery is located on 1429 Iris Street NW. It is open Fridays and Saturdays, 12-6 p.m. and all other times are by appointment.

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