Art Capsule Reviews

Cryptozoology: Out of Time Place Scale A cryptid is a creature like Bigfoot or the Loch Ness Monster — that is, lost, rumored or thought to be extinct. Cryptozoology is a science — or pseudoscience, depending on whom you ask — that studies such creatures. A real-life cryptozoologist named Loren Coleman joins 17 artists from around the world in a tribute to the human imagination and the seductive attraction of the unknown. Among the animals not to be missed in this surreal zoo: Rachel Berwick’s 4-million-year-old Coelacanth and her extinct Australian thylacine, Walman Corr;êa’s Ondina mermaid and Mark Swanson’s Yeti. The exhibit takes a turn for the tragic with Rosamund Purcell’s images of conjoined and disfigured human twins. And the section devoted to Coleman’s work goes beyond art: He claims to believe that a lot of these cryptids — including the Chupacabra of X-Files fame — really exist. Through Dec. 20 at the H&R Block Artspace, 16 E. 43rd St., 816-472-4852. (S.R.)

Lacey Lewis: Repression and Revelation Lacey Lewis eschews fancy aesthetic theories for flesh-and-blood humanity and symbolism that doesn’t require a philosophical middleman. The female body is Lewis’ favorite subject matter, and this exhibition collects several of her oil paintings and monochromes, most of which stand on their own as perceptive character studies of individual women (the most striking being “Judith With the Head of Holofernes”). Lewis’ figures deals as much with the outer form of the person as with her subjective inner life. For the viewer, her work becomes something like a mirror. Through Nov. 25 at the Pi Gallery, 419 E. 18th St. (S.R.)

Anne Lindberg: Parallels. “Trajectory,” the stainless-steel, pine and acrylic work that takes up the east wall of the Dolphin gallery, is a lot of things, but interesting is not one of them. Metal wires, weighted until they bow, seem to puncture the wall, their layers recalling a farmer’s crop. The beauty in the work’s simplicity struggles against its lack of human presence. Lindberg’s other work, on the opposite wall, feels just as cold. Through Dec. 30 at Dolphin, 1901 Baltimore, 816-842-5877. (A.E.F.)

Chad Mount, Ruth Ann Borum and Josh Heilaman: In Consideration of Creatures, Ladies, and Aqua Babies. This playful, occasionally moving show is aptly titled. Chad Mount’s amoebalike forms convey sadness and grief with their mere posture. The more discernable features of Heilaman’s painted creatures (aqua babies) show the heavy influence of graffiti art and DJ culture. Borum’s women are grotesque and beautiful at the same time, their exaggerated, pixielike facial features sitting nobly atop wormlike necks in her well-executed portraits. Through Dec. 16 at Grothaus and Pearl Gallery, 2012 Baltimore, 816-471-1015. (A.E.F.)

Nora Othic: New work With just a hint of Thomas Hart Benton, University of Missouri-Columbia graduate Nora Othic mines the Midwestern landscape with a delightfully skewed eye. Her subjects — big men in denim (lots of denim), rugged women ready to wrestle in Jell-O, various farm animals — barely squeeze into the frames, which lends a slight absurdity to the paintings. Through Nov. 30 at the Late Show, 1600 Cherry, 816-531-8044. (R.T.B.)

Michael Schonhoff: Ground Rules and Capsules A good show built around found objects is hard to pull off. We know that Michael Schonhoff is telling us a story with the handcart in “Carry the Load,” the treadmill in “Mill of Powerlessness” and the numerous gelatin capsules (filled with cocoa, soy, hemp, corn and sugar) spread on top of various components of this exhibition (a disheveled bed, a snowy television). We also know that that story has a moral to it — Schonhoff writes that his work “evolved from ideas about our relationship with energy” — and we’re prompted to reflect about waste, excess and power. But the coy storyteller fails to lift his materials beyond banality. Where is the artist who owns all this stuff? Through Nov. 30 at the Thornhill Gallery, 11901 Wornall. (S.R.)

Categories: A&E