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Glinka's 'Urban Totems' harness chaos

By Bonny Zanardi
San Mateo County Times
Thursday, March 9, 2006

PENINSULA artist Werner Glinka brings together natural and man-made materials in his mixed media collages and assemblages. His newest work can be seen in "Urban Totems" opening March 16 at the 1870 Art Gallery in Belmont.

There is an almost Japanese aesthetic to his works, which tend toward a limited color content and appealing simplicity of form. However, Glinka's juxtaposition of materials brings with it a complexity of conception, from the overshadowing effect of time to the richly diverse emotional and intellectual responses that can be called into play through symbolic association. Glinka's unnamed pieces might include such disparate elements as barbed wire and pearls.

Part of his intention in leaving the works untitled is to give the viewer sufficient freedom for his or her own response. In his artist statement, Glinka reveals how in the creation of his assemblages and collages "mundane objects and materials are forced to render their unexpected beauty." The tension in his works arises from the "paradox of order in contrast with entropy," the tendency toward randomness or decay.

The German-born artist, who works in his studio at the 1870 Art Center, has exhibited throughout the Bay Area.

A reception for the artist will be from 6 to 7 p.m. March 24. "Urban Totems" will show through April 30.

The gallery is at 1870 Ralston Ave. Hours are 1 to 5 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays, or by appointment by calling (650) 595-9679.