Insinuating circumstance 

Innuendo debuts eleven50's gallery space

Classy new Midtown lounge eleven50 has created a rather exclusive gallery inside its doors. The first show, Innuendo, was curated by local artist Candice Bennett. For the present, free viewing is by appointment only, with visits during club hours subject to a cover charge. Bennett hopes to loosen the shackles on gallery access in the near future.

Innuendo features Atlanta-based artists Jeffrey Conefry, Jenni Grant, Kojo Griffin, Charles Nelson, Robert Sherer and Alli Royce Soble. Their work means to illustrate how an indirect remark, gesture or visual reference speaks to layers of other meanings. Bennett describes innuendo as "the tangible fabric of both insinuation and unrealized guilt."

Dark storybook scenarios depicted in the work of Kojo Griffin are rife with such pathos. He makes a public record of private pain in his painting of a man shaking a small child. Charles Nelson turns up the volume on volatile social issues. Viewers who were invited to pose for Polaroids in front of a wall-sized acrylic painting found themselves appearing complicit in a crime. Instead of standing in front of a benign backdrop, they are dwarfed by the anonymous mid-section of the civil rights-era photo by Weegee, which documents a policeman subduing a black man.

In their transparent references to suggestive body language, photographs by Soble and Grant offer less to think about. Conefry's slightly impressionist painting of a passing truck also seems a weak link to Bennett's emotive theme. On the other hand, the female wrapped in a sheet and tied to a tree in Sherer's painting "Nuptial Not" intimates a dramatic gothic parable. And there is an infinity of implied meaning in the gesture of bodiless hands that center the blue landscape of his painting "Deluge."

The gallery in eleven50 is a separate space within the larger 40,000-square-foot complex, which houses a bistro, lounge, free-standing bars and a set up for film screenings, performance and multimedia productions. In its first life, the space was the Peachtree Playhouse. Successive nightclubs Petrus and Axis took advantage of interior courtyards, an Italian-style pool and the original architecture. Now, eleven50 means to capitalize on the same built-in vibes.

Upcoming events including Mixer, a multimedia event presented by the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center and IMAGE film and Video Center featuring experimental films and music by DJ Gnosis, Scanner and fascia, Nov. 17 from 9 p.m.-1 a.m. From Nov. 18-Dec. 30, Sublimation will feature video projects by Teresa Bramlette, fascia, Shannon Nowlan and Peter Pachano. Gallery eleven50 is located at 1150-B Peachtree St. (entrance on Crescent Avenue between 13th and 14th streets). Free viewing hours and tours available Mon.-Wed. by appointment only. From Thurs.-Fri. 8 p.m.-3 a.m. and Sat. 9 p.m.- 4 a.m., viewing subject to cover charge. For more information call 404-874-0428.

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