Poetry in the abstract

Grimm's sculptures a perfect fit for Solomon Projects' refurbished space

What could be more wondrous than a great white space in which to float one's dream of beauty? That's the setting for new work by Brooklyn-based sculptor Lynda Grimm, whose solo show marks the reopening of Solomon Projects in Midtown.

Already established as home to some of the most inventive shows in town, Solomon Projects has bloomed into a remarkable New York-style gallery, only better, because it's here. Nancy Solomon re-envisioned the venue with Atlanta architects David Yocum and Brian Bell. After months of work, the place feels entirely fresh. In the roomy master gallery, the original pressed tin ceiling vaunts the building's original skylight. An added angle of wood on one edge of the skylight directs a cascade of natural light into the room.

This configuration of space seems made to order for Grimm's sensual sculptures. Whether suspended from the ceiling or wall-mounted, her forms describe figurative, architectural and spatial relationships. Varying weights and lengths of steel cable position the works at shoulder level, placing the sculptures in dynamic rapport with the viewer, who must resist the urge to test their physicality.

Grimm's primary medium is wood — pine, oak, poplar, maple, cedar and ash. She does much of the cutting, chiseling, carving, soaking and bending herself. Surfaces are treated with gesso, oil paint and dry pigment, creating chalky, powdery, satin or luminescent finishes. Stacked and balanced, the sculptures often resemble stones, seeds and pods or handmade clay beads.

In "Grove," round, rough-edged shapes are strung together in four rows and hung from the wall. The dark pod shapes look as if they were just unearthed from the bed of a giant's forest. "Cloche" (bell, in French) is a warm red seed, its pregnant shape hints that the form might emit a tonal sound if struck. Woven from lengths of clear maple and reed, the almost transparent "Nest" recalls a vintage beehive. "Sibila's" dark, dull form is pumpkin-sized and cracked along one side like a huge lump of charred wood. The vaguely gleaming "Misericordia" might be a string of prehistoric pearls, while the two "stones" in "Dolmen" allude to a megalithic tomb.

These are all impressive transfigurations of wood and plaster. Even more than in her earlier work, Grimm's sculptures refuse confinement to one sensation. "Fugue" is the absolute masterpiece. Arching from the wall beneath the skylight, 11 slender branches in deep-hued indigo create a symphonic vision of light and space. Hovering in this new space, "Fugue" invites both an intimate and universal response, suggesting fantastic possibilities for poetry in the sculptural abstract.

New sculpture by Lynda Grimm through Jan. 5 at Solomon Projects, 1037 Monroe Drive. Tues-Sat. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. 404-875-7100. www.solomonprojects.com.??