The paintings of Jonathan Lux, who makes realistic, expressionist work that could pass as film stills in a Tarantino picture, get a two-month nod beginning mid-January at the UNIVERSITY OF MAINE MUSEUM OF ART in Bangor. Titled "Fear and Play," his paintings discomfitingly address present-day concerns of omnipresent surveillance and military-industrial complexes. Lux is paired with the ovoid, free-standing cages of sculptor Joshua Enck in an exhibition that carries through March.

Most area galleries keep their new year exhibition schedules close to the vest, but a few intriguing names have popped out. In January, Portland's GALLERY 37-A exhibits an index of the work of Karen Gelardi, whose fabric work was last seen as part of the Andrea Zittel collective Smockshop. FORE RIVER GALLERY debuts "Pivot," an exhibition of provocative, phantasmagoric paintings by Daniel Meiklejohn, and in February, SPACE GALLERY brings inexpensive relief cuts and screenprints by Brooklyn's Cannonball Press. Many of these highlights occur before Memorial Day; then the fun really begins.

Nicholas Schroeder can be reached atnschroeder@phx.com.

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