Though the posturing of his human subjects can border on the hackneyed, it's ultimately the landscape studies that anchor Marchesi's show. The artist is expert in finding a frame, and many will be startled to find such fascinating detail in environs they've come to view as mundane. The bold and unpredictable color palettes found in "Pink Shack, Widgery Wharf 2010" and "Catch a Piece of Maine, Portland Ocean Terminal 2010" find our wharves flashing a bit of incidental Rothko influence. "No Parking Sign" offers a witty and austere snapshot of the waterfront's contentious rules. It's a successful work that can challenge us by exposing the marvelous in the otherwise mundane, and Marchesi, with the help of a few age-old artistic anchors, does just that.

Nicholas Schroeder can be reached at nschroeder@phx.com.

"SLACK WATER" | photography by Mark Marchesi | Through May 26 | SPACE Gallery, 538 Congress St., Portland | 207.828.5600 |  space538.org

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