- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 21, 2003

In the Washington area, work by still another major black artist, Joseph Halston, joins that of Romare Bearden — who is showing at the National Gallery of Art. The Halston exhibit, Dialogue in Color & Form — The Art of Joseph Halston, is at the University of Maryland College Art Gallery. Unlike Mr. Bearden, the 59-year-old Mr. Halston honed his artistic skills in the Washington area as well as in Tanzania where he developed his colorful, flat-planed style. In “Merry-go-Round II,” he patterns the painting with interlocking, angular planes heightened with pinks, oranges and cobalt blues. At the UMUC gallery, Inn and Conference Center, Adelphi, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily through Feb. 1. Free. 301/985-7937.

Joanna Shaw-Eagle

Sylvia extends the string of knowing and absorbing recent movies about literary women to three. Unlike “Iris” two years ago and “The Hours” last year, it also enjoys the advantage of an undiluted concentration on one leading lady: Gwyneth Paltrow in a touching and harrowing impersonation of Sylvia Plath, recalled during her whirlwind courtship and then doomed marriage to fellow poet Ted Hughes — vividly embodied by Daniel Craig, who also possesses a deep and melodious voice. The couple met in Cambridge in 1956 and separated in Devon six years later. Their two children were still very young when Miss Plath committed suicide in 1963. The trajectory from youthful passion and aspiration to mutual disenchantment and estrangement is eloquently summarized by screenwriter John Brownlow and director Christine Jeffs, who seem to know the subjects well enough to resist picking sides in their calamity. With commendable supporting performances by Blythe Danner as Aurelia Plath and Jared Harris as A. Alvarez. Exclusively at the Cineplex Odeon Outer Circle and Landmark Bethesda Row.

Gary Arnold

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