Foundry Gallery’s February line-up includes several member artists who joined the gallery in 2018. The exhibition includes works on view by Vu Nguyen, a painter whose abstracts mourn ecological disasters in his native Vietnam; Lavely Miller-Kershman’s powerful portraits of anguished subjects; Teresa Jarzynski’s floral still-lifes and Hester Ohbi’s abstract interpretations of austere mountain landscapes.
In “Old Bad Air,” a reference taken from Ralph Ellison’s novel “Invisible Man,” Antonio McAfee compulsively arranges a series of manipulated black-and-white images of black men and women from the 19th century. The artist enhances the ghostly qualities of the photographs by removing parts of each image and in some cases the entire face. McAfee has cut out each figure unevenly, in a frenzied manner, as if using scissors hurriedly to avoid being seen by his subjects. The result proves fascinating – rows and columns of people of color gaze upon their audience, asking for history to be revisited, for them to be reconsidered and for the past not to be forgotten.
In “A Hand Without a Horizon Is Taller Than Its Other,” Rachel Guardiola, like many contemporary artists, explores the relationship between human beings and the natural world. However, unlike many of her contemporaries, Guardiola takes a science-fiction-like approach. The first of several installments, in this exhibition the artist has created a series of characters who explore an earthlike planet which they discover and recultivate after the planet had been transformed, presumably by its vanished inhabitants, into a post-industrial wasteland.
Long View Gallery
Sarah Gee Miller uses collaged styrene, a type of plastic that comes in large sheets, as her medium. The regularity of the medium allows the artist to control her palette by ensuring large swatches of colors remain homogenous and certain. In contrast with the other colored forms, the homogeneity allows her paradoxically to create contrasting forms. The layering of her work leads to what she calls “topographical collage.” Miller cites both First Nations and Pacific Coast modernism as sources of influence in her work. Her circular forms on view at Long View Gallery are reminiscent of Washington Color School painters who came before her, like Kenneth Noland or more recently Linling Lu at Hemphill Fine Art in the fall of 2017.
Florida-based Chris Robb uses paint in its rawest form, allowing the medium to move freely as he applies it. Robb’s works resembles street art in the manner in which he applies the paint. The medium crowds the canvas, and the many forms created by the artist during the process collide with one-another, creating clusters or bursts of color that shift, drip and force the viewer’s eyes to move across the canvas.
Kaori Takamura, based in Arizona, transitioned from a career in graphic design to one in fine art. Yet, the ritualistic, repetitive use of symbols and icons prolific in the visual language of graphic designers appears ubiquitously in her work. She produces mostly mixed-media abstracts using painting and what the artist calls a “stitching technique” that employs silk-screened elements, embroidery and letterforms sewn onto the canvas.
“Landscapes: The Terrain Within” by Rosemary Luckett is the northern Virginia-based artist’s seventh solo exhibition with the gallery. In this series, the artist focuses on architypes, heroes and mythical figures known across global cultures. The characters she depicts represent her subconscious and collectively tell a story of the artist’s “becoming.” “This work has been a long-term art undertaking that relies on dream interpretation and self-reflection,” explains the artist. “Over time, I imagined myself as each guide or hero described by Carol Pearson in her book ‘Awakening the Heroes Within.’” Influenced by Pearson, Luckett’s process uses quiet meditation followed by sketches of preliminary work, eventually yielding larger-format works, mostly painted in acrylic.
In “The Pursuit of Balance,” Elaine Florimonte continues to dialogue with the notion of balance by paying particular attention the horizon line and its ability to provide a consistent reference point. However, the artist seeks to move beyond the aesthetics of the horizon and the representational qualities of its placement within a landscape. In yoga or meditation sessions, instructors encourage students to focus on a “drishti point” or a single location either on a wall, if doing yoga, or in the mind, if mediating, to retain one’s balance with the former and one’s concentration with latter. Florimonte uses the horizon as her drishti point. It provides stability in an uncertain and rapidly changing world filled with upheaval. The artist expresses this desire for balance poignantly in the painting “Meet Me in Blue.” In this work, the deep, scar-like marks of the foreground and the cool colored hues seemingly express uncertainty and a somber mood, yet the horizon stays constant, providing a sense of balance aided by a few errant hues of warming yellows in the middle and lower portions of the picture plane.
Exhibitions on View
Charles Krause Reporting Fine Art
NEW LOCATION: Dacha Loft Building
1602 Seventh St. NW, Second Floor
202-638-3612 | www.charleskrausereporting.com
Hours: Weekends, 1-6 p.m.
Exhibition schedule TBD
Gallery Neptune & Brown
1530 14th St. NW
202-986-1200 | www.neptunefineart.com
Hours: Wed. to Sat.: 12-7 p.m.
Through March 3
Michael Craig-Martin, “Quotidian: Editions”
2118 Eighth St. NW
202-232-0203 | www.foundrygallery.org
Hours: Wed. to Sun.: 1-7 p.m.
Through Feb. 25
“Here and Elsewhere” new members show
1353 U St. NW
202-332-1116 | www.hamiltoniangallery.com
Hours: Tues. to Sat.: 12-6 p.m.
Through Feb. 17
Antonio McAfee, “Old Bad Air”
Rachel Guardiola, “A Hand Without a Horizon Is Taller Than Its Other”
Hemphill Fine Arts
1515 14th St. NW
202-234-5601 | www.hemphillfinearts.com
Hours: Tues. to Sat.: 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Through March 24
Willem de Looper
Through Feb. 17
Steve Cushner, “DOUBLE DOWN, Show No. 1”
Long View Gallery
1234 Ninth St. NW, Washington DC 20001
202-232-4788 | www.longviewgallerydc.com
Hours: Wed. to Sat.: 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
Through Feb. 25
“New Year, New Artists”
901 New York Ave. NW
202-347-2787 | www.touchstonegallery.com
Hours: Wed. to Fri.: 11 a.m.-6 p.m. | Weekends: 12-5 p.m.
Through Feb. 25
Elaine Florimonte, “The Pursuit of Balance”
Rosemary Luckett, “Landscapes: The Terrain Within”
Phil Hutinet is the publisher of East City Art, dedicated to DC’s visual arts. For more information visit www.eastcityart.com.