Trained as a scientist, Allen Hirsh creates his own mathematical programs to distort images, producing work that harken back to the psychedelic era of the late 1960s. Hirsh’s images draw inspiration from more classical subjects such as the nude, still life, and landscape.
Says Hirsh, “The most powerful intellectual tool science has is mathematics. As a physical scientist I know that when a theorem about how the world works is put into the language of mathematics, unimagined results can be predicted by following the math where it leads. Computers enormously facilitate the process. I saw this as an opportunity to create a new kind of mathematical art, an art that allows me to microscopically meld and rearrange real world images – exploring the limits of beauty, strange transformations of the human form, and ways of making political and social statements. It is mathematics in the service of art.”
In “Secure Patterns,” photographer Kyle Tata continues his experimental use of analog photographic processes in a new body of work that explores the use of abstraction as a practical tool to conceal data. Using patterns derived from security tint envelopes – physical devices used to hide sensitive personal information from the human eye – Tata visually “encrypts” individuals in patterns that are applied to film during the photographic process, thereby masking his subjects while simultaneously producing an image. Tata’s in-process photographic manipulations create images that can be read as both photographic documents of reality and as hallucinatory, abstracted constructions. The “Secure Patterns” series investigates the notion that, within an increasingly immaterial culture, personal information can become as valuable as currency.
“Transmission from Terra Incognita” is the installation that resulted from a call and response initiated by artist Rachel Guardiola while she was living in the Arctic. From October 2016 to January 2017, the artist spent an extended period navigating through remote areas of Svalbard, an archipelago of Norway, and East Iceland, surrounded by icy desert wilderness where frozen strata hold histories of past prehistoric jungles. During this time, Guardiola sent out an email inquiry to individuals of diverse ages, genders, and origins, in which she asked them to describe their personal definitions of Paradise. “Transmission from Terra Incognita” is Guardiola’s interpretation of the collected responses. Her dreamy, intimate, and participatory installation makes use of trompe l’oeil photographs, object arrangements, theatrical lighting, and sound to evoke a sensory experience. The public is invited to continue the correspondence with the artist by contributing definitions of Paradise to the ongoing collection of narratives.
Hemphill presents “35 Days,” an exhibition offering contemporary work by living artists as well as what the gallery calls “historic work” from artists who have passed. Works by the following artists will be on view at the gallery through Aug. 11: Leon Berkowitz, William Christenberry, Steven Cushner, Thomas Downing, Torkwase Dyson, Sam Gilliam, James Huckenpahler, Hedieh Javanshir Ilchi, Linling Lu, Robin Rose, Anne Rowland, Renee Stout, Emma Tapley, and Julie Wolfe.
Through the Touchstone Foundation’s Touchstone@ArtSpace program, gallery artists created works of art with youth and adults at New Community ArtSpace in Shaw in April and May 2017. The children’s classes included painting Mondrian-style with Shelley Lowenstein and Claudia Samper; Rock City sculpture with Ann Gordon and Paula Lantz; story cloth printing on clay slabs with Susi Cora; and foam prints with Ellyn Weiss. The adult workshops included an introduction to intaglio printmaking with Carol Moore, monotype printing with Mary D. Ott, and landscape painting with Judith Guiliani. The works will be on display through July 30 at Touchstone’s Gallery B. For more information about the Touchstone Foundation’s Emerging Artist Fellowship and community outreach programs, visit www.touchstonefoundationdc.org.
Claudia Samper moved to northern Virginia with her family 20 years ago from Buenos Aires, Argentina. Trained as a graphic designer with a degree in architecture, Samper shifted her focus to the fine arts over the course of her career. In “Connecting the Dots,” Samper “de-contextualized and re-arranged” various objects, as she puts it, “in an attempt to create a new reality.” Her work makes use of binaries, often in opposition, to create classic dichotomies such as white and black, clear and opaque, or hard and soft. In this series, the artist has incorporated her observation of avian behavior, finding similarities with humans as we, like birds, interact, communicate, share, and fight. Using birds to symbolize these bifurcations, the artist states that she has attempted to “Question our sense of humanity.”
Exhibitions on View
Charles Krause Reporting Fine Art
NEW LOCATION: Dacha Loft Building
1602 Seventh St. NW, Second Floor, Washington, DC 20001
202-638-3612 | www.charleskrausereporting.com
Hours: Sat.-Sun., 1-6 p.m.
Exhibition schedule TBD
Gallery Neptune & Brown
1530 14th St. NW, Washington, DC 20005
202-986-1200 | www.neptunefineart.com
Hours: Wed.-Sat., noon to 7 p.m.; Sun., 1-4 p.m.
July 19-Sept. 2
“Summer Bounce 2” group exhibition
2118 Eighth St. NW, Washington, DC 20001
202-232-0203 | www.foundrygallery.org
Hours: Wed.-Sun., 1-7 p.m.; Fri., 3-9 p.m.
Through July 30
Allen Hirsh, “A Mathematically Transformed World”
1353 U St. NW, Washington, DC 20009
202-332-1116 | www.hamiltoniangallery.com
Hours: Tues.-Sat., noon to 6 p.m.
Through Aug. 5
Artist talk: Tues., July 18, at 7 p.m.
Rachel Guardiola, “Transmission from Terra Incognita”
Kyle Tata, “Secure Patterns”
Hemphill Fine Arts
1515 14th St. NW, Washington, DC 20005
202-234-5601 | www.hemphillfinearts.com
Hours: Tues.-Sat., 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Through Aug. 11
“35 Days” group exhibition
Long View Gallery
1234 Ninth St. NW, Washington, DC 20001
202-232-4788 | www.longviewgallerydc.com
Hours: Wed.-Sat., 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
Through Aug. 24
901 New York Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20001
202-347-2787 | www.touchstonegallery.com
Hours: Wed.-Fri., 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sat.-Sun., noon to 5 p.m.
Through July 30
Gallery A: Touchstone Gallery Member Show
Gallery B: Touchstone@ArtSpace Group Exhibition
Gallery C: Claudia Samper, “Connecting the Dots”
Phil Hutinet is the publisher of East City Art, dedicated to DC’s visual arts. For more information visit www.eastcityart.com.