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Monday, May 20, 2024

Depeche Art

Foundry Gallery
Kurtis Ceppetelli and Matthew Malone, also known as Duly Noted Painters, work in tandem on largescale paintings, often three feet or more in height and length, using recycled canvases and household paints. The duo has focused much of their work over the years on figurative painting, with subjects ranging from portraits to grouping of subjects often interacting in various settings. In their latest series for Foundry Gallery, titled “Model Compositions: (conjunction of the figure),” they worked from nude models allowed to pose freely, enabling a visual dialogue to take shape as the artists painted.

Kurtis Ceppetelli and Matthew Malone, “The Bather.” Charcoal and latex on canvas, 52 x 74 inches.

The duo explains that they “use the drawings as pivot points for paintings, never knowing the end result. Figures conjoin with each other to create their own reality from one painting to the next. The same pose is repeated in a few paintings to bring out a different perspective and feeling.” As they note, “We initially give each piece a central figure and introduce more information in the form of additional figures and objects. Then we dissect or eliminate elements, creating a world for the figure to exist. At a certain point the painting develops a voice and begins to speak to us, telling us what it needs. And this ultimately guides us toward the finished work.”

In this series, as in past ones, the human figure dominates the picture plane, rendering any other painted object incidental. The artists use primary colors with bold, warm hues to shape the charcoal-outlined figures, while cooler colors and gray-black hues form the negative space and backgrounds around their subjects.

Magali Hebert-Huot, “Untitled (Swinging Bundle Yellow),” 2018. Expanding foam, rope and 3-D printed hardware, dimensions variable. Image: Hamiltonian Gallery

Quebec City native and artist Magali Hebert-Huot imagines what it must have been like for the first French explorers to experience the New World when they landed in present-day Canada. In “Les Grandes Etendues” (French for “vast expanses”), the artist has created a series of “mises-en-scenes,” or stage settings. Through the use of sculpture, Hebert-Huot attempts to convey what the first explorers must have felt were the never-ending winters, desolate landscapes and prolonged periods of solitude. Sculptures include replicas of firewood, a winter cabin and, naturally, snow and ice. The viewer is guided through this recreated landscape through travelogs written by Hebert-Huot and fellow artist Tommy Bobo, which they created based on accounts of the first explorers.

Michael Crossett. Image: Long View Gallery

Long View Gallery
Michael Crossett seeks that which remains in an ever-changing world. His father’s career in the Air Force led the family to move all over the world and the United States, during Crossett’s childhood, a period of life often seen as the most stable and rooted. These experiences have informed Crossett’s work. Initially, he captured ephemerality through photography, which eventually led him to create mixed-media prints using more traditional methods of superimposing subjects such as screen printing, versus the use of more modern techniques such as computer-based digital software programs

Michael Crossett. Image: Long View Gallery

For “Fair Card Value,” Crossett’s new solo exhibition at Long View Gallery, the artist examines DC’s transforming urban landscape, superimposing the old with the new. Says Crossett, “As DC continues to transform, I am drawn to the contrast of historic and contemporary architecture and design, commercialism and the energy that surrounds me. In a way, I am my own architect by creating new structures that juxtapose photography and found images with relevant and most often commercial symbols and icons. They shouldn’t always go together but do – one of the reasons I love graffiti. If it wasn’t illegal, I’d be doing it all the time.”

The subject matter of his work, mostly architectural, incorporating urban elements such as street signs, vertiginously places one object over the next, repeatedly and carefully ensuring that the last image does not fully obstruct the ones below. As on a well-“written” graffiti wall, the layered elements create a sense of movement and buzzing energy like the city from which they were inspired. 

Steve Alderton’s “Pair-ings” marks a major milestone in the artist’s career, his 25th anniversary with Touchstone Gallery. This series combines previous work with the artist’s more recent painting trajectory. As the title of the exhibition suggests, the artist has paired a series of objects, in this instance past and present work. As Alderton explains, “’Pair-ings’ focuses on the chemistry (or synergy) that results when select works of art are brought together. The chemistry can result from similarities or dissimilarities. Combining works can expand on a narrative or lead to an artful clash that wakes-up the pieces. Most importantly, a mix of artworks engages viewers because they are compelled to compose a story to explain the chemical interaction.”

Michelle Frazier, “Hand of Life.” Image: Touchstone Gallery

To aid in this endeavor, Alderton has invited sculptor Michelle Frazier to exhibit alongside his solo exhibition in a concurrent manner; this too is a pairing of sorts between the two artists. Frazier’s work, according to Alderton, pairs stone with the figure, creating yet another opportunity for duality, dialogue and “chemistry.”

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 from 1 to 6 p.m.
Exhibition schedule TBD

Gallery Neptune & Brown
1530 14th St. NW
202-986-1200 | www.neptunefineart.com
Hours: Wed. to Sat.: noon to 7 p.m.
Summer exhibition schedule TBD

Foundry Gallery
2118 Eighth St. NW
202-232-0203 | www.foundrygallery.org
Hours: Wed. to Sun.: 1 to 7 p.m.
Through July 1
Kurtis Ceppetelli and Matthew Malone, “Model Compositions: (conjunction of the figure)”

Magali Hebert-Huot. “Untitled (L’Hiver Est Long),” 2018. Hydrocal, dimensions variable. Image: Hamiltonian Gallery

Hamiltonian Gallery
1353 U St. NW
202-332-1116 | www.hamiltoniangallery.com
Hours: Tues. to Sat.: noon to 6 p.m.
Through June 30
Magali Hebert-Huot, “Les Grandes Etendues”

Hemphill Fine Arts
1515 14th St. NW
202-234-5601 | www.hemphillfinearts.com
Hours: Tues. to Sat.: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Through June 9
“More or Less” group exhibition

Long View Gallery
1234 Ninth St. NW
202-232-4788 | www.longviewgallerydc.com
Hours: Wed. to Sat.: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Through July 8
Michael Crossett, “Fair Card Value”

Touchstone Gallery
901 New York Ave. NW
202-347-2787 | www.touchstonegallery.com
Hours: Wed. to Fri.: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. | Weekends: 12 to 5 p.m.
Through July 1
Gallery A: Group exhibition
Galleries B & C: Steve Alderton, “Pair-ings”
Guest sculptor: Michelle Frazier, “Contrasted Elements”


Phil Hutinet is the publisher of East City Art, dedicated to DC’s visual arts. For more information, visit www.eastcityart.com.

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