Lavely Miller-Kershman’s solo exhibition at Foundry Gallery is deliberately untitled. With scant written context with which to understand her work, even the titles of her work offer very little description beyond what the paintings obviously show.
Miller-Kershman’s biography and past work offer a few clues on how to interpret the subject of the exhibition. Based on her biography and the gallery’s press release about the exhibition, the artist intends to present a series of large-scale portraits, for which she is known. Miller-Kershman’s biography also states that she paints “people who appear injured and capable of injuring,” and the gallery’s press release reveals that the artist herself has sustained an undisclosed trauma.
Herein lies the artist’s intent – her large-scale portraits present figures that gaze directly at the viewer, and this connection, between the subject of the painting and the audience, seeks to elicit an emotional response from the viewer, void of textual content, allowing the mind to yield and the heart to feel.
Long View Gallery
In “Chromatic Space” Laura Crehuet Berman, a native of Barcelona, Spain, presents a series of new works of brightly colored, patterned compositions for which she is known. Currently, Berman works in the Flint Hill region of Kansas, which she likens to “a vast landscape of nothingness – no trees, no dwellings, no people – it’s akin to being out at sea. Out there, the distance between sky and land is very short and unmediated.” She further states, “I am mesmerized by the monumental and the miniscule. From supernovas exploding into far away galaxies to ancient, oddly shaped pebbles that have never been touched before. My work reflects the connections between these expanses as well as the details within space. Even the smallest action can create a cascade of events and phenomena.”
In “Chromatic Space” the patterned compositions of trapezoid shapes create movement on paper and, in some instances, seemingly alight. The hard-edge, geometric shapes in this series depart from the softer-edge and nature-inspired elements she has used in past series that more closely resemble forms found in nature.
Gallery Neptune & Brown
Joseph Keiffer is an accomplished American painter whose 40 years as an exhibiting artist includes over 30 solo exhibitions. The artist splits his time between his native New York City, the Catskills and the coast of Maine. His Hudson River School-influenced work is found in many private collections and museums including the Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, the Bryn Mawr College Special Collections Library in Pennsylvania, and the Pfizer Art Collection.
Keiffer spent his childhood traveling the globe with his parents, and the experience continues to inform his work. His mother was a writer and his father a painter to whom Keiffer attributes his own keen powers of observation.
In his second solo exhibition with the gallery, Keiffer invites the audience into an intimate scene. The scene provides the viewer with an opportunity to be present in his work. Keiffer explains: “I want my paintings to have immediacy and impact … I think one cannot do better in a painting than to convey a sense of being there. That’s what I find exciting about being alive. Actually being somewhere, being there.” Through complex compositions of quotidian moments, Keiffer draws the viewer into his world, rendering that which is painted seemingly real.
Amy Sabrin, a prominent attorney whose 25-year career included her defense of President Bill Clinton in Jones v. Clinton, has traded in a high-powered job for a contemplative life. In her newfound passion as a painter, she prefers to spend her time outside, along the coast of Delaware. In “Fresh Take” the artist presents a series of landscape watercolors based on observation. While her compositions may appear abstract at first, upon closer inspection, Sabrin’s work respects the rules of proportion and perspective, revealing stylized landscapes of tidal marshes.
The title of Gale Wallar’s exhibition, “N • S • E • W,” is an acronym referring to the four cardinal points – north, south, east and west. The artist has taken frequent journeys in each direction that have provided subject matter for her current series of paintings, mostly landscapes and cityscapes. Inspired by American painter John Marin, who advised artists to first “bow to the landscape” and then wait to see if the landscape “bows to you” before painting, Wallar has taken this artistic philosophy to heart, creating work that will feel familiar to the viewer.
Gallery Neptune & Brown
1530 14th St. NW
202-986-1200 | www.neptunefineart.com
Hours: Wed. to Sat., 12-7 p.m., Sun. 1-4 p.m.
Through Dec. 29
Joseph Keiffer, “Traveling Light”
Opening reception: Sat., Nov. 17, 5-7 p.m.
2118 Eighth St. NW
202-232-0203 | www.foundrygallery.org
Hours: Wed. to Sun., 1-7 p.m.
Through Dec. 2
Lavely Miller-Kershman, “Untitled”
1353 U St. NW
202-332-1116 | www.hamiltoniangallery.com
Hours: Tues. to Sat., 12-6 p.m.
November schedule: TBD
Hemphill Fine Arts
1515 14th St. NW
202-234-5601 | www.hemphillfinearts.com
Hours: Tues. to Sat., 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Through Dec. 15
Renee Stout, “When 6 Is 9: Visions of a Parallel Universe”
Long View Gallery
1234 Ninth St. NW
202-232-4788 | www.longviewgallerydc.com
Hours: Wed. to Sat., 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
Through Nov. 25
Laura Berman, “Chromatic Space”
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 Dec. 2
Amy Sabrin, “Fresh Take”
Gale Waller, “N • S • E • W”
Phil Hutinet is the publisher of East City Art, dedicated to DC’s visual arts. For more information visit www.eastcityart.com.