Hester Ohbi is a well-traveled artist, having spent her formative years undertaking graduate studies in Europe; later a career in development took her to Asia and Africa. These experiences abroad have influenced her palette and her work. In particular, an interest in Buddhism informs her process and philosophical approach to painting. In her latest body of work, Ohbi has created a series of abstract acrylic paintings in cooler, bluish hues. In this particular series, Ohbi explains, “I am an intuitive abstract artist painting less what is visible and more what is felt. I love color, and for this show was especially drawn to ultramarine, so bright and so profound – originally made from lapis lazuli. It has been said that blue signifies peace, calm and spirituality.”
“IRL” (In Real Life) combines the work of artists Curtis Miller and Luke Ikard, the former working in traditional painting and the later in digital or new media. Miller creates pixelated images derived from video games of the 1980s and 1990s and challenges the viewer to rethink discrete forms and to look beyond the accepted canon of abstract art. Like Miller, Ikard also looks to the past for inspiration, only his work channels more personal experiences by placing images from childhood into his work. Like Miller, he reinterprets familiar objects and in so doing generates abstract forms.
Hemphill Fine Arts
A press release from Hemphill Fine Arts explains that Rushern Baker IV’s latest exhibition centers on “structural breakdown as a recurring theme within his practice. If these paintings can engage with the world today, it is through the complex feeling of vulnerability stirring everywhere, every minute.” Baker’s abstract mixed-media paintings incorporate fragmented materials such as resin, ceramic tile and digital collage to create an effect in which the composition appears to be deteriorating. While the work demonstrates the deterioration of form, one can make out new forms rising from the destruction, and ultimately something novel surfaces from the work. Drawing parallels to contemporary political affairs, the artist’s work offers a glimpse of what might be possible if we can endure the present.
Neptune & Brown
Sculptor and University of Maryland professor Foon Sham is known for building large wooden sculptures. Two of his larger works adorn 19th Street NW just south of L Street. Gallery Neptune & Brown presents a new body of work by Sham entitled “Twist of Lime.” The exhibition features a series of sculptures and drawing inspired by Sham’s time spent in residence in Auvillar, France, at the Arkad Centre d’Art last summer. This series reflects the colors of the southern French town, which lies in the Garonne River valley between Agen and Toulouse, known for stone houses, cobblestone streets, fragrant gardens and colorful shutters. “All those colors I saw in the neighborhood were already in my head,” Sham explained, “it was a matter of translating them onto the sculpture.”
Touchstone gallery presents two concurrent exhibitions by photographers Pete McCutchen and Harvey Kupferberg. While the exhibitions present two discrete bodies of work, both artists focus their attention on landscapes. McCutchen’s latest series, “Pattern+Texture II,” captures the rugged terrain of the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Jockey’s Ridge with, as he calls it, “purposeful ambiguity.” On the other hand, Kupferberg’s “Daylight Reflections,” as the title suggests, captures the changes of light across the earth’s surface at dusk and dawn. Side-by-side, the exhibitions promise to provide viewers with renewed interpretations of landscape photography.
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 March 9: Jowita Wyszomirska
March 16-April 20: Foon Sham, “Twist of Lime”
Opening reception: Sat., March 23, 5-7 p.m.
2118 Eighth St. NW
202-232-0203 | www.foundrygallery.org
Hours: Wed. to Sun., 1-7 p.m.
Through March 31
Hester Ohbi, “Through Blues”
1353 U St. NW
202-332-1116 | www.hamiltoniangallery.com
Hours: Tues. to Sat., 12-6 p.m.
Through March 30
“IRL” | Luke Ikard & Curtis Miller
Artist talk: Tues., March 20, 7 p.m.
Hemphill Fine Arts
1515 14th St. NW
202-234-5601 | www.hemphillfinearts.com
Hours: Tues. to Sat., 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
March 16-April 27
Rushern Baker IV, “Post-World”
Long View Gallery
1234 Ninth St. NW
202-232-4788 | www.longviewgallerydc.com
Hours: Wed. to Sat., 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
March 7-April 7
“Refresh IX” group exhibition
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 March 27
Pete McCutchen, “Pattern+Texture II”
Harvey Kupferberg, “Daylight Reflections. From Sunrise to Sunset”
Phil Hutinet is the publisher of East City Art, DC’s alternative art source. For more information visit www.eastcityart.com.