Fall 2010 Visual Arts Preview

The Best of the Gallery Scene this Fall

Helen Frankenthaler, "Bilbao," Four Seasons Hotel
Helen Frankenthaler, "Bilbao," Four Seasons Hotel

Addison/Ripley Fine Art

Addison/Ripley will present “The 2nd Element: Stratus Series”, new works by Nancy Sansom Reynolds from September 10 to October 23. In her third exhibition at the gallery, Reynolds brings a large body of new sculpture in a broad range of new materials, creating sinuous, striated, elegant shapes, often suspended on walls. Much of the artist’s inspiration for this show comes from her three recent years in the Southwest desert. Reynolds has suggested that her forms reflect the “big sky” of the American Southwest.

Artisphere

Arlington County plans to open the Artisphere, an expansive cultural center, on October 10. Formerly the Newseum, the center is located on Wilson Boulevard in Rosslyn and will include three art galleries, two theaters and a 4,000-square-foot ballroom. Norma Kaplan, chief of the county’s cultural affairs division, promises something new in the use of the space and in the clientele the Artisphere hopes to attract. “We have a large younger demographic in the region,” Kaplan said. “They want to be participants, not be passive, and they want a place to go. We’ll be open 12 hours a day, seven days a week. People can come and hang out without much planning.”

A 4,000-square-foot Terrace Gallery will have room for exhibitions, seating with drinks and snacks, as well as an overlook into the ballroom. According to Kaplan, built into all Artisphere programming will be opportunities for interaction with the artists. “We are trying to attract audiences that normally don’t come into a cultural center,” she said. One idea is to have late-night dances with regional bands on the weekends. In Artisphere’s first exhibit, opening with the center on October 10, is the group show “Skateboarding Side Effects,” where artists capture the form, shape, line and gestural movements of skateboarding through photography, drawing, painting, film and sculpture.

Cross/Mackenzie Gallery

Cross/Mackenzie Gallery, Georgetown’s premier gallery for contemporary ceramic and applied arts, has an array of upcoming shows for art collectors and enthusiasts with an eye for the dimensional and functional. From September 17 to October 20, the gallery will feature Kathy Erteman’s work in the show “Architectural Ceramics – Tiles & Vessels.”

Opening October 22, Sarah Lindley’s “Poppenhuizen” will feature the artist’s full-sized ceramic cabinet houses, inspired by the extravagant and exquisite 17th century Dutch fine art furniture. The gallery will then close their fall season with a group exhibition, “Serve if Forth,” a platter and plate show featuring the area’s premiere wheel throwers and ceramic artists, opening November 19.

Foundry Gallery

In paintings inspired by the natural beauty of the earth, artist Ron Riley portrays images that evoke a sense of internal peace, tranquility, serenity and power, uniting us with the majestic forces we find within ourselves and in our natural environment. In his recent works, Riley’s tactile palette ranges from the soft and pastel to deep and intense, the varying hues engendering visions of some of nature’s more ominous forces. Riley is a member of the Foundry Gallery as well as Mid City Artists. The show, “Land, Air and Sea,” will be on view at the Foundry Gallery from September 29 through October 31. The opening reception is Friday, October 1, 6-8pm.

Four Seasons Hotel Washington, DC

The Four Seasons hotel in Georgetown has unveiled a completely new art collection selected exclusively for the hotel. The collection has more than 1,650 pieces and is heavily representative of American artists, of which 400 are premier, blue chip and commissioned pieces for the public spaces and corridors. Among the more prominent pieces, on display in conspicuous public areas, are works by Helen Frankenthaler, Andy Warhol, Robert Mangold, Ron Richmond, Andrea Rosenberg and Andrei Petrov. These were purchased from private collections and exclusive galleries throughout the United States.

Guests walking into the Hotel’s recently redesigned lobby will immediately encounter the largest installation along the lobby gallery wall. A commissioned series by Roni Stretch, an English artist residing in Los Angeles, evokes the essential composition of America featuring five ethnic faces, each with a unique appearance: Julia the American Indian, Sara the all-American, Gary the English/Irish, Tiffany the French/Russian, and Fabiana the Mexican. This compilation was selected specifically for Four Seasons Hotel Washington due to its international clientele. These human faces were painted in black and white and then layered with selective colors to create the subtly realistic, yet abstract work. If you have any guests coming into town, yearning for the vibrant DC art scene, you now know where to put them up.

Fraser Gallery

Acclaimed DC-based photographer Maxwell MacKenzie has long sought to capture the wild or pastoral terrain around the country, in exploration of his family’s history. A new series of MacKenzie’s aerial photographs of Vermont, Virginia and Minnesota will open to the public on September 10, from 6-9pm at the Fraser Gallery.

MacKenzie captured all of his images from his self-piloted powered parachute, an ultra-light aircraft where the bird’s eye expanses of trees and wilderness get broken up into a vibrant, organic geometry of color and texture. The show opening will be held in conjunction with the Bethesda Art Walk, which features downtown Bethesda galleries. The studios open their doors to the public from 6-9pm on the second Friday of every month. This is a wonderful opportunity to take in all the Bethesda art scene has to offer.

Irvine Contemporary

Irvine Contemporary will be running two shows simultaneously, from September 11 through October 30. Phil Nesmith’s exhibition “Flow,” a series of wet collodion photographs on black glass plate, was documented on the Gulf coast in Louisiana and Mississippi throughout June 2010. Using his box cameras and a portable darkroom, Nesmith created striking images of the environment and local communities encountering the worst oil disaster in US history. He was able to gain access to areas largely unseen by the public – such as taking a helicopter to a relief well rig at the BP Deepwater Horizon site. Looking damaged and washed out, much like the Gulf coast, Nesmith’s images have a devastating beauty about them, finding peace among the chaos and destruction.

In conjunction with Nesmith’s show, Irvine Contemporary will be presenting a new exhibition of work by Brooklyn-based artist Bruno Perillo, in his second show with the gallery. With a new series of oil paintings, the artist will present his continuing reinterpretations of historical and contemporary realist styles. Bruno Perillo appropriates the realist styles of painters from many eras – from Caravaggio to Degas – for composing masterful images that are at once classical, post-modern, and contemporary. The show, titled “Uniform,” will present male and female characters in narrative scenes with culturally encoded clothing styles and genre cues.

Parish Gallery

Long since established in the Georgetown community, the Parish Gallery is well known for featuring primarily, but not exclusively, artists from Africa and of the African Diaspora. From October 15 through November 16, the gallery will feature the works of husband and wife, Gwendolyn and Bernard Brooks, in an exhibition entitled, “A Marriage of Colors”. The show will open with a reception from 6:00 – 8:00 pm that Friday.

A native Washingtonian, Gwendolyn has been in the art world for over thirty years as a painter, contemporary quilt-maker and doll designer. Her mixed media works can best be described as Afro-Caribbean, having traveled to Africa, Trinidad, Brazil, and Tobago to research and find influences. Bernard is a second-generation artist, his uncle being the first black instructor at the Maryland Institute College of Art. Bernard retired as Howard University’s chief medical illustrator, relinquishing his post after 26 years. This exhibition will be showing his watercolors, many of which are fleeting scenes of an American countryside that we long for even as we observe it.

The Ralls Collection

This fall, the Ralls Collection will premier "Trojan War Years," the first of three series of paintings by local artist David Richardson, from October 6 through December 31. There will be a private reception with the artist on Wednesday, October 6, from 6 – 8 pm at the gallery.

The paintings featured in "Trojan War Years" will display Richardson’s ability to convey a strong narrative of Homer’s epic tale in conjunction with his unique flair for color and exceptional conviction for abstract forms. In the last decade, Richardson has painted three important series of works. The first, Trojan War Years, not only precedes the others, but it also continues to manifest. The impetus for the series came while Richardson lived in Japan. Wandering around Tokyo, Richardson noticed the Kanji inscriptions that the Japanese used to mark temples, civic buildings, and businesses. Fueled by his interest in the way Kanji weaved into the architecture of Tokyo in addition to his passion for Homer’s recollection of the Trojan War, Richardson began incorporating the symbols into his own art, eventually securing the foundation for Trojan War Years series.

Studio Gallery

September 29 through October 23 will find Studio Gallery featuring two very different artists, brought together by an uncontainable energy and strong personal voice. Chris Chernow, whose figural paintings consist of numerous layers of oils applied over many months, find edges where the figure and ground can be merged in order to create a sense of submission and solitude. The layers add to the richness of the paint and a reduction in detail, achieving an elegant, haunting simplicity. The figures become shadows before our eyes.

The other featured artist, Carolee Jakes, works primarily in screen-printing, etching and oil painting, and has recently been experimenting with combining these media to focus her works’ prevailing and intertwining themes of identity and music. Her most recent work focuses on the interconnectedness of musicians and their instruments. “There is a level of interaction that gives the instrument a life of its own,” says Jakes. “I see each instrument as a piece of art, and I refer to structural characteristics of the instruments in abstract drawings that are incorporated into the prints.” A reception for the artists will be held on October 16, from 6 to 8pm.

Susan Calloway Fine Arts

Opening September 24 and running through the end of October, Susan Calloway Fine Arts will host an exhibition of artist David Ivan Clark. Born and raised on the plains of Western Canada, Clark returns to them as the inspiration for his work. In his landscape series, Clark blurs the line between abstraction and representation with a haunting minimalism, allowing viewers to find sanctuary from the frenetic rigors of the mechanized world.

The results of his unique painting techniques – fine layers of oil on stainless steel with a glossy, reflective finishing coat – is seductive, serene and luminous, recalling the vast expanses of nature within an unyieldingly industrial framework. “My work braids reference to nature with reference to industry,” Clark says. “Screws may frame a vast sky. Paint may be pitted and scoured as if the depicted terrain has issued from dire industrial processes. Suggesting both Arcadian idyll and post-apocalyptic barren, these paintings dwell, as I am forced to myself, in limbo, yearning for one yet unable to deny the other.” The exhibition, titled “Presence/Absence,” will have an opening reception Friday, September 24, from 6-8pm. This is sure to be one of the highlights of the gallery scene this season, and it should not be missed.

Washington Printmakers Gallery

The Washington Printmakers Gallery will host “New Faces – New Prints II,” an exhibition introducing the five artists that have joined WPG in the past year. These diverse printmakers come from all over the country and are presenting a variety of new work and techniques. New artists include Trisha Gupta, who commemorates natural disasters, such as flooding in India, through personal relations. Trisha says her work “brings me in dialogue with events that have affected me personally, and allows me to give personal experiences the commemoration I know they deserve.”

Zenith Gallery

From September 15 through November 28, the Zenith gallery will be hosting an expansive group exhibition at the Chevy Chase Pavilion, featuring a wide array of Zenith’s art community. A “Meet the Artists” reception will be held September 15 from 6-8 pm, in Zenith’s space on the second level of the Pavilion.

Among the longstanding Zenith artists will be sculptor Carol Newmyer, who creates interactive, figurative bronze sculptures inspired by dance, yoga, balance and meditation. Along with her sculptures, she has a line of dramatic and unique sterling silver and high polished bronze wearable art sold in limited editions. New artists include the vivacious Joyce Wellman. Wellman uses vibrant colors, cryptic marks, and symbols referencing mathematics, anthropomorphic forms, and her personal experiences growing up in a household where “numbers” were played.


MUSEUMS

National Gallery of Art

“Arcimboldo, 1526–1593: Nature and Fantasy” will run from September 19, 2010 - January 9, 2011. Sixteen examples of the fantastic composite heads painted by Giuseppe Arcimboldo will be featured in this exhibition, their first appearance in the United States. Bizarre yet scientifically accurate, the unusual heads are composed of plants, animals, and objects. Additional works, including drawings by Leonardo da Vinci and Albrecht Dürer, small bronzes, illustrated books and manuscripts, and ceramics will provide a context for Arcimboldo’s inventions, revealing his debt to established traditions of physiognomic and nature studies.

Opening October 31 is “The Pre-Raphaelite Lens: British Photography and Painting, 1848–1875.” In the first survey of British art photography, focusing on the 1850s and 1860s, some 100 photographs and 20 paintings and watercolors chronicle the roles photography and Pre-Raphaelite art played in changing concepts of vision and truth in representation. The exhibition illuminates the mutual struggle of photographers and painters of the era, wrestling with the question of how to observe and represent the natural world and the human face and figure. This rich dialogue between photography and painting is examined in the exhibition’s thematic sections on landscape, portraiture, literary and historical narratives, and modern-life subjects.

Corcoran Gallery of Art

“NOW at the Corcoran,” running from September 11 until January 23, 2011, is a series of one- and two-artist exhibitions that presents new work addressing issues central to the local, national, and global communities of Washington, D.C. and that responds to the collection, history, and architecture of the Corcoran.

The first feature will be “Spencer Finch: My Business, with the Cloud,” an exhibition of new work by the Brooklyn-based artist that includes a site-specific sculpture installed in the Corcoran’s Rotunda. Finch’s sculptural installations, photographs, and drawings seek to capture the elusive space between perception and the outside world, probing the intersections of science, nature, and memory. Drawing from the history and environment of Washington, D.C., his project explores the poetic, physical, and meteorological aspects of these natural phenomena.

The Phillips Collection

“Side by Side: Oberlin’s Masterworks at the Phillips,” opens September 11, 2010, and runs through January 16, 2011. Illustrating its unconventional approach to displaying art, The Phillips Collection will present loosely themed groupings of some of its own masterworks with 25 masterpieces from Oberlin College’s Allen Memorial Art Museum. Half of the 24 paintings and one sculpture on loan from the Allen are old masters, dating from the 16th to the 18th centuries. They include rare works by painters of the British, Dutch, Flemish, French, German, Italian, and Spanish schools. The other Allen pieces are important modern works of the 19th and 20th centuries. Oberlin extended the opportunity to display some of its treasures to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and to the Phillips while the Allen is closed for renovations. Highlights include unique pairings in works ranging from Francisco Goya to El Greco, Rubens to Turner, Cézanne to Ernst Ludwig Kirchner.

Hirshhorn Museum

“Guillermo Kuitca: Everything—Paintings and Works on Paper, 1980–2008” will run from October 21, 2010 to January 16, 2011. Since his first exhibition at the age of thirteen, Guillermo Kuitca has forged a distinctive path as an artist, creating visually compelling works that reflect his intense and often ambivalent relationship to his primary medium: painting. “Guillermo Kuitca: Everything” is the first comprehensive survey of the artist’s work in the United States in more than ten years, examining the artist’s continuing development between 1980 and 2008. The show presents the spectrum of Kuitca’s thirty-five year career, from early pieces inspired by his experience in theater, with titles often drawn from music, to recent complex abstractions that evoke the history of modern painting.

Since the early 1980s, the artist’s work has been characterized by recurring imagery, most notably spatial and mapping motifs. Central among these are images of theater sets and seating charts, architectural plans, road maps, beds, numerical sequences, and baggage-claim carousels, through which Kuitca explores universal themes of migration and disappearance, the intersection of private and public space, and the importance of memory.

National Portrait Gallery

Newspaper publisher Katharine Graham (1917–2001) led an extraordinary life in extraordinary times. Born into privilege, she was catapulted onto the international stage as publisher of The Washington Post during the Watergate scandal. “One Life: Katharine Graham,” running from October 1 through May 30, 2011, includes several photographs to narrate key moments in her life, including a portrait by Richard Avedon, drawings, original newspapers from the time of the Watergate scandal, the Pulitzer Prize for her memoir, “Personal History” and video of a “Living Self-Portrait” interview of Graham by former Portrait Gallery director Marc Pachter.

National Museum of the American Indian

“Vantage Point: The Contemporary Native Art Collection” runs from September 25 until August 7, 2011. The show highlights the National Museum of the American Indian’s young but vital collection of contemporary art, with significant works by 25 artists in media ranging from paintings, drawings, and photography to video projection and mixed-media installation. These complex and richly layered works speak to the concerns and experiences of Native people today, addressing memory, history, the significance of place for Native communities, and the continuing relevance of cultural traditions.

Smithsonian Craft2Wear Show and Sale

The Smithsonian “Craft2Wear” show and sale will be held the weekend of October 23 and 24 at the National Building Museum, featuring 36 premier exhibitors of wearable art, jewelry and clothing. All exhibitors have been previously juried into the Smithsonian Craft Show, so you can be sure that the show is filled with items of lasting artistic value as well as fashionable appeal.

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