Fall Arts Preview: Gallery Guide

'Oreo Cream' by Nora Howell
Hamiltonian Gallery
'Oreo Cream' by Nora Howell

With every fall season, gallery walls come vibrantly to life like the foliage of the Shenandoah. The arts, like the trees, are inspiring and beautiful; sometimes joyous, often times heartbreaking. They stir something deep within us. Why would we labor to make a painting in an era of convenience and efficiency? Why would we visit the National Gallery when Avatar is on Netflix? Why do we yearn for the leaves to change in October, even though we’ve seen it captured in an endless stream of photographs? Because nothing satisfies our craving for life like the sensory immersion of art. Just as we pick up produce at the farmer’s market instead of buying it wrapped in cellophane, sometimes we just crave something real.

Here is a list of some of the District’s most anticipated gallery offerings this season. Go experience it for yourself. Go stand in front of a painting on a crisp autumn evening with a glass of free wine in one hand and a hunk of stinky cheese in the other. I dare you not to feel alive.

(e)merge Art Fair
Kicking off the fall arts season, the (e)merge art fair Sept. 22 to 25 is a weekend-long event that brings together artists, galleries, curators and collectors to discover and experience a world of emerging artistic talent. Hosted at the Capitol Skyline Hotel by the Navy Yard and Waterfront Metros, the fair brings together a consortium of galleries and nonprofit art venues with special events and educational programming featuring prominent curators, critics and artists, while providing free exhibition space to a large pool of emerging artistic talent. Guided tours of the fair will be available. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit EmergeArtFair.com.

Artisphere
In the Terrace Gallery of the Artisphere, the exhibition “Date/Fields,” running Sept. 23 to Nov. 27, brings together five renowned international artists, all working with the contemporary flow and transfer of data, to transform the gallery into a portal of sensory information: sites of signal, noise, presence and absence. Curated by acclaimed electronic sound artist Richard Chartier. Gallery reception: Friday, Sept. 23, 7 to 10 p.m. Artisphere.com.

Addison/Ripley Fine Art
From Sept. 10 through Oct. 15, Addison/Ripley will exhibit the landscapes and nature paintings of Mary Page Evans. Evans’s purity and reduction of form and color, at once a seeming tribute to her mentor Gene Davis – a renowned Washington colorist whose work is currently on view at the National Gallery – also reveals a lifelong battle between representation and abstraction, reminiscent of Monet or Cézanne. Opening reception: Friday, Sept. 16, 6 to 8 p.m. AddisonRipleyFineArt.com.

Cross Mackenzie Gallery
Having relocated from Georgetown’s Canal Square to Dupont Circle, Cross Mackenzie Gallery will be reopening to the public this fall with the work of ceramic artist Michael Fujita, whose work is inspired by fleeting observations of the world around him. Regular monthly openings are also scheduled throughout the duration of the season. Welcome back, Cross Mackenzie! CrossMackenzie.com.

Heiner Contemporary
Heiner Contemporary will showcase the work of New York artist David Kramer Sept. 9 through Oct. 22. Deeply affected by the pop art and advertising aesthetics surrounding his upbringing in the 1970s, his work injects the faux glamour of that era onto a scratchy canvas filled with terse observations and acrid dictums, constructing a disillusioned, often hilarious satire on the American dream. Opening party and artist performance: Saturday, Sept. 24, 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. HeinerContemporary.com.

Hamiltonian Gallery
A joint exhibition of artists Nora Howell and David Page will be on view at the Hamiltonian Gallery, Sept. 17 through Oct. 29. Howell explores issues surrounding race and identity through photography and food; a functioning coffee bar will be installed in the gallery. Page’s work consists of three large-scale, mechanical sculptures in mixed media including steel, wood and leather. Opening Reception: Saturday, Sept. 17, 7 to 9 p.m. Artist Talk: Wednesday, Oct. 12, 7 p.m. HamiltonianGallery.com.

Hemphill Fine Arts
Ilya and Emilia Kabakov, who have worked collaboratively since 1988, are among today’s most renowned contemporary Russian artists. They have been shown in more than 170 museums in more than 40 countries, including the MoMA, The Whitney and the Hirshhorn. Hemphill Fine Arts’ exhibition, KABAKOV showing Sept. 10 through Oct. 29 continues the artists’ ongoing examination of societal transitions between construction and decline through illustrative, sometimes childlike symbols. Opening reception: Saturday, Sept. 10, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Marsha Mateyka Gallery
2011 has been an industrious year for Sam Gilliam, one of Washington’s most acclaimed and revered artists: a central installation and curatorial venture at the Phillips Collection, a collaborative exhibit with the Kreeger Museum, and a commissioned mural at the Takoma Metro Station, to name a few. To round off the year, the Marsha Mateyka Gallery will open their fall season with an exhibition of Gilliam’s paintings, Sept. 17 through Oct. 29. This is a remarkable opportunity to see a more intimate side of Gilliam’s usually large-scale work. Reception for the artist: Saturday, Sept. 17, 4 to 6 p.m. MarshaMateykaGallery.com.

Parish Gallery
An exhibition of abstract painter Kenneth Victor Young, a member of the Washington Color School of the 1960s, will open at the Parish Gallery with a reception on Friday, Sept. 16, 6 to 8 p.m. Then, Oct. 21 through Nov. 15, the gallery will host the work of printmaker Percy Martin, longtime art teacher in the Washington area, whose series of lush and complex prints details the lives and rituals of the Bushmen, a mythological people born of the artist’s imagination. Opening Reception: Friday, Oct. 21, 6 to 8 p.m. ParishGallery.com.

Project 4
“In Quest of the Sun,” an exhibition of new work by D.C. artist Ellington Robinson, will be on view at Project 4, Sept. 9 through Oct. 15. Robinson’s new work explores the ways by which we reach our physical and socioeconomic locations. Opening reception: Sept. 9, 7 to 9 p.m. From Oct. 22 through Nov. 26, the gallery will host a show of artist Agnes Bolt, who has long explored the relationship between artist and collector, living and interacting virtually with many D.C. art collectors. The show will feature photography, video and collected objects from Bolt’s experiences. Project4Gallery.com.

The Ralls Collection
As featured in the last issue of The Georgetowner, the highlight of The Ralls Collection’s fall season will be an exhibition of revered local painter John Blee this October. For more information, visit Georgetowner.com or RallsCollection.com.

Susan Calloway Fine Arts
“ArtCode,” a show of artist Edurne Esponda Sept. 30 through Oct. 29, displays the artist’s colorful, playful and thought provoking oeuvre. Born in Oaxaca, Mexico, Esponda has traveled the world as both an artist and fashion designer. As a painter, she looks to illustrate the fashion world in her paintings, often referencing clothing sizes and barcodes. Her color palette evokes the atmosphere of her childhood home in Oaxaca. Opening reception: Friday, Sept. 30. CallowayArt.com.

Washington Project for the Arts
OPTIONS 2011, the 14th installment of WPA’s biennial exhibition of works by emerging and unrepresented local artists, will open Sept. 15 and run through Oct. 29. Highlighting the breadth and diversity of the area’s contemporary art scene, the exhibition will include work by 14 artists selected by curator Stefanie Fedor, executive director of the Arlington Arts Center. Opening reception: Sept. 15, 6 to 8 p.m. WPADC.com.

Maurine Littleton Gallery
This November, the Maurine Littleton Gallery will be featuring new glass sculptures by British artist Colin Reid. Reid is regarded as a pioneer in the field of kilncast glass, with works in more than 45 museum collections worldwide. Reid was recently awarded the prestigious Peoples Prize at the 2010 British Glass Biennale and is an Associate of the Royal Society of British Sculptors. The gallery will also be displaying the work of metal sculptor Albert Paley. Exhibition dates TBA. LittletonGallery.com.

Zenith Gallery
Marjorie Goldberg, long established as one of the premier gallerists in the Washington area, will host a show of Zenith Gallery artists recently profiled in the new book, “100 Artists of the Mid-Atlantic,” by Ashley Rooney. The exhibition, at Chevy Chase Pavilion, Sept. 21 through Oct. 29, features an array of work in various media by renowned regional artists, including F. Lennox Campello and Julie Girardini. Meet the Author and Artists: Wednesday, Sept. 21, 6 to 9 p.m. ZenithGallery.com.

Call To Artists: Art Bank
The DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities (DCCAH) is seeking to purchase artwork of all mediums and dimensions to be included in the Art Bank Collection. The Collection is looking to acquire diverse and dynamic forms of contemporary art from working artists in the D.C. area, but preference will be given to District residents. To submit online, visit DCarts.Slidroom.com. For more information contact Zoma Wallace, Curator of Art Collections of DCCAH at Zoma.Wallace@dc.gov or 202.724.5613. Deadline for submissions is Friday, Sept. 30.

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