Where to see exhibits at art galleries in the Washington area

Placeholder when loading item promotions

Aside from being a few blocks apart, the summer group shows at Pazo Fine Art and Adah Rose Gallery don’t have much in common. Pazo’s “Soft Power” features the work of just five artists, all from DC or Baltimore. Adah Rose’s “Carte Blanche” features dozens of performers, including some Europeans. But the two shows share a common artist: Wayson R. Jones, known for his thickly impasto, square abstracts.

The Adah Rose exhibition, which spills over from the gallery’s current location into the former room around the corner in the same building, features more than a dozen Jones paintings. Two are in the stark black-and-white style that was once the Prince George’s County-based artist’s trademark, while others are pastel-toned. The four Jones paintings at Pazo are more vivid and can be viewed as flirting with landscapes. The standout is “Lifting Up the Sunny World,” a field of graduated oranges within jagged green and blue borders.

The other Washingtonian in “Soft Power” is Jean Jinho Kim, whose aluminum downspout sculptures have become simpler and more direct to her advantage. Her Good Vibes 3 consists of two mirror-image shapes that are powder-coated in shades of dark olive and light green. The piece evokes the confident austerity of the late DC artist Anne Truitt, and contrasts starkly with the work of the show’s other sculptor, Danni O’Brien, whose assemblages of found objects are bulbous, arid, and surreal.

All-Star Show at the National Gallery of Art focuses on identity

Also in the exhibition are paintings by abstractionists Mary Anne Arntzen and Sue Crawford, both using rich colors and wavy patterns. Arntzen’s oils are thicker and more textured, while Crawford’s gouaches are softer and more watery. What unites them is the way both artists conjure up movement contained within the frame, allowing the gestures to pulsate and squirm.

Like previous Adah Rose summer shows of the same name, Carte Blanche was programmed by the gallery’s interns and draws heavily on artists whose work the gallery has previously shown. Among them are Jessica Drenk, who confidently transforms mundane finds like white PVC pipes; Maremi Andreozzi, whose paintings of women in period robes are meticulously detailed but lack faces; and Lori Anne Boocks, whose intriguingly weathered images overlay partially rubbed acrylic washes on charcoal markings with illegible text.

New to the gallery is Taegan Treichel, a native Dane who combines naturalistic depictions of leaves, birds and artificial features into fabulous compositions. “Hunting for a Prince” features a densely packed bird sanctuary on a rocky outcrop in what could be a small pond or a vast sea. Lush and strange, Treichel’s Island is a vision of a paradise of sorts.

Light power Until August 25 at pazo art, 4228 Howard Avenue, Kensington. Open by appointment.

blank power of attorney Until September 1st at Gallery Adah Rose3766 Howard Avenue, Kensington.

The Potomac River is a wide, normally placid estuary whose disposition abruptly overgrows just past Georgetown. The wild river is the subject of the most dramatic work in Potomac River Life, a group show at the Athenaeum. Black and white photographs by Ron Colbroth and Daniel Horowitz – widescreen and close-up, respectively – capture the waves of Great Falls, as do Jim Tetro’s color photographs. The most haunting depiction of the falls is Elizabeth Matthew’s painting of the River at Dusk, divided into three panels highlighted by pages painted red.

Quieter but just as impressive are paintings by Christina Blake, Jill Brabant, Debra Dartez and Georgia Nassikas of calmer stretches of the river, which vary from realistic to slightly impressionistic. Lianna Zaragoza’s oil of a stretch of riverbank at high tide is literally moored in the Potomac; it is in shades of brown because the pigment was made from river mud collected and ground up by the artist.

How Whistler immortalized and obliterated the woman he loved

The occasion for the exhibition is the 50th anniversary of the Clean Water Act, and while most entries are scenic, some are more trenchant. Franz Jantzen used an almost antiquated photographic process to document rubbish accumulated where a creek meets a river; Marcel Deolazo built fish heads from recycled plastic shards; and Kirsty Little filled jars with natural specimens and some of the abundant pieces of single-use plastic that clog today’s waterways. These entries lack the panache of the Great Falls images, but are just as powerful in their own way.

Life on the Potomac River Until August 21 at the Athenaeum201 Prince St., Alexandria.

In a not uncontroversial process, the city of Alexandria is renovating the Torpedo Factory Art Center and removing some longtime art studio tenants. Others will be added as well, some of which will feature in Newly Juried 2022: A Torpedo Factory Art Center Exhibition, just up the road at the Principle Gallery. The 38-person show is solid but doesn’t predict a significant change in the type of artists the facility hosts.

Many of the paintings are representational and rooted in traditions that undergo a gentle twist. Sarah Bentley takes a neoclassical approach to a still life with a contemporary theme, a pastry and a disposable Starbuck cup. Minwei Liang nestles a highly detailed bird between branches with flower buds rendered in a looser style. June Yun’s image is clearly an aerial view of a city, but partially abstracted in gemstone-like tones of turquoise pigment and gold and silver leaf.

If there is a trace of autobiography in Liang and Yun’s work, such hints are even stronger in the mystical paintings of Anna Shakeeva and Iryna Smitchkova. Shakeeva’s self-portrait wreaths her face with birds and flowers, while Smitchkova centers peacocks and orange trees behind an open blue door flanked by decorative tiles. Traveling to rural America, Ellen Delaney combines the homey and the cosmic in three views of low barns or houses under a vast sky, while Sally Veach paints an expanse of turbulent clouds into which she inscribes a house-shaped pentagon. Many of these pictures are dreams of homeland in their various ways.

Newly judged in 2022: An exhibition at the Torpedo Factory Art Center Until August 21 at principle gallery208 King Street, Alexandria.


Comments are closed.