Where to See Art Gallery Exhibits in the Washington Area
Other three-dimensional creations nod or nod to more traditional uses of paper. Arden Cone draws barn dust in a diamond-shaped grid on a paper feed bag; Nicole Salimbene weaves a tapestry of very black rolled pages from Artforum magazine; and Nilou Kazemzadeh repeatedly spells out the word “consumable” in individual letters sewn from recycled newspaper strips.
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Many artists use paper to evoke other materials. Xuewu Zheng’s towering ‘Zen Wall’ is constructed from stacks of handmade paper bricks in earth tones, while Christine Medley’s more modest ‘Ta-kus’ are inscribed paper tacos with haiku. A sweeping skirt and voluminous headdress dominate Samantha Modder’s imposing print from a drawing of a larger-than-life black woman. Nathaniel J. Bice’s small model of a house in San Francisco is wallpaper, but looks more like stucco. Isabella Whitfield provides a wooden frame with pink and ivory paper measuring cups and spoons where their actual versions would be glass or metal. Reni Gower’s intricately hand-cut white paper curtain draws inspiration from the decorative patterns of Amish quilts, Celtic knots and Islamic tiles, and sweeps away from the wall to produce intricate shading.
The natural world, whether scenic or stressed, is an appropriate theme if planned. Melissa Harshman’s “A Long Spring” strings leaf prints, identical except for the shade of green, in a drapery so long it stretches from wall to floor. June Linowitz’s rendering of flooded houses, part of her “Planet in Peril” series, is bordered by hanging stripes dyed in watery hues of blue and green.
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Two of the contributors integrate nature more concretely into their work. Megan Singleton transformed plants from the Missouri Botanical Garden, which would otherwise have been composted, into paper for the pages of her artist’s book. Briana Miyoko Stanley converted the ash and debris of a Santa Barbara wildfire and its aftermath into some of the pigments in her sculptural piece, whose earth and fire-hued paper twists through a metal frame. Both visually and conceptually compelling, Stanley’s work is one of the finest examples of art on, in, and paper.
Looks good on paper Until October 2 at Pyramid Atlantic Art Center4318 Gallatin Street, Hyattsville.
Neither the materials nor the techniques of Joe Feddersen’s multimedia art indicate his Native American heritage. Rather, it is revealed by the decorative designs of the pieces exhibited in “Terrain: Speaking of Home” at the National Academy of Sciences. Basic outline images, inspired by Washington State landscapes and Native American petroglyphs, appear in lithographs, woven baskets and blown glass vessels. The artist depicts horses, people and boats, but not all of his subjects are primitive: among the glass vessels there is one decorated with the rendering of a mobile phone tower.
Retired as an art instructor from Evergreen State College, Feddersen now lives in his hometown of Omak on the Colville Reservation east of Seattle. Omak Lake is the inspiration for a print in this show, but the effect isn’t quite bucolic, thanks to a prominent area of bright pink spray paint. Such touches recognize the modern world and urban environments.
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In a conversation with an elder from the Colville reservation, Feddersen learned that young questing natives used to add local petroglyphs. “Therefore, they would extend history, learning from the past and adding parts of the present,” the artist’s statement notes. Feddersen does the same in his own way, revisiting the landscape of his youth while lamenting its degradation with glass pieces like “Clear Cut,” which depicts a field of tree stumps. Sometimes you can’t make it all the way back.
Joe Feddersen: Field: Speaking of Home Until September 23 at National Academy of Sciences2101 Constitution Ave. NW.
Almost everything in Peter Swift’s images is naturalistic, but the painter from suburban Maryland is not exactly a realist. His precise renderings of natural and man-made materials, exhibited at the Arts Club in Washington, tear objects from their usual surroundings and arrange them symmetrically to showcase the artist’s compositional artifice.
Most of Swift’s simple subjects, which include an oak leaf and a white ribbon bow, are enlarged to large proportions and appear to float above monochrome backgrounds. The artist offers witty variations on his own formula: seven spoons placed in an orderly circle to resemble a star, a pair of tongs placed in front of a cloud-streaked blue sky, and a red tong whose apparent capacity to levitate is emphasized by the shadow. it throws. Most striking is a set of spark plugs, one fully painted and the other merely sketched. The juxtaposition reminds the viewer that these archetypal objects would not exist without the artist’s hand.
Where Swift paints primarily with acrylic pigments, Richard Fitzhugh uses watercolour. The DC artist, whose work is also at the Arts Club, uses the medium in ways that are both traditional and unexpected. This selection of his paintings, primarily of local cityscapes and Manhattan, exhibits an expressionist style that is fluid and spontaneous, but not vaporous or pastel. Images such as a night view of Gallery Place during its busy pre-covid days make bold use of dark colours. Fitzhugh liberates watercolour, usually associated with sunny pastoral scenes, to depict the bustle of urban evenings.
Peter Swift and Richard Fitzhugh Until October 1 at Washington Arts Club2017 I St. NW.