Thanksgiving came early this year, and the Christmas lights went up faster than you can say “Black Friday.” The season is upon us—the season of parades, of family, of thanks, of beauty and of giving. We understand that artwork makes an exemplary gift for its beauty and uniqueness. What is most transcendent about a truly magnifi- cent work of art is its generational permanence. It carries with it an innate history, story and feeling that few other objects can. A painting is created by its artist, but it is not brought to life until it is displayed and appreciated by its owners.
The Georgetown galleries on Book Hill, clustered among a few blocks of Wisconsin Avenue, enliven our community with art. This group of galler- ies offers a great variety of works to explore, from renowned glasswork to master prints to the contemporary and avant-garde. Their collective neigh- borhood holiday event last weekend was an unforgettable occasion, and one we hope becomes an annual Georgetown tradition. Here’s a look at what’s happening in Book Hill this month. For more information on the George- town galleries on Book Hill, visit www.GeorgetownGalleries.com.
At Neptune Fine Art, gallery director Christine Neptune specializes in Modern and Contemporary art, with an extensive collection of artists ranging from contemporary masters such as Mel Bochner and Alex Katz, to the timeless works of the Cubists and Impres- sionists. She also boasts an unmatched collection of etchings and prints by lauded but lesser-known contemporary artists, and with exhibitions such as last month’s “All About Etching: Start Your Collection,” provides expertise on connoisseurship, authentication and condition for first-time art buyers and younger audiences. She is currently exhibiting small oil paintings by longtime gallery artist and contemporary still life painter Colleen Cox, who paints with a simple beauty and soft texturality of timeless appeal.
Gallerist Robert Brown specializes in 20th-century and con- temporary works as well as rare Chinese advertising post- ers from the early 1900s and Chinese antiques. Currently on exhibit is a show of drawings and prints by renowned Scan- danavian artist Per Kirkeby, which informally but powerfully complements the artist’s retrospective at The Phillips Collec- tion in Dupont Circle. This is Brown’s first exhibit of Kirkeby’s work, which illuminates Kirkeby’s sophistication of line and form while detailing his fascination with objects and natural elements that spawns from his training as a geologist. This is a chance to experience Kirkeby on an intimate and internal level, through Dec. 15.
Through Jan. 5, Heiner Contemporary is hosting the exhibit Housebound, a group show exploring the depiction of home environments and domestic spaces, featuring work by Rachel Farbiarz, Bella Foster, Allison Gilder- sleeve, Allison Reimus, Ann Toebbe and Augusta Wood. Working in a variety of media, these artists address “home” as a reflection of the self, where rooms become extensions of one’s personality, where memories are held and lives are recorded. Augusta Wood memorializes her grandparents’ former home by projecting family snapshots in layers onto the walls of the now vacant house. Her haunting photographs provide an interesting comparison to Ann Toebbe’s cozy, created-from-memory cut paper and painted rooms.
The grid can be traced back to the beginning of human civilizations, and artists have often used grids as simple tools. Still others, like Sol LeWitt to Agnes Martin, used them as the objective in itself. For Natasha Karpinskaia, grids represent a structural and compositional device. Instead of working on a single surface, Karpinskaia creates separate paintings and organizes them in a grid format, turning individually functioning pieces into a unified element, where the pieces enrich each other and produce an even stronger statement. Sometimes, abstract and sometimes playful, her use of grids helps her to achieve a unique rhythm and elegance in her work. Her exhibit of monotypes and paintings at Susan Calloway Fine Arts, Variations on a Grid, is on view through Jan. 5.