End of Summer Wrap-up

September 12, 2013

**[Freer and Sackler Galleries](http://www.Asia.SI.edu)** “Perspectives: Rina Banerjee” *Through June 8, 2014* The Sackler Gallery will feature the work of Rina Banerjee (b. 1963), an Indian born artist working out of […]

Visual Arts: Now & Later

After a few sunless months holed away in electrically heated offices, and with the final weeks of winter testing both stamina and patience, the collective mind is caught in a temporal schism. It tries to propel itself beyond the current moment, projecting even its short-term plans and ambitions somewhere just past the wintry horizon, where the warm and ardent embrace of spring lies patiently waiting for adventure. Then the diet and exercise will commence, muscles and ligaments will be dusted off, and the adventures will be had. Spring?is an opportunity for reinvigoration, and it has come early to the visual arts of Washington, D.C.
Here is a look at what is on view NOW and a peek into what is coming LATER.

NOW: The Pre-Raphaelites?Through May 19
The National Gallery is taking things back to the 1850s with an expansive exhibition of the Pre-Raphaelites: Victorian Art and Design 1848 – 1900. Featuring sculptures, works on paper, and decorative objects, the exhibition details the influence of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood.
LATER: Albrecht Dürer March 24 – June 9
The German artist Albrecht Dürer (1471– 1528) is widely considered one of history’s?true artistic geniuses, prized across cultures and centuries for his transcendent integration of scientific and artistic innovation. While Dürer’s paintings are prized, his most influential works are his drawings, watercolors, engravings, and woodcuts, which allow scholars and viewers alike into his process of creation, executed?with highly refined precision and breathtaking craftsmanship. Albrecht Dürer: Master Drawings, Watercolors, and Prints from the Albertina pulls together the finest collection of Dürer’s drawings and watercolors from the Albertina in Vienna, Austria.

NOW: Angels, Demons & Savages Through May 12
With Angels, Demons, and Savages, The Phillips Collection constructs a visual narrative between the works of three renowned 20th century artists who helped dismantled the narrative tradition. The exhibit reveals an intimate story in the wild and furious tumult of American abstract expressionism, focusing on the relation- ship between Jackson Pollock (1912–1956), French painter Jean Dubuffet (1901–1985), and a lesser known American artist and patron Alfonso Ossorio (1916–1990).
LATER: Georges Braque | The Laib Wax Room?June 8 – September 1 | March 2
Georges Braque and the Cubist Still Life, 1928-1945 will be an in-depth study of Georges Braque’s (1882–1963) groundbreaking work with the still life—which he pioneered through cubism alongside Picasso in the first decades of the 20th century—framed within the context of Europe’s revolutionary political climate.
Meanwhile, the Laib Wax Room, opening March 2, will be the first permanent installation at the Phillips since the beloved Rothko Room opened in 1960. Lined with fragrant beeswax and lit by a single bare lightbulb, the Laib Wax Room, by German artist Wolgang Laib, will offer a small fragrant cubby in the original Phillips house, offering a personal meditative encounter that recalls the origin of painting with encaustics around 100 AD.

NOW: The Sultan’s Garden: The Blossoming of Ottoman Art
Through March 10, 2013 Ottoman art reflects the wealth, abundance, and influence of an empire that spanned seven centuries and three continents. The Sultan’s Garden chronicles how stylized tulips, carnations, hyacinths, honey- suckles, roses, and rosebuds came to embellish nearly all media produced by the Ottoman court beginning in the mid-16th century. The Sultan’s Garden unveils the influence of Ottoman floral style and traces its continuing impact through the textile arts—some of the most luxurious and technically complex productions of the empire.
LATER: Out of Southeast Asia: Art that Sustains?April 12 – Oct. 13
Historical textile artworks from The Textile Museum’s magnificent Southeast Asian collections will be displayed alongside the work of four contemporary textile artists and designers and weavers.

NOW: Out of the Ordinary Through May 19
Starting with Marcel Duchamp and his “Readymade” artwork of ordinary mass-produced objects, modern and contemporary artists have dealt head-on with this preoccupation of the banal, creating works that use the process of copying, faking and duplicating as strategies of artistic invention. With their current exhibit, Out of the Ordinary, The Hirshhorn uses sculptures such as Robert Gober’s oversized stick of butter and Christo’s sealed-off storefront to present?the immaterial grandeur of life’s most common occurrences.
LATER: Directions: Jennie C. Jones: Higher Resonance?May 16 to Oct. 27, 2013
Music, art history, and African-American culture intermingle in the art of Brooklyn-based artist Jennie C. Jones (b. 1968), who creates audio collages, paintings, sculptures, and works on paper that explore the formal and conceptual junctures between modernist abstraction and black avant-garde music, particularly jazz.

NOW: Nam June Paik: Global Visionary Through August 11
The artwork and ideas of the Korean-born artist Nam June Paik were a major influence on late 20th century art. Nam June Paik: Global Visionary offers an unprecedented view into?the artist’s creative method by featuring key artworks that convey Paik’s extraordinary accomplishments as a major international artist as well as material drawn from the artist’s personal archive, which was acquired by the American Art Museum in 2009.
LATER: Thomas Day: Master Craftsman and Free Man of Color April 12 – July 28
Thomas Day: Master Craftsman and Free Man of Color fully examines the remarkable career of Thomas Day (1801–1861), a free African American who owned and operated one of North Carolina’s most successful cabinet shops prior to the Civil War. Day combined?his own unique motifs with popular designs to create a distinctive style readily identified with his shop. Beginning in the 1820s, Day produced fine furniture for prominent white citizens, and was noted for both designing interior spaces and the furnishings. His surviving furniture and architectural woodwork still represent the finest of nineteenth-century craftsmanship and aesthetics.

NOW: Pump Me Up: D.C. Subculture of the 1980s? Through April 7
Pump Me Up: D.C. Subculture of the 1980s explores our city’s thriving cultural underground during the 1980s, giving visual form to the raucous energy of Go-Go music and a world- renowned punk and hardcore scene, demonstrating its place in the history of street art as well as that of America’s capital city.
LATER: David Levinthal: War Games May 11 – September 1
David Levinthal (b. 1949) is a central?figure in American postmodern photography. His work stages uncanny tableaux using toys and miniature dioramas, which stand as a?heavy critique of the way society deals with and perceives conflict. His groundbreaking project Hitler Moves East (1975–77), a series of imagined scenes from World War II’s Russian front, first established his reputation, becoming a touchstone for the iconoclastic generation of American photographers.?

Art Soiree Hosts 3rd Annual Cartoonist Exhibit at Malmaison

August 15, 2013

Art Soiree hosted its third annual cartoonist exhibit, a retrospective of President Barack Obama’s first term, at Malmaison on Water Street Jan. 18.

Artists, whose work was on display, included Kevin KAL Kallaugher (the Economist), Daryl Cagle (MSNBC), Tom Toles (the Washington Post), Mike Keefe (Denver Post), Jimmy Margulies (the Record, Time, Newsweek, New York Times, USA Today), Ann Telnaes (the Washington Post, Signe Wilkinson, Philadelphia Daily News), Christo Komarnitski (Sega, Sturshel), Damien Glez (Le Monde, Courrier International, La Gazette).

Only two cartoonists were at the event, Kevin KAL Kallaugher is the artist-in-residence at University of Maryland Baltimore County, and Tom Toles, who performed with his rock group Suspicious Package.

According to Zeina, an employee at Napoleon Bistro, Malmaison — the 4,200-square-foot space with a bakery and cafe and owned by Zubair Popal — will officially open this spring. Tonight, the space is hosting a networking event with Fashion Group International and the Georgetown BID. Click here for more information on the event.

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Lichtenstein Blockbuster Proclaims Power of Print

Of all the painters I can think of, none seem to grate on the nerves of people I know quite like Roy Lichtenstein. They might roll their eyes at the abstract dribblings of Jackson Pollock or seethe at one of John McCracken’s plywood plank sculptures leaning against a wall — which is exactly what it sounds like — but never is there such a mix of exasperation, perplexity and annoyance as when they confront one of Lichtenstein’s colossal comic book panels in a museum gallery.

The whole situation is preposterous to them, for in truth the paintings do often look out of place. Each one is eternally stranded in its own little world—these vein and diluted cartoons, embroiled forever in their melodramas of love, longing, domesticity or enemy airstrike. They do not cooperate with other paintings around them, they stick out.

The initial disillusionment is usually in thinking that Lichtenstein just copied a bunch of stuff from newspapers and comic books, with a certain wit and panache. But this reaction stems from a deeper root: a lot of people have a hard time accepting this as high art. It isn’t quite absurd, but it can’t possibly be serious. It does not fall into the parameters of abstraction or realism—it’s more of a pliable schism. It has no real atmosphere or painterly richness (save for a sort of prepackaged 1950s nostalgia and a handful of tawdry brushstrokes), nor is it purely conceptual. And the compositions are weird.

Even by the steely Warholian standards of Pop art—the movement that Lichtenstein conceived with the very comic book paintings that brought him his fame in the early 1960s—his work floats alone in a bubble of unflattering self-effacement. Before our eyes, it seems to be rubbing itself out against the endless stream of media and mundane cultural symbolism that it has appropriated, like Snoopy bouncing between the funny pages and MetLife insurance commercials.

Yet, here it is. The National Gallery’s major fall exhibition: a monumental retrospective of the paintings of Roy Lichtenstein. His artwork has enjoyed uncommon success and still fetches dizzying prices at auction. Over the course of his career, his work has been the subject of more than 240 solo exhibitions (the last full survey organized by the Guggenheim in 1993). Some audiences tend to be irrationally, blindly adoring of him. Others would toss his work in the recycling with the Saturday Evening Post.

Both polarizing and encumbering, Lichtenstein’s work often feels like it is beyond specific scrutiny simply by nature of its existence. In some immeasurable way, it did what it was supposed to do. In the 1960s, it harked immediately back to a post-war era of cultural bloat that had laid the foundation for a society we see up to this day, where access to lived experience is mediated by signs and symbols endlessly replicated by a pervasive mass media.

The cool thing about seeing Lichtenstein’s work in 2012 is that the guy was basically prescient. The relevance of his 50-year-old concept has been widely amplified in recent years by the onslaught of social media and viral networking. Today, everyone shares and manipulates text and image with a personal flourish, from Facebook to Twitter and customized memes, whose entire structures rely upon a cache of shared, immediately recognizable symbols and icons.

Ironically, the decline of print media gives his work even further authority. Lichtenstein spent his career working in an aesthetic language culled from newspaper printing techniques of the day, using predominantly primary colors, black and white, and mimicking the process of Ben-Day dots to create gray tones and secondary colors (ultimately, the dot became his lasting visual signature). The employment of these printing techniques is now all but extinct. An audience under the age of 15 might not intuit Lichtenstein’s visual language at all, which defeats the work’s purpose almost entirely.

This now post-retro appeal adds a eulogizing loveliness to his work and shows us how far we have traversed the path. If half a century ago, Lichtenstein was already aware of media oversaturation, and since then we have continuously expanded and streamlined its outreach, are we even aware of its effects anymore? Who knows how many symbols we are numb to? Like myself, most of you readers probably make your living by running your fingers over identical keyboards, whose patterns you trace and retrace endlessly.

This in itself proves to be a fundamental nature throughout Lichtenstein’s surprising and expansive career: it is not the idea that is unchanging—it is the medium, the language that stays the same.

Looking at his oeuvre, the appropriation and stylization of pre-existing material is constant. It did not start or end with the Comics page. “I think even the old audiences still think of Roy as just doing cartoons,” said Dorothy Lichtenstein, who previewed the exhibit. “There were three years really that he did that, and then there’s a body of work that’s so different.”

In an early work on display from 1951, “Washington Crossing the Delaware,” Lichtenstein took the iconic image and reduced it to something like a child’s art homework. It bares no resemblance to the clean graphic style he would develop a decade later.

The exhibition follows his career from the 1950s to his death in 1997, offering an extensive look at his various styles and interpretations. His first pop painting, “Look Mickey,” part of the National Gallery’s collection, is a centerpiece of the show. Lichtenstein’s stark and nearly unfashionable portrait of Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck not only launched the artist’s career, but helped change modern notions about art.

A walk through the exhibit begins with paintings of sneakers, a hot dog, a cup of coffee, a sponge, and the ominously vague painting “Spray,” which could be anything from window cleaner to pesticide.

When shown together, his landmark 1960s paintings of war and romance comic panels carry a unique and unexpected punch; the shock and interest feels like it must have when they were first displayed in major New York art galleries.

He reinterpreted works by Picasso, Cezanne, Monet, de Kooning and Gilbert Stewart. He ventured into the realm of ancient Egypt, architectural moldings, often amalgamating genres—his cartoon nudes fall somewhere in between Renoir and Li’l Abner.

More surprising and nearly breathtaking are his landscapes composed of fields of his small dots, which go hand in hand with his interpretations of Japanese woodblock prints. The harmony, balance and beauty Lichtenstein achieves are almost an antidote to his rigid, pulpy, high-strung comic paintings.

Throughout this exhibition there is a wonderful humor, irony and curiosity. As Dorothy pointed out, it is a reflection of her late husband.

Lichtenstein said in 1964, “The things I have apparently parodied I actually admire.” This is not art meant to incense, but to invigorate, to carry with us as we leave the gallery. Perhaps this is why the paintings can seem out of place in a museum—they are meant for the outside world. Let it pervade our collective consciousness a little, and it might shed light on our time, our place, and each other. With a wink and a smile, of course.

A smile was indeed on my face as I walked back to the metro, looking for that giant white “M” as a thousand Starbucks mermaids flirted with me from the cardboard latte cups in the hands of every passerby. Although maybe that was just a coincidence. I was, after all, within a block of two Starbucks.?

“Roy Lichtenstein: A Retrospective” will be on view at the National Gallery of Art through Jan. 13, 2013. For more information visit www.nga.gov.

BELLOWS AND MIRÓ: Painting the Cultural Fabric

Within the stone walls of the National Gallery of Art, the calm, quiet rooms are always cool and astonishingly breezy. Perhaps this is in order to preserve many of the collection’s centuries-old masterpieces, but to all who enter it is simply a fine refresher. It probably won’t surprise you to learn that, for this writer, there is no better way to escape the oppressive summer heat than to dip into one of the exhibits and look around.

This summer, however, a different kind of heat is emanating from inside the gallery walls. It is almost imperceptible, but if you look closely you can see it, like gas rippling up from the stovetop. It is a political and social heat that radiates from the canvases and wraps itself around you. It is coming from the works of George Bellows and Joan Miró, both the subjects of major exhibitions at the National Gallery.

At first glance there are not many similarities between the two artists, in their style or their history. Miró (1893 – 1983) was born in Barcelona, Spain. He was a member of the European avant-garde, an artist-activist who shot into prominence on the coattails of cubism and surrealism. Fusing the artistic innovations of his day with the heritage from his native region of Catalonia, Miró forged a voice and vision in his paintings that would influence future generations of artists worldwide. The current exhibition at the National Gallery, “Joan Miró: The Ladder of Escape” (through August 12), showcases the artist’s political engagement and his battle for a collective Catalan identity throughout the militaristic and social tumult of the 20th century.

Bellows (1882 – 1925), on the other hand, was an American realist painter born and raised in Columbus, Ohio, a gifted draftsman and athlete who almost took the route of professional baseball player before moving to New York City to study painting. An original member of the Ashcan School, Bellows is largely remembered for his portraits of contemporary American society, urban subject matter and the working class—and, memorably, the seedy underbelly of early New York City boxing culture. The National Gallery is exhibiting a retrospective of Bellows’ work through Oct. 8.

Aesthetically, there could not be a more dissimilar pair of artists than George Bellows and Joan Miró. One offers a gritty, unflinching portrait of American realism, the other an effusive and ever-evolving synthesis of the folkloric, the abstract, the subconscious and the colorfully raw. But there is a bridge between these two monumental and otherwise incongruous exhibits that brings the artists to common ground. Both expose men of dire social conscience, whose painting careers and cultural sentiments wove together to create bodies of works that transcended a singular time or place and carry on their lasting legacies.

In the first room of the Miró exhibit, you are met with intricate canvases of farms and gardens, corroded stucco houses cankered with vines and ivy, detailed to the point of compulsion—every seed, blade of grass and cracked windowpane is meticulously, if simply, rendered. The paintings are enchanted with that sense of something greater, as if we are just getting a surface glimpse of a rich and endless landscape. This plays out most pointedly in “The Farm,” which, according to the artist, “was a resume of my entire life in the country.”

This early painting, completed in 1922, roots Miró firmly in an ideology that would thread itself through his oeuvre. The scrutiny over familiar landscapes is the first sign of his engagement with political identity: the cultural specificity, locality and autonomy with which he renders the land of his ancestors is a cry for Catalan culture.

“Miró was reaching back to Catalan Romanesque art as a way to resurrect his ancestry,” says Harry Cooper, curator of modern art at the National Gallery. The narrative forms of Miró’s earlier work point toward these characteristic church murals, while the shapes, structures and colors combine influence from cubism, fauvism and the breathtaking architectural work of fellow Catalan, Antoni Gaudí.

Around this time, the Spanish government outlawed the Catalan flag and language, and a series of events unfolded that would lead to the Spanish Civil War. The political turmoil outraged Miró and as his feelings grew deeper, his paintings became increasingly disturbing and violent.

Cooper notes how just a year after “The Farm,” Miró’s painting, “The Hunter” took these sociopolitical allusions to a far more scathing level. “It was painted only a year or so later, but the difference in style and voice is pretty astonishing. The Catalan flag and the French flag hang side by side, and the Spanish flag hangs alone on the other side of the canvas. You can see that things got political pretty immediately with Miró,” Cooper says.

Perhaps what is more astonishing is that Miró executed these ideas in an entirely distinctive, individual language all his own (a pursuit also likely inspired by Gaudí).

“I understand the artist to be someone who, amidst the silence of others, uses his voice to say something,” Miró once wrote, “and who has the obligation that this thing not be useless but something that offers a service to man.”

Just ten years before and across the Atlantic, Bellows had spoken up loudly against New York City’s social and economic class structures. His paintings of tenement children, construction workers and the cheap leisure escapes of the working class are treated with a painterly regard previously reserved for only the Dionysian pursuits of the most affluent. Imagine seeing Renoir’s “Luncheon of the Boating Party,” but swap out the airy middle-class Frenchmen with puffy-faced, malnourished orphans and haggard bricklayers. The titles alone are enough to give an idea: “Paddy Flannigan,” “Frankie the Organ Boy” and “River Rats.”

Imbuing New York City’s immigrants, laborers and impoverished families with the rites of the societal elite suggests how Bellows perceived these communities as the brick-and-mortar foundation of his country. Throughout his career Bellows painted men and women in almost every walk of life, yet these paintings remain his most powerful and haunting.

Through the somber shadows surrounding these men’s works, an undeniable joy nonetheless permeates. You can see it in Bellows’s rhythmic, effusive brushwork, songlike in their fluency and syncopation. It is visible in Miró’s sun-kissed color palette and his wholly liberated, original forms, like new life taking shape before our eyes. There is love amidst the rage, serenity is found in the chaos, beauty and bile are all interwoven, just as they are throughout every town and country in the history of mankind.

George Bellows and Joan Miró shared this understanding, this gift for portraying true life. Go see it play out before they’re gone.

For more information, visit www.nga.gov. ? [gallery ids="102467,120695" nav="thumbs"]

End of Summer Wrap-upAugust 7, 2013

August 8, 2013

**[Freer and Sackler Galleries](http://www.Asia.SI.edu)**
?Perspectives: Rina Banerjee?
*Through June 8, 2014*
The Sackler Gallery will feature the work of Rina Banerjee (b. 1963), an Indian born artist working out of New York City, who draws on her background as a scientist and her experience as an immigrant. Her richly textured works complicate the role of objects as representations of cultures and invite viewers to share her fascination in materials, both personally and as it relates to world histories. By juxtaposing organic and plastic objects?such as combining ornate textiles and animal forms with tourist souvenirs?she concocts fairy-tale worlds that are both enticing and subtly menacing.

Combining elements of collage, pop art and contemporary installation work with a keen sense for the memory effects that textures can impart, Banerjee?s vision has an explorative theatricality about it, as well as a sort of twisted, gothic whimsy. It is like the excavation of conflagrated multiculturalism, and it is a wonder to behold.

Touching on themes of migration and transformation, the installation?s lengthy title likewise conveys the sense of a long journey: ?A World Lost: after the original island, single land mass fractured, after populations migrated, after pollution revealed itself and as cultural locations once separated merged, after the splitting of Adam and Eve, Shiva and Shakti, of race black and white, of culture East and West, after animals diminished, after the seas? corals did exterminate, after this and at last imagine all water evaporated … this after Columbus found it we lost it imagine this.?

**[The Hirshhorn](http://www.Hirshhorn.SI.edu)**
?Peter Coffin: Here and There?
*Through Oct. 6*
Throughout his career, Peter Coffin (b. 1972); lives and works in New York) has created an unpredictable and eclectic array of works, including many that express a sense of joy and sometimes, humor. Born in Berkeley, Calif., the New York-based artist?s practice includes photography, assemblage, performance, time-based media, installations, sound art, and sculpture in many forms, often drawing inspiration from odd facts or obscure theories. To emphasize the artist?s chameleon-like virtuosity, the works in the exhibition, rather than being concentrated within one exhibition area, are installed in spaces around the Museum. Nature, science, pseudo-science, psychological displacement, urban happenstance, and ?what if? brainstorms are among the myriad departure points for his pieces, but what is constant is the undercurrent of his unique, exuberant subversiveness.

**[The Textile Museum](http://www.TextileMuseum.org)**
?Out of Southeast Asia: Art That Sustains?
*Through Oct. 13*
Southeast Asian textiles first served as markers of ethnic identity, distinguishing neighboring communities by pattern, color and technique. Now, commercial production challenges these practices, yet the artistic wealth of these several hundred groups continues to inspire artists from around the world. ?Out of Southeast Asia: Art That Sustains? explores the intersection of these rich traditions and their interpretation within contemporary art and design.

Historical textile artworks from the Textile Museum?s magnificent Southeast Asian collections?including batiks from Indonesia and brocades and ikats from Laos?will be displayed alongside the work of four contemporary textile artists and designers: batik artists Nia Fliam, Agus Ismoyo, and Vernal Bogren Swift, and weaver Carol Cassidy. All of their works originate in Southeast Asian concepts, realized in certain design elements, technical details, and philosophical underpinnings. ?Out of Southeast Asia? demonstrates how contemporary artists are preserving the traditional arts even as they interpret them in new and innovative ways.

As the Textile Museum prepares to move to its new location, ?Out of Southeast Asia? provides a fitting visual link between the past, present and future while demonstrating the continued relevance of traditional textiles.


Dupont Circle Gallery Walk

May 9, 2013


2026 R Street NW


Cross Mackenzie Gallery is presenting “Pier Three Warehouse 2012” through June 5, an exhibition of work by up-and-coming architectural photographer John Cole. The images in this series, “Walls,” are about observing mindfully, seeing thoughtfully, paying closer attention and looking anew. Cole explores his relationship with his surroundings through his subtle framing of the seemingly mundane, recalling 20th century American photographers Lewis Baltz and Harry Callahan. In Cole’s photographs, a building wall becomes more than just a façade, revealing histories of weather, abrasion, sunlight and the shadow of human presence. In Cole’s exhibit, the “writing on the wall” is worth reading.


2108 R Street NW


Through May 18, Studio Gallery will be featuring the work of Elizabeth Grusin-Howe, a Maryland-based painter, photographer and printmaker. The current show, “When the sky is clear the horizon is visible,” scenes from Venice, Italy are composed of manipulated prints and photographs that evoke the romance and weathered historic grandeur of this beloved city. Her figure paintings marvel in a similar contrasting beauty, balancing coarse brushwork with delicate, graceful form, and give us something at once permanent and ephemeral. Opening May 22 is the work of Suzanne Yurdin, which depicts centuries old architecture and picturesque villages in rich layers of mixed media. Also inspired by journeys to Italy, Spain and France, these paintings represent elements of Europe’s many glorious spaces in loose, geometric forms, offering as a suggestion of place more than a demarcation.


9 Hillyer Court NW


Cut paper elegantly balances simplicity of form with intricacy and complexity of line and detail. An artwork may consist of only one sheet of paper, but the design and cutting techniques transform it into a surface as fine as lace. When put to rice paper, the hand-held blade creates a crisp, controlled, yet gestural line. This month, Hilyer will host an exhibition of the cut-paper work of Melanie Kehoss, in her exhibit “InterGrowth.” Like paper cutting traditions of China, Mexico and Judaism, these pieces relate to celebration. Kehoss’s banner format, reference to cross-cultural holidays, and inclusion of romantic poetry all speak toward the idea of ritual and occasion. Images from nature serve as symbols of these traditions, while suggesting the organic way in which cultures grow and merge. Also on view this month are the paintings by Lara Bandilla, whose current works are a narrative of light and movement, which suggest certain emotional states without naming or defining them.


2025 Hillyer Place NW


From May through July this year, Jane Haslem Gallery is exhibiting “The Mind/The Line/The Creation,” a show of sixteen American artists focused on the process of drawing. The foundation of any artist’s career, drawing is an often overlooked medium in the commercial art world, but in this exhibit it is brought center stage, highlighting the point from which each artist approaches drawing. Different artists draw for different reasons. For some, it is the preferred medium. Others use drawing as a tool to work out problems in paintings and larger works. Still more use the juxtaposition of line and shape to create illusions and trick the viewer’s eye. And then there are artists who use drawing as a way to tell a story. Perhaps the highlight of this show covers the ladder spectrum, showcasing drawings by Charles Schulz, the cartoonist behind Snoopy and the Peanuts gang, and other seminal American cartoonists from the 20th century, like Walt Kelly (Pogo) and Martin Branner (Winnie Winkle). This exhibit is an exploration of the last 100 years in line, and one that ought not to be missed
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Book Hill Gallery Walk

April 19, 2013

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.

Spring into the National Children’s Museum

April 10, 2013

Now that spring is upon the capital city and parents are looking for activities to entertain the little ones, consider a visit to the National Children’s Museum.

The new museum picks up where the Capital Children’s Museum left off when it closed its doors in 2004 after Congress designated and renamed it as the only nationally recognized cultural and educational museum devoted to children.
Relocated to National Harbor, Md., the new, interactive 18,000 square foot museum is designed with children ages eight-years-old and under in mind.

“One of the things we do is promote child directed, open-ended play,” said NCM president, Willard Whitson. “All of our exhibits allow kids to create their own narrative.”

The museum includes two exhibits designed with specific age groups in mind.

The 3 & Under gallery aims to help little ones develop and discover their fine motor skills and stimulate their senses.
Babies ages one year and younger can experience the gallery’s Infant and Crawler Zone, while toddlers can engage in “pretend play” and navigate climbing structures surrounded the classic Sesame Street characters.

“We have a significant partnership with Sesame workshop, evident in the 3 & under,” said Whitson “They helped develop other areas in the museum. It’s the home for Sesame Street in the D.C. area.”

The Our World gallery invites older children (ages 3 to 8) to explore community and the world around them with interactive exhibits. Visitors can actively engage in their own hypothetical community through the My Town exhibits that features a pizza parlor and a campaign center. The other exhibits, Map Zone and World Cultures, uses touchscreens and collaborative maps to show kids the similarities and differences between global societies.

Whitson says the exhibits aim to inspire children to use their imagination and learn to play cooperatively. “We provide the props and sets for them to interact in a different way every time they visit,” said Whitson. “The purpose of that is to show we have common needs but there is a diverse ways we meet those needs.”

In addition to the galleries, NCM houses a 130-seat theatre that presents original productions by the in-house theater company, as well as guest performances.

The NCMs Center for Learning and Innovation, winner of the Judith P. Hoyer Award for Outstanding Service to Children, presents educational programs that reflect the core initiatives of the museum, including literacy, culture and art, health and wellness, and global citizenship.

The museum also offers a Free Family Night sponsored by GEICO the third week of each month that includes free admission to the museum and themed hands-on activities.

Since opening its doors on December 14, 2012, NCM has welcomed approximately 65,000 visitors and anticipates 200,000 visitors annually.

Open seven days a week, admission to the museum is $10 and parking is available in the National Harbor’s parking garage.
For information on hours or to plan your trip, visit (note website url) www.ncm.museum. [gallery ids="119381,119388" nav="thumbs"]