Saturday, January 30, 2010

February at Studio Gallery

Exhibitions: February 3 - February 27, 2010
First Friday Reception (as part of the Dupont Circle Galleries openings): February 5, 6 - 8 pm
Artist's Reception: Saturday, February 6, 5 - 7 pm
Artist's Reception: Saturday, February 27, 4 - 5:30 pm

Solo Show: Synthesis
Suzanne Yurdin


"Synthesis" is a collection of work featuring Italian landscapes and other work from the artist, in mixed media on both canvas and paper.

Duo Show: Playing with Fear
Trix Kuijper


Duo Show: Oblivion
Iwan Bagus


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Four at Foundry

Fran Abrams, polymer clay
Sarah Alexander, photography
Katherine Blakeslee, watercolor
Nancy Donnelly, glass sculpture
Exhibit dates: February 3-28
Exhibit hours: Wednesday-Friday, 1-7 pm; Saturday-Sunday, 12-6 pm
Opening Reception: Friday, February 5, 6-8 pm
Members' Monthly Exhibit in Gallery 2
Foundry Gallery
1314 18th Street, NW, 1st Floor
Washington, DC 20036

Friday, January 22, 2010

One Week Left at our Dupont Location

We will be moving on Sunday, January 31 to our new location at Pyramid Atlantic Art Center in Silver Spring, MD. While we at WPG have loved our Dupont location, the chance to partner with Pyramid Atlantic was one we simply could not pass up.

If you haven't heard of it before, Pyramid Atlantic Art Center is an arts organization involved in printmaking, bookbinding, and papermaking. Their extensive programming includes Artist-in-Residence programs, workshops, educational and community outreach, as well as a series of exhibitions and events. We look forward to using their workshop space to develop our own series of workshops as well as co-hosting new events. As these new programs take shape we will post them on our website and send out invitations via email.

Please visit us in our new location for our 25th Anniversary Reunion Show, featuring over 50 artists, all current and former WPG members. The show runs Feb 4 - 28, with an opening on February 5 from 5:30-8 (additional receptions TBA). Best of luck to all our art friends in Dupont!

New Location, opening February 4:
Pyramid Atlantic Art Center, 2nd Floor
8230 Georgia Ave
Silver Spring, MD 20910

By metro: Take the Red line to the Silver Spring stop. From the station, follow Wayne Ave to Georgia Ave, turn Right. The red Pyramid Atlantic building is 2 blocks down Georgia at Ripley Street.
Driving: Pyramid Atlantic is on the South Bound (West) side of Georgia Avenue at Ripley Street, 2 blocks south of Wayne Avenue. A small parking lot in front of Pyramid Atlantic offers free parking, and there are several public garages withing walking distance.

At Micheline's Studio, Talk and Transformations

Sing, O Muse, of a place where the like minded can gather and converse, as the greatest of orators, about the most divine of mortal pleasures, art.

At artist Micheline Klagsbrun's studio, artists and academics alike did just that last night. Studio Gallery's inaugural Artist Salon was both intellectually stimulating and visually rewarding for those in attendance. Approximately 30 guests convened in a post-industrial space, at 52 O Street Studios, with soaring ceilings and paint on the floor which hinted at the creation that takes place there. Though Micheline normally uses the space to paint and host weekly drawing classes, last night she welcomed anyone enthusiastic about the artistic dialogue of Washington, DC.

Standing among paintings in various degrees of completion, a swordfish, and a large oriental style umbrella, Klagsbrun cited inspiration as eclectic as her surroundings with particular interest in Ovid's Metamorphoses. Indeed, after hearing Klagsbrun's vivid invocation of her poetic inspiration, one could have believed one of the several mannequins that surrounded her could have sprung to life as if Pygmalion's sculpture, at least after several glasses of wine seemingly poured from the generous hand of Dionysus himself.

Upcoming at Studio Gallery

Exhibitions: February 3 - February 27, 2010
First Friday Reception (as part of the Dupont Circle Galleries openings): February 5, 6 - 8 pm
Artist's Reception: Saturday, February 6, 5 - 7 pm
Artist's Reception: Saturday, February 27, 4 - 5:30 pm

Solo Show: Synthesis

Suzanne Yurdin

"Synthesis" is a collection of work featuring Italian landscapes and other work from the artist, in mixed media on both canvas and paper.


Duo Show: Playing with Fear

Trix Kuijper


Duo Show: Iwan Bagus


Studio Gallery

2108 R Street N.W. Washington, DC 20008 202.232.8734

Gallery Hours:
Wednesday and Thursday, 1 - 7pm
Friday, 1 - 8pm
Saturday, 1 - 6pm

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Javier Cabada at Aaron Gallery

acrylic on canvas

It begins with the music. The first few gentle notes of a sonata drift through the gallery as Javier Cabada stands before a large, empty canvas. This white void serves not to intimidate him, but to provide an expansive playground for the possibilities of his imagination. Today he will be painting the portrait of a man he has known well for years but whom he has never met. With a decisive first few brush strokes, Cabada quickly breaks up the empty space by loosely mapping out the major landmarks of the face. Once this has been accomplished, he immediately dives into color using broad, sweeping applications of thick paint with the palette knife. As indications of light and shadow begin to emerge, he continues to sculpt the planes of the face with a series of long, jagged brush strokes that twist and turn with a bold spontaneity. The mood of the music gradually builds as the painterly elements of line and form intermingle with one another. Cabada continually steps back to contemplate his progress every so often. It is a dance guided by the sounds of the piano and intuitive response. This process continues for several hours until at last the image of Frederic Chopin is fully realized.

Javier Cabada’s successful artistic career has spanned the course of many decades. Born in Barcelona, Spain in 1931, he has painted nearly every type of subject matter and experimented with a wide variety of materials since his first introduction to painting at the age of 17. Although each of his endeavors have taught him something unique and insightful about what it means to be an artist, Cabada finds his greatest inspiration through painting large scale portraits of composers from the Romantic period. His passion for the music is always evident in his work. Even after nearly 40 years of painting the same people, he still discovers something new and exciting about each of them. To this day Beethoven, Chopin and Paganini remain personal favorites and are the most sought after paintings that he produces. For Cabada it is not enough to simply recreate the likeness of a composer, but to capture their personality and essence as well. He does this by immersing himself in the experience of listening to the music and expressing his own interpretation of it on canvas. The result is more than just a portrait. It is a glimpse of raw, human vitality.

The paintings themselves are highly expressionistic and push the boundaries between representation and abstraction. Heavily stylized paint strokes secure the physical similarities of the composer while also providing an ambiguity that allows for personal interpretation from the viewer. Though the paintings are grounded in the realm of the physical, they generously explore the delight found in the metaphysical. This is most effectively demonstrated through Cabada’s exceptional palette where vibrant color plays a crucial role in establishing mood and energy. He takes great liberties with the color he puts down in layers by creating unexpected variations which cause the painting to vibrate and evoke a highly emotional response. Each passage of color effectively activates the one next to it. Although many of his color choices are rather unexpected for rendering the tones of human flesh, they always coalesce together to form a perfect balance. His use of marks are equally confident. Often times he will mix color directly on the canvas or apply paint right from the tube in great globs that are enticingly tactile. It is moments like these where Cabada’s strength as an Expressionist painter truly shines. The results of the brush strokes and various marks are often left to objective chance, but are applied so deliberately that everything has a purpose within the composition.

When one views a painting by Javier Cabada, it becomes clear that his process is not merely about the act of painting, but the act of feeling alive. His enthusiasm for creating art and being moved by the music he loves is something which he regards as deeply spiritual. For Cabada, a painting must transcend its role as an object or style and reach its full potential by reminding people that life is full of illusions. In order to escape these illusions, we must look beyond what is tangible and contemplate what it means to us.

Javier Cabada has the honor of maintaining exclusive representation at Aaron Gallery and has been exhibited at many museums and galleries nationally and internationally. His paintings have been on view at Aaron Gallery for over 30 years and continue to be shown today. Cabada works and lives in the D.C. area and frequently enjoys painting in front of visitors at Aaron Gallery.

Jennifer Woronow
January, 2010

Jennifer Woronow is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design where she received a B.F.A. in Illustration. She currently interns at Aaron Gallery while pursuing her own art.

Gallery 10 Sculpture Invitational

Dec 30-Jan 30 1519 Connecticut Ave. NW

Gallery 10 is hosting a sculpture invitational this month and like any group show, you wonder and look for common themes or a cohesive message which is not always the intent. The artists showing are a very disparate group, and no text is given to explain any of the works so it is up to the viewer to infer the message or intent of the artists.

Some of the standouts in the show for me were Jessica Braiterman, Sam Noto (whom I am acquainted with), Mary McCoy and Elizabeth Crisman. Jessica Braiterman's installation piece Mutation is composed of broken umbrellas and yarn, and she very cleverly uses each broken umbrella to imbue it with anthropomorphic qualities, specifically spiders. I immediately thought of Louise Bougeois and her recent show at the Hirshhorn museum. The umbrellas are set across the walls in the first room, and Braiterman very cleverly and beautifully varies the use of yellow yarn that she wraps around various parts of the umbrella. Each piece is unique but a wonderful part of the whole installation.

Sam Noto's two sculptures, Radio Days and Crisis of Faith, use very different materials: the former painted steel and the latter steel and stone. There is a simple elegance to the two pieces and a wonderful balance in each piece. I know Noto often places his sculptures in gardens, and both his pieces would be wonderful in a natural setting.

Mary McCoy has a beautiful and somewhat haunting piece, Flora and Fauna in the show. The piece is made of wood and bone, and the effect she achieves in placing the bone within the driftwood is quite elegant as the bone seems to flow from the wood. You get the feeling of some ancient human artifact or relic, and yet it feels quite modern as well.

Elizabeth Crisman works with wood and inkjet transparencies to create simple wood boxes that seem to be using dental xrays in a three dimensional layering that is particularly interesting and creates a little world within the box. In her piece Nightmare in my Dreams I too got an uncomfortable feeling when looking at the piece (I am quite squeamish at the Dentist) but really liked her layering of the images and use of materials.

There are many other works in the show and I invite anyone interested in seeing sculptors use a variety of materials to visit the show.

Adah Rose is the Director of The Studio Gallery, located in Dupont Circle.

Friday, January 15, 2010

20th Annual Small and Miniature Show at Aaron Gallery

"Voracious Vehemence" by Josh George
mixed media on panel

Aaron Gallery’s “20th Annual Small and Miniature Show contains a wonderful mixture of representational and abstract art, all of which are fascinating in their own way. There are the very, very tiny paintings, measuring no more than 3 x 3 inches, of Freya Grand such as The Sea, whose use of a monochromatic color palette imbues the pieces with a certain moodiness as well as strength. Josh George’s exquisite mixed media pieces present a powerful statement by the artist on man’s ability to wreak havoc upon himself so vividly depicted in his Pollution Makes Pretty Sunsets. The piece with its lush and vivid use of color does depict a “pretty sunset, but this beauty is tempered by the fact that this is the result of the overwhelming clouds of pollution which literally consume the city below.

Sondra Arkin’s small delicate abstract encaustic pieces, with their subtle and soft colors, convey a sense of calm and tranquility to the observer, while Megan Chapman’s works, with their dark, yet very deep and intense colors, convey a sense of power and strength so aptly expressed in her piece titled Implosion. Carlotta Hester’s playful use of encaustic and melted crayon in her work evokes a wonderful sense of playfulness and charm in her pieces of which Lacing Through is a delightful example.

Joan Belmar’s well balanced combination of collage, acrylic, and oil paints is very obvious in his work, as is so well displayed in his La Noche de San Juan. The juxtaposition of “real” and “visual” textures in his pieces creates a sense of intricate detail while his use of layering and overlapping resulting from his use of collage creates a profound sense of depth and space as well. David Friedhiem’s small welded figurative sculptures titled Small Monsters are refreshing in their playfulness and childlike quality as they seem to run about and interact one with the other.

Aaron Gallery’s 20th Annual Small and Miniature Show offers to the visitor a wide range of pieces that may be small in size, but are monumental in their overall effect. This writer would strongly suggest that you take some time and treat yourself with the opportunity to wander through this creative and delightful display of work at the Aaron Gallery.

Ron Riley is the President of the Foundry Gallery, located in Dupont Circle.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Arts Club of Washington: Solo Exhibitions by Nancy McIntyre, Kristen Kovak and Elissa Savos

My Soulmate Awaits, Elissa Savos, polymer clay, oils, found objects

On view from January 7 - 30, 2010

The Arts Club of Washington is pleased to announce it’s three concurrent solo shows featuring printmaker Nancy McIntyre (in the Monroe Parlors), painter Kristen Kovak (Monroe Gallery) and sculptor Elissa Savos (MacFeeley Gallery) on view until January 30th. Each artist presents their own distinct visual translation of their world through the materials that they use.

At first glance, the work of Nancy McIntyre looks like a series of delicately crafted watercolor paintings depicting inviting scenes of city store fronts and quaint beach houses. It is upon further inspection that one realizes that they are actually screen prints which are carefully composed of over 100 transparent layers of ink all seamlessly blended together to form exquisite interplays of light, shadow and rich color. McIntyre’s expertise in printmaking involves a meticulous process of cutting individual stencils by hand for each layer, which creates a great deal of detail within the prints. The result is a depth and subtlety not usually captured in silk screen printmaking. With each layer, she builds upon the last to gradually bring out reflections on glass, the glare of street signs or the gentle cast of shadows on a quiet room. Images such as “Wicker Chair” and “Heller’s Bakery” provide intricate detail and transparency to bring about a sense of still contemplation. Whether McIntyre is depicting the busy streets of Washington D.C. or the serenity of a secluded home at Rehoboth Beach Delaware, each print offers an intriguing atmosphere which draws the viewer in.

In the oil paintings of Kristen Kovak, ordinary objects become exciting explorations of color. Her still life studies place emphasis on taking liberties with what is before her by breaking up color into individual shapes to form expressive compositions that border on the verge of abstraction. This is further accentuated by the deliberate use of varied mark making that ranges from thicker daubs of paint to thin, gestural ribbons which provide the painting with variety. “Tracing Candlelight” demonstrates this by offering a vibrant interpretation of the glow of a candle. The halos and trails of light given off by the candle onto different surfaces are articulated in long, flowing strokes that weave through the entire painting.

Elissa Savos confronts the nature of the female condition and the social, political and emotional injustices caused by gender bias in compelling mixed media sculptures. The work investigates personal issues of illness, loss, marriage and motherhood in Western, Eastern, Asian and African cultures by challenging the viewer about what it means to be a woman and, more importantly, what it means to be a human being. Her work depicts the heads and torsos of various physically, emotionally and spiritually burdened women constructed from selected found objects and polymer clay painted with oil. These effectively integrated objects provide structural support for the sculpture while simultaneously contributing additional meaning to the figures. Rusted or weathered wood, chains, bolts, animal bones and other pieces of debris serve to further acknowledge the burden placed on these characters with their physical and visual heaviness. The texture utilized throughout the found objects is also carried through into the sculpting of the clay. Savos indicates her presence in the creative process by allowing the marks of her own fingers to remain on the skin of her women. This tactility is often further embellished by leaving the seams between connected body parts such as the collarbone, sternum, shoulders and jaw line which could easily be read as surgical scars. Each woman bears an expression of solemn questioning and longing that evoke the undeniable humanity within them. Just as her figures are meant to question, so too, are we. Savos states that “my intentions are not to make the viewer think as I do, but simply to make them think.”

Jennifer Woronow is a graduate from the Rhode Island School of Design with a B.F.A in Illustration. She is an intern at Aaron Gallery and is currently pursuing her art.

Arts Review for Jack Boul: Monotypes and Paintings

Cafe, monotype, 2009

The works of celebrated Washington artist Jack Boul are featured in Monotypes and Paintings, the 2010 solo invitational artist exhibition at the Washington Printmaker’s Gallery from January 3 to January 31.

Boul’s wide range of subjects, as well as his monoprinting and painting techniques, all share his same artistic aesthetic. Most of the work illustrates natural and everyday subject matter, such as, the innate movement and postures of the body, daily actions in a home’s intimate settings, and the color gradations that occur in a country landscape. These images are conveyed in thick sweeping lines and minimalist brushwork, however, his images are hardly plain or simple.

Detail, in the form of wrinkles, finger smudges, and color gradation hide within his thick black lines and blots, adding unexpected texture to his work. Many of his pieces appear as though band-aids were been placed on various parts of their surface and then ripped off. The result is a rustic, unpolished affect, that adds to the atmospheric and emotional quality of his work. These tiny imperfections also let the viewer know the great involvement and attention paid to each unique piece. It is obvious that the artist’s relationship to his work was a very close one.

The way he defines shapes in his images is unusual as well. His bold, dark lines leave abstract shapes of negative space that cause the eye to “work”-searching and forming figures and their postures or body movements. Bodies emerge from muddled blots of paint or are defined with the faintest outlines, barely decipherable from the white background. His paints bleed and run, as if watercolors, but there is surprisingly crisp quality to the images, which makes one wonder-what am I looking at? A painting, a photograph, or a charcoal drawing?

Boul's painted work, much of it in color, is impressionistic in its hazy and vibrant quality, and shares the romantic characteristics of his prints. Large brush strokes and dabs of color capture the essence of landscape. A few of his images include details of cows, or the peaceful resting face of a small child, reflecting his occasional appreciation for detail.

Boul’s unusual technique adds character and edge to the content of his pieces. His approach to his subjects also offers a fascinating perspective on portraiture. His detailed and color pieces reflect the multi-dimensional nature of his work and his talent as a long practicing DC artist.

Claire Menegus is a native Washingtonian who recently returned to the area after working for a photography magazine in London. She is currently a public relations intern at the Washington Project for the Arts.

David Goslin at Gallery A

Untitled - 121, acrylic on canvas, 50 x 58, 2009

David Goslin’s influences are immediately recognizable. Walking into the first room of his current show at Gallery A, the colors and compositions of his hard-edge stripe paintings reference Morris Lewis, Barnett Newman, and of course, the Washington Color School. There is a retro aesthetic throughout the show that may come, in part, from these influences. The browns and blues
used in these paintings are particularly evocative of popular decorating palettes from earlier decades, which, coincidentally, seem to be coming back into fashion again.

Goslin’s most successful pieces in this exhibition show his subtle understanding of color. Often times, hard-edge stripes can create a color vibration that is hard to study for

longer than a second without hurting one’s eyes. This is not the case in Goslin’s paintings. In Untitled-120, specifically, nine vertical bars of different widths make the viewer’s eye dance across the painting with the vibration of the colors, but in a very comfortable way. His muted tones serve as a complimentary foil to the brighter colors and as a visual resting place.

Also of interest are the paintings where he re-introduces color mixing on the canvas. There are several large pieces that have to be called landscapes. Two horizontal stripes of a single tone each separate a ground color and sky color that have subtle tonal shifts. Looking like a sea at sunset, a field after a rain, or a desert horizon, these landscapes celebrate color as the rest of the paintings in this show do, but bring in the extra element of narrating a place to the viewer.

Annie Turner for The Washington Printmakers Gallery

Foundry Gallery: A Deeper Reality

Works by Doris Colbert Kennedy

January 2 – January 31, 2010

Emergent Complexities. Doris Colbert Kennedy.

Oil on canvas. 30 x 36”.

Through January 31st a solo exhibition by painter Doris Colbert Kennedy will be showing in Gallery 1 of the Foundry Gallery. Gaining inspiration from the physics of basic elements and the energy of movement in atomic particles, Kennedy creates abstract oil paintings of vibrant colors in chaotic strokes and lines.

The show, consisting of thirteen works of oil on canvas, is hung in the entry and front room of the gallery. When walking through the doors to the main gallery space, one is immediately struck by World Sheets, a bold diptych, and the largest piece in the show. Sweeping bands of orange, red and yellow mark the diagonal of the composition. These frenetic strokes push the cooler spaces of blues, purples and greens towards the outer corners of the canvas, giving a sense of movement and elemental repositioning that remains consistent throughout all of the works.

Tucked into the front corner of the gallery is Light in Phase Space, one of the most striking works in the show. Unlike World Sheets, this piece uses subtler areas of soft yellows and neutral browns and greens that either blend together at their meeting points or break apart into deeper strokes and translucent swirls. Amidst the play of mellow browns and yellows two cuts of bright blue break apart the composition and then slowly fade into the other colors. Their pointed ends pull areas of soft white and cream towards them, dictating the dynamics of the canvas.

Eleanor Smitherman is a recent graduate from Kenyon College with a B.A. In Art History. She is an intern at Washington Project for the Arts and is currently working on their 35th Anniversary Exhibition.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Guest Show: Songs of the Earth - Great and Small

January 6 - January 30, 2010
First Friday Reception (as part of the Dupont Circle Galleries openings): January 8, 6 - 8 pm
Meet the Artist Reception: January 9, 4 - 6 pm

Look closely at nature's wonders - its intricacies, its beauty, its poetic patterns - the very web of life of which we are a part. Beginning in 2004, the 16 artists known as Studio 155 have offered their visions of the natural world, expanding the boundaries of botanical art.

Debbie Bankert, Roberta Bernstein, Neena Birch, Elizabeth W. Carter, Wendy Cortesi, Jill Hodgson, Vicki Malone, Donald B. Myer, Kappy Prosch, Michael Rawson, Eva-Maria Ruhl, Ellen Tuttle, Julie Weihe, S. M. Wilson

At Studio Gallery
Wednesday and Thursday, 1 - 7pm
Friday, 1 - 8pm
Saturday, 1 - 6pm

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Susan Stamberg of NPR Radio Interviews Foundry Gallery Guest Artist Ahmad Alkarkhi

Susan Stamberg of National Public Radio interviewed Iraqi artist Ahmad Alkarkhi about his show at the Foundry Gallery. Ms. Stamberg's interview will be aired on Tuesday, January 5th. The exact time of the interview has yet to be determined but the easiest way to hear it is to log onto http//www/ and click on the morning edition. The interview will be available to listen to throughout the day.

Ahmad Alkarkhi's exhibit at Foundry Gallery consisted of recent works completed since his arrival in the US several months ago and was entitled Baghdad Memories. The paintings conjured up vivid memories of his life in his native Iraq.