Monday, September 13, 2004

The DC visual arts season is well underway and my mailbox overfloweth with invitations to new shows at galleries, art spaces, embassies and museums. The gallery season started with the Bethesda Art Walk last Friday, and Options 2005 Curator Philip Barlow was making the rounds in Bethesda.

Read Blake Gopnik's falls preview here and then the full Washington Post's visual arts preview here.

Hugh Shurley's photoAnd now that we're underway, next is the Third Thursday Gallery Openings around the 7th Street corridor on Sept. 16 and the next day, the Georgetown gallery openings with the four Canal Square Galleries opening next Friday.

We will host the Washington, DC solo debut of Bay Area photographer Hugh Shurley.

Shurley manipulates photography to create a fascinating blend of the unusual, the odd and the contemporary. His work is in the collection of several public institutions and museums including LACMA.

Shurley was the Best of Show winner at the Second Annual Bethesda International Photography Competition juried by Philip Brookman, Curator of Photography and Media Arts at the Corcoran Gallery of Art. Opening reception Sept. 17 from 6-9 PM.

work by SicaZenith Gallery has Sica, and you can meet the artist on September 17 from 6-9 PM.

That same day, Strand On Volta has the Washington, DC and American debut of Canadian painter Lucy Hogg in a show titled "Sliding Landscapes." Hogg has a gallery talk on October 12 at noon.

And still on the 17th, Cheryl Numark offers "Architecture Untethered." It feautures typical blue chip artists like Isidro Blasco, Robert Lazzarini and others.

And finally, the great, overloaded day delivers a member's reception for Lynn Putney's Meanwhile (While You were Sleeping), where Putney will create one large wall painting on site at DCAC. Putney will have an artist's talk on October 2nd at 4 PM.

The next day, on Saturday, Sept. 18, Transformer presents "sub-TEXT" featuring three generations of Sala Diaz artists with Jesse Amado, Andréa Caillouet and Chuck Ramirez.

And of course, that day is also Arts on Foot between 11:00am and 5:00pm, when Downtown Washington's Pennsylvania Quarter will hold its 12th Annual Arts on Foot Festival.

At Spectrum Gallery, J. Lea Lansaw, whose show opened a while back, has an artist's talk on September 19 at 2:00 PM. The show runs until Sept. 26.

A bit north, the Rockville Arts Place just opened "A Sense of Place," which features three artists conversing on thematic subjects: Prescott Moore Lassman (who is slowly but surely becoming one of the best-known photographers in our area), Constance Bergfor and Neena Birch.

In Dupont Circle, the openings or extended hours take place October 1st from 6-8 PM, and Elizabeth Roberts Gallery showcases Koren-born Philadephia artist Alice Oh, who takes her artistic inspirations from viewing blood cells under a microscope.

In Alexandria, Gallery West presents Deborah Hoeper's show "Soft Views," with an artist reception on Saturday, October 9 from 6-8 PM. A block from there, the Art League showcases contemporary fiber art by Jennifer Coyne Qudeen.

At The Artists' Gallery in Frederick, Maryland, painters Phyllis Jacobs and Doug Moulden have "Off the Wall" opening on Sunday, October 3 from 3-5 PM.

And this is like... one percent of the new shows... see more new shows here.

It's great to be a visual arts lover in DC come September!

"When it comes to swimming against the tide, Olympic gold medals should go to all representational artists. For half a century, they have been almost completely ignored by museums, boycotted by prestigious galleries and scoffed at by critics." Still, a renaissance of figure drawing has been evident for some years, led by countless amateurs and enthusiasts, and embraced by a few diehard pros. But "in a society that values quick and easy success... and when so many galleries and museums prefer to give their space to video art, conceptual art and installation art, why do so many keep struggling to master a skill that art critics insist is anachronistic and old hat? Why this continuing compulsion to draw?"
Please read the entire book review in the New York Times, and then print it and send it to every curator and art critic that you know.

And is this topical to the three Trawick Prize curators! I will make sure that they (a) get a copy of my review once it is published, and (b) a copy of the NY Times piece.

The book by Peter Steinhart is "The Undressed Art: Why We Draw," and it is now on my to-read list.

Thanks to AJ