Friday, January 06, 2006

And then there was one...

Photo of Catriona Fraser by Jessie Webb for The Examiner
2005 has been our most successful year ever; more on this later.

Whitmore at Fusebox

Tomorrow Fusebox opens the new year with two new exhibitions: Vesna Pavlović: Collection/Kolekcija in their main exhibition space, and Ian Whitmore: Little Lies in their project space.

With three shows in the last three years, Whitmore continues to stay in the limelight as one of DC's best-known and most creative and aggressive painters. He's an amazing talent and I am truly looking forward to seeing what he's been working on.

The exhibitions open January 7 and run through February 11, 2006. A reception for the artists will be held Saturday, January 7, from 6:30 to 8:30 pm.

Update: This will be the gallery's last show; from Sarah Finlay this news release:

After a remarkable and rewarding five years, co-owners Sarah Finlay and Patrick Murcia regretfully announce the closing of Fusebox effective February 11, 2006.

As many of you know, Patrick Murcia, my husband and co-director of Fusebox, has for the past five years diligently balanced his demanding full-time position in the nonprofit housing world with his substantial responsibilities here at Fusebox. He now has an opportunity with his organization in San Francisco, and we, as a family, have made the difficult decision to close the gallery and relocate.

We can never fully express our gratitude to this community for its overwhelming support. We believe more than ever in the viability of Washington as home to a vibrant, internationally relevant contemporary art scene. We hope above all that our success has helped to affirm that potential. We are indebted to the other galleries and nonprofits on 14th for their collegiality, professionalism, and commitment to excellence; and for taking the risk to come here and create a critical mass of exceptional art spaces on the 14th Street corridor.

Of course, no commercial gallery can survive without avid collectors, and we have been so fortunate to work with an amazing community of intelligent, passionate people. These individuals deserve so much credit for substantially raising the bar in Washington--for zealously participating, for educating themselves, and for enthusiastically supporting excellent artists both within and outside this community.

Most important, we want to publicly express our deepest gratitude to the 18 artists who have been such an integral part of our lives for the past 5 years. Beyond providing us with a first class program, they have generously shared their time, their ideas, and their friendship. They have made it incredibly easy for us to realize our mission of furthering their careers. Every one of them has made huge strides professionally during our tenure representing them. We have every confidence that all of these extraordinary artists will continue to do great things.

Special thanks also go to our Assistant Director, Kevin Hull, for his uncompromising commitment, and to the many talented and ambitious young interns who have enriched our lives and helped in every aspect of the gallery’s operation--without them we could not have succeeded.

In closing, we want to reiterate that this art community has so much to offer and so much potential for continued growth and significance. We hope that any void we might be leaving will be quickly filled by another promising new gallery, and that this rich community of critics, curators, academics, gallerists, artists, students, and collectors will give them the same generous support and encouragement they gave us. Thank you one and all.

Silverthorne's Top Ten

Alexandra Silverthorne is another one of those DC area art fans who really gets around to the galleries. In fact, I would dare to guess that Silverthorne is among the top five gallery visitors in our area. And that's good, because she gets to see and comment on a hugely diverse set of exhibitions, not just the top ten galleries or so. And thus more power to her for adding some shows that she wished she had seen to her list. Alexandra's top 10 visual arts show of 2005 is posted here and reproduced below:

So instead, here are my lists (in no particular order).

Top 5 Favorite Area Exhibits
Andre Kertesz @ NGA
Carolina Sardi @ Flashpoint
Cynthia Connolly @ Transformer
Sam Gilliam @ The Corcoran
Sean Scully @ The Philips

Top 5 Area Exhibits I Wish I Had Seen
Jose Ruiz @ G Fine Art
Kelly Towles @ Adamson
Jiha Moon @ Curator's Office
Tim Tate @ Fraser Bethesda
Dan Steinhilber @ Numark

Honorable Mentions I Did See
Seven @ WPA/C / The Warehouse
Post Secret @ WPA/C
Gabriela Bulisova @ Fraser Georgetown
Read Bailey's interview of Silverthorne here.