Thursday, January 18, 2007

Philip Barlow's Top 10

Ubercollector Phillip Barlow is a towering presence at most DC area art shows, and also has done a super job in his first venture as a curator. Below is his list of his top 10 DC area art shows for 2006 and they are in order

1. Simon Gouverneur – Curator’s Office (1/28/06 – 3/4/06)

2. Brandon Morse – Conner Contemporary (3/17/06 – 4/29/06)

3. Iona Brown & Jefferson Pinder – G Fine Art (11/18/06 – 1/6/07)

4. Jae Ko – Marsha Mateyka (9/28/06 – 10/28/06)

5. Laurel Lukaszewski – Project 4 (6/16/06 – 7/22/06)

6. Robin Rose & Sharon Sanderson – Hemphill Fine Art (9/16/06 – 10/28/06)

7. Dan Treado – Addison/Ripley Fine Art (9/9/06 – 10/14/06)

8. Manon Cleary – WAM (Edison Place Gallery) (9/14/06 – 10/27/6)

9. Amy Lin – District of Columbia Arts Center (12/15/06 – 1/15/07)

10. Teo Gonzalez – Irvine Contemporary (9/8/06 – 10/14/06)

More Baltimorism

Uli Loskot is a talented photojournalist from Austria who shoots for the Baltimore City Paper.

She has been spending a lot of time in Mexico and those works will be included in the exhibition "Northern Comfort" at The Whole Gallery (405 W. Franklin Street in Baltimore). The exhibition also includes works by Seth Mathurin, Steve Dewey, Dirk Joseph and Mike Miller.

Check it out Saturday, January 20th. Music by Lighter Thieves and Puddle. 7PM to Mindnight.

Art Horror Story

Read this Los Angeles Times story about artist John O'Brien and what happened when he decided to sell reproductions of his paintings.

Add a dishonest art dealer to the mix and this is what you get.

Baltimore Yarns

"Yarns of the Material World" opens January 20, 2007 from 6-10 pm at Cubicle 10 in Baltimore.

The exhibition features work by Ken Ashton, D.Billy, Zoe Charlton, Jeffry Cudlin, Rick Delananey, Richard Dana, Candace Keegan, Bridget Sue Lambert, Bill Johnson, J.T. Kirkland, Jefferson Pinder, Michael Platt, Stan Squirewell, Alex Schuchard and Trish Tillman.

The gallery is at 1431-1435 North Central Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21202 and can be reached at 202-247-0595.

While there swing by the new Patricia Touchet Gallery and see DC artist's Sean Hennessey's first solo, as I've been hearing good things about that show.

Opportunity for Artists

Deadline: February 1, 2007

The National Society of Arts and Letters 2007 Water Media Art Competition is accepting applications from younger artists, age 18-29. Deadline is February 1st, 2007. $4,000 prize with opportunity to win $10,000 prize at the national level. Works must be made with water-soluable paint or ink. Details here.

Exhibit for the competition will be at Heineman Myers in Bethesda, MD from March 18-25, 2007.

Art Party on 14th Street

By Rosetta DeBerardinis

January is usually a dead month for art, but there was a party going on opening night along DC’s newest art district - 14th Street, N.W. Bright lights were flashing, car horns blowing and art lovers spilling onto the sidewalk in front of the galleries. It was a wild night in the city.


As I made my way through the narrow entrance at 1515 14th Street to visit some of the best galleries in city, I rubbed past many familiar faces dodging wine-filled plastic cups.

Ah-to be pencil-thin again!

Once inside the three-story urban industrial space, two friends suggested I begin with Hemphill Fine Arts. It was filled with people who looked like hires from Central Casting. Everyone was chic, hip, urban - and young. A great place to check-out the latest fashion trends in eyewear.

The show “Colby Caldwell | small game” (a collection of mostly landscape inkjet prints on wood), gave you a sense of space and depth in a gallery that had none. It was jam-packed!

after nature 41 by Colby Caldwell

"after nature (41)" by Colby Caldwell

Some sought relief from the tuxedo-clad servers who were generously dispensing wine, beer, water or whatever would take the edge off the intense body-heat. My favorite print was “after nature (41),” or #9 according to the signage on the wall. I assume it is part of a series because there are eight paintings with the same title on the price list.

This work captures the hues of darkness and the formations of water with a very thin color-line depicting a horizon far into the distance. There lies the subtle beauty of black and white photography and its size (45 7/8” x 61 3/8”) captivates the viewer, however, the striped abstracts that open the show are not as compelling as Caldwell’s transformable landscapes.


The hallways on my way to Adamson Editions were filled with chatter and more members of the fashion crowd. Adamson usually has a more mature, sophisticated and moneyed crowd at his openings. But, where there is free food and free alcohol there is the infamous DC moochers (as anointed by the City Paper).

"Jessie Mann: Self Possessed, Photos by Len Prince," an exhibit of black and white photography was the strongest show in the building. I overheard conversations from the locals who disagreed with me and conjured up recollections of the Mapplethorpe debacle.

First of all, the show exhibited the human figure which everyone loves and can relate to - especially in Washington. I particularly liked the nude female seated on a rickety old staircase holding an Ipod with its cord running up the staircase still connected to its charger. And, the beautiful outline of a female sitter like a relief in the round, her considerable charm form the fluid grace of her outline.

This is a show of beauty, talent, creativity and excellent technical execution.

G Fine Art

Walking sideways through another packed hallway, I wiggled into G Fine Art who was hosting "Civilian @ G," the second launching of Jamie McLellan’s new gallery without walls, the Civilian Art Projects.

The Projects is currently a roving installation of its gallery artists held at host venues. Its first exhibition was at the Warehouse in December. It is my understanding that these premier exhibits are intended to introduce Civilians' stable of artists.

It was also packed with many familiar faces in the crowd. Washington collector and curator Phillip Barlow stood towering over the crowd, and somehow “the moochers” had beaten me there.

It was a non-thematic group exhibition. And, a little signage on the walls to tell us the “who and what” about the works would have surely helped.

I found the show of edgy and innovative works uneven, but like every exhibit, there were a few outstanding pieces. The two collages with paper cut-outs of urban hipsters wearing summer outwear (eg. Birkenstocks, sleeveless t-shirts, sunglasses) strolling through the stark white aftermath of a major blizzard was the best.

Unfortunately, due to time constraints, confusion and my ignorance, I missed what I heard is a superb G Fine Art photography group show in the back gallery including works by one of my favorite photographers, Chan Chao.

Melissa Ichiuji Optimists
Exiting the building was as difficult as entering it. Now it is around eight-something, so I dashed to Irvine Contemporary Art, housed in the next block.

Luckily, the crowd there had thinned. It is showing two exhibits “Melissa Ichiuji: Nasty Nice” and Kahn Selesnick’s “The Apollo Prophecies: New Photographs.”

Ichujii’s doll-like sculptures leaning toward surrealism dominates the front gallery. When you enter the space “Snake-n-eggs” is a hair-less form relaxing on a white pedestal flaunting her fertile eggs that are lying atop an array of beautiful colored feathers. From this point on in the exhibit you know this is no typical doll-show.

The wall text reads: “Beauty is dangerous in narrow times, a knife in a slender neck of the rational man, and only those who live between the layers of these strange days can know its shape and name.” (From Great Jones Street, 1973).

The gallery assistant began to flicker the lights like a call for seating in a theatre. “We will re-open on Tuesday,” she announced. Flickering lights usually signal a beginning but instead it marked the end of a great night for art on 14th Street-in January!