“A longtime Londoner who spent much of his childhood in Washington, Michael Craig-Martin is probably best known for “An Oak Tree,” a 1973 conceptual work that doesn’t actually feature an oak tree. The screen prints in Gallery Neptune & Brown’s “Quotidian: Recent Editions” are rather more literal. These coloring-book-style renderings — sometimes filled in with bright, simple hues — depict everyday items with the precision of technical drawings. No ambiguity, of either technique or interpretation, is permitted.”
“A second-generation Italian American inspired by a sojourn in southern Italy, Cianne Fragione makes mixed-media abstractions that seem to contain bits of the old country. The layered, heavily worked surfaces give an archaeological vibe to the pictures in Gallery Neptune & Brown’s ‘Dancing the Tarantella.’”Read More
In the galleries: David X Levine uses pencils to put a new spin on an Old Master
By Mark Jenkins
November 9, 2017
“For centuries, artists either devoutly emulated or defiantly rejected the work of their predecessors. Contemporary artists such as David X Levine take a subtler approach, gleaning from Old Masters to make work those forerunners would struggle to recognize. Giotto would probably be mystified by “Painting With Pencils,” Levine’s show at Gallery Neptune and Brown. But it features a set of large drawings based on one of the proto-Renaissance painter’s masterpieces, the interior of Padua’s Scrovegni Chapel.”Read More
By Mark Jenkins
May 4, 2017
“At first glance, Jowita Wyszomirska’s painting-drawings appear to be stormy abstractions in black and white, with touches of icy blue and earthy pink. So why do most of their titles include precise times and dates, as well as specific geographical information?
The answer is that the imagery in “Vanishing Point,” Wyszomirska’s show at Gallery Neptune & Brown, is derived from NASA satellite photos. Genuine squalls activate the flurries of black ink and paint, and actual melting glaciers inspire the watery blues. The Polish-born Baltimore artist is not a realist, but the phenomena she depicts are as certifiable as record-high temperatures and rising sea levels.
The centerpiece is an installation, 11 feet high and 17 feet wide, that simultaneously depicts two meteorological moments: one in the Yukon and the other above the Chesapeake Bay. Five large sheets of paper, marked in black and hung in a staggered arrangement, are complemented by black thread and pieces of burned felt. The 3-D elements are suspended in air, echoing the gestures made with paint and ink and enveloping the viewer in Wyszomirska’s vision. The vortex beckons, and in the long term, it might even be irresistible.”
Jowita Wyszomirska: Vanishing Point On view through May 13 at Gallery Neptune & Brown, 1530 14th St. NW. 202-986-1200. galleryneptunebrown.com.
At Gallery Neptune & Brown, Jowita Wyszomirska Makes Bold Environmental Statements Through Her Art
by Becky Little
April 20, 2017
“In her graphic memoir, Fun Home, cartoonist Alison Bechdel recalls seeing sunsets made “pyrotechnic” by air pollution from a local paper mill and a creek that was beautifully clear only because mine runoff had made it too acidic for life to thrive.
“Wading in this fishless creek and swooning at the salmon sky, I learned firsthand that most elemental of all ironies,” she writes of her 1960s and ’70s childhood. “That, as Wallace Stevens put it in mom’s favorite poem, ‘death is the mother of beauty.’”
The idea that suffering can beget art is hardly a new concept, but these observations about the environment have a particular sting in 2017, as Donald Trump pursues his plan to roll back efforts to fight climate change. Here in D.C., the city where Trump sort-of lives, artist Jowita Wyszomirska has tapped into the real anxiety many Americans have about the future by offering up a beautiful elegy to a suffering planet.
The pieces in Vanishing Point, Wyszomirska’s new exhibit at gallery neptune & brown, are conceptual of the highest order. She takes her inspiration from satellite imagery documenting the changing weather patterns near northern glaciers and, more locally, the Chesapeake Bay. After digitally tracing and laser cutting the images, she creates paintings that are at once elegant and frightening…”
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