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In the galleries: An artist’s journey through the pandemic

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A lot of the figures in Erik Thor Sandberg’s new set of work clutch curving strips of some materials — whether or not string, cloth or flesh — as if to regular themselves. That’s most likely not what the D.C. fabulist meant when he titled his newest Connersmith present “A Query of Stability.” However the motif is a visible thread that hyperlinks these fascinating photos, every executed in flawless Renaissance type whereas alluding to up to date points and occasions.

The most important portray and probably the most complicated composition, “Cell,” is the lone rectangular canvas in an array of largely oval photos, but it’s keyed to a curved form. It depicts a gaggle of ladies tightly packed into, and partly submerged in, a water-filled circle. The spherical enclosure additionally holds a swimming cormorant and a big snake whose head and tail can’t be seen, suggesting existence with out starting or finish. Impressed by life throughout the pandemic lockdown, the image represents a cocooned family whose inhabitants have basically turn into a single organism.

Not one of the different six work are as claustrophobic because the black-backdropped “Cell,” however a number of had been additionally impressed by the pandemic. Stumbling symbolizes contracting covid in photos similar to “Fall,” during which a girl collapses whereas reaching for the tail of a leaping monkey. The tiger-skin-clad fellow on the heart of “Mad Man” totters near the bottom, greedy the string of a skull-embellished balloon as if the orb will maintain him upright — or sane. In “Disseminate,” a girl falters whereas entangled in an extended ribbon printed with phrases similar to “liar” — dispatches from the Twitterverse rendered in a masterly Sixteenth-century mode.

Other than “Cell,” all of the canvases depict a single human, often feminine and at all times lustrously nude, in sensible out of doors settings. The figures are alone, however not solitary, since they’re accompanied by bats, goats, a cat and different creatures, pure and unnatural. (The topic of “Romp” is carried by a working skeleton, to Sandberg a token of change slightly than dying.) The backgrounds are derived from websites the artist visited throughout a summer time in Tuscany, maybe communing with the spirit of such long-departed precursors as Leonardo da Vinci. Sandberg’s idiosyncratic visions are completely his personal, however his approach reaches throughout centuries.

Erik Thor Sandberg: A Query of Stability By means of Dec. 17 at Connersmith, 1013 O St. NW. Open by appointment.

Darkish and grotto-like, the 2 basement galleries on the rear of what was once the Arlington Arts Middle typically host video installations. One in every of them is getting used for that function in “Meeting 2022: Time and Consideration,” the primary exhibition on the newly renamed venue, now the Museum of Modern Artwork Arlington. However the piece within the adjoining room is extra exemplary of this present: Mandy Cano Villalobos’s found-object altar evokes dwelling, household and, with the inclusion of many toys, childhood. The Michigan artist’s towering pileup additionally illustrates a suitably funky which means of “meeting.”

Lots of the 12 artists (together with two who collaborated as a duo) mix, repurpose or emulate on a regular basis issues. North Carolina artist MyLoan Dinh juxtaposes power and fragility by overlaying such doubtlessly violent implements as hammers, mallets and boxing gloves with eggshell fragments. Courtney Puckett, from Upstate New York, molds recycled textiles to imitate mechanical gadgets. Richmond’s Sandy Williams IV makes use of candle wax to make miniatures of monuments similar to Mount Rushmore. Arizona’s Merryn Omotayo Alaka and Sam Fresquez weave a dangling sculpture made primarily of synthetic white hair.

Private and household histories are anticipated themes. Indian-born Missourian Priya Suresh Kambli invokes her late mom with white-on-blue cyanotypes intricately patterned with circles derived from the lady’s worship objects. San Francisco’s Trina Michelle Robinson edits a print of the desire of the person who enslaved her great-great-great-great-grandfather, obscuring each reference to this infamy with laced crimson twine. Atlanta artist Kelly Taylor Mitchell addresses ancestral heritage with clothing-like patchworks of paper and textiles. Video-maker Cecilia Kim, the present’s solely native artist, punctuates interviews about houses with computer-animated imaginings of the locations her topics recall.

If nature is much less frequent a theme right here than in a lot up to date artwork, it did encourage just a few of probably the most compelling items. Human faces and fingers flower from vegetation in Floridian Vincent Miranda’s sculptures, manufactured from silicone, glass and (reportedly) mosquitoes. Arizona’s Erika Lynne Hanson abstracts desert landscapes on such various supplies as linen and solid cement. Stark and arid as they seem, her items are additionally visions of dwelling.

Meeting 2022: Time and Consideration By means of Dec. 18 on the Museum of Contemporary Art Arlington, 3550 Wilson Blvd., Arlington.

In line with the present’s title, “Texture” is the main focus of the most recent within the Amy Kaslow Gallery’s “Folks Artwork Is Superb Artwork” collection. The items on show, produced by greater than two dozen people or teams from each continent besides Antarctica, embrace many which might be notable for luxuriant weaves, surfaces or ornamentation.

South African ceramist Jabulile Nala casts conventional beer pots whose glistening darkish exteriors are embellished with symmetrical preparations of nubs and gashes, echoing these etched into human pores and skin by some African tribes. The Papayo Wounaan Weavers, who reside in Panama and Colombia, make sinuous, watertight black-and-tan vessels from the fronds of a uncommon palm. Madagascar’s Marie Alexandrine Rasoanantenaina constructs delicate, nest-like baskets of vetiver, a wild grass. The geometric-patterned banners crafted by Porfirio Gutiérrez, who divides his time between California and his native Mexico, embrace a placing one manufactured from undyed wool in a number of pure shades of grey.

Three standout artists take opposing approaches to custom. Uzbek miniaturist Davron Toshev paints historic scenes of courtly life in a refined type developed by Persian artists some 600 years in the past, whereas Haiti’s Josnel Bruno and Gabriel Bien-Aimé lower and hammer found-metal objects into rough-edged however elegant sculptures. For them, hubcaps and oil drums are as a lot pure assets as leaves or grasses.

Folks Artwork Is Superb Artwork: Texture By means of Dec. 18 at Amy Kaslow Gallery, 4300 Fordham Rd. NW.


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