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Center Stage: Bill Viola’s art slows time to create mindful contemplation

Bill Violas The Fall into ParadisePerformers John Hay and Sarah Steben take part in Bill Viola's video art piece "The Fall into Paradise," part of his exhibit "The Moving Portrait" now featured at the National Portrait Gallery. COURTESY PHOTO

WASHINGTON D.C. — Moving pictures meet portraiture. Video, a popular media form used for almost any purpose, is rarely utilized for slow, perceptual contemplation often achieved in paintings or music.

Bill Viola’s work “The Moving Portrait” does exactly that. His work is more akin to portraiture rather than narrative stories often seen in video. His work focuses on facial language and slow-motion to allow a calmer, meditative attention to his footage.

These videos focus on the physical actions of his subjects rather than the promise of a narrative climax or conclusion to maintain interest. Examples include “The Raft”, a high-definition video projection of nineteen people suddenly hit by a high-pressure stream of water.

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Bethesda business hosts ‘A Toast to Art’ showcase

BETHESDA — Two entrepreneurs held an open house art exhibit in their own Bethesda office entitled “A Toast to Art” on Tuesday.

Sean Saidi and Sabine Roy helm Saidi-Roy Associates, or SR/A, a private business that is partly architectural and partly interior design.

SR/A is contracted to design new multifamily homes and renovate old ones in the area. Saidi and Roy’s art exhibit showcases local work from artists they know personally.

“We talk to local artists to help Bethesda because there’s not enough exhibits, and the ones available are very expensive,” said Saidi.

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BlackRock features political and social art of local artists

blackrockOne of the artworks presented at BlackRock. PHOTO BY REECE LINDENMAYER  

GERMANTOWN — The BlackRock Center for the Arts opened their first day of the year with an art exhibit featuring the work of three local artists.

In the Kay Gallery, the work of Linda Colsh and Julia Dzikiewicz is on display. Colsh’s work, entitled “Seeing the Unseen” focuses on elderly subjects, whom she believes are marginalized in society.

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Center Stage: Getting on the “Hot Beat” at Smithsonian American Art

WASHINGTON — An exhibit of Gene Davis’ work “Hot Beat” is currently running at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. At “Hot Beat,” visitors can view Davis’ signature art, which is defined by his unprecedented use of multi-colored, rhythmic stripes.

The title of Davis’ exhibit is also the namesake of one of his artworks. “Hot Beat”, like many of his other paintings, has a repeating motif of one color surrounded by colors that pop out and play with the notions of the viewer.

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Center Stage: Stuart Davis leaves lasting artistic impressions

stuart davisAn example of artwork created by modernist painter Stuart Davis, from the "Stuart Davis: In Full Swing" exhibit at the National Gallery of Art. COURTESY PHOTO  

WASHINGTON – An exhibit of the early 20th century American modernist painter Stuart Davis just opened to the public at the National Gallery of Art.

Entitled “In Full Swing”, this exhibit is a comprehensive examination of Davis’ career, including 5 rooms of his artwork and a short documentary created by the museum.

Davis, as described in the background summary adorning the entrance, was born to artists in New Jersey and dropped out of high school to study painting in Manhattan under Robert Henri.

Henri, among other things, encouraged his students to “find their own voices.”

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Center Stage: Gallery features unique collection of four different artists

 

WASHINGTON – On the first floor of the Smithsonian’s Renwick Gallery, an exhibit entitled “Visions and Revisions” explores “universal cycles of growth and decline.”

“Visions and Revisions” is 2016’s installation of the “Renwick Invitational”, in which the work of four craft artists are on display in four separate sections.

Although the overarching theme is the cycle of decay and rebirth, each artist’s work shows a unique interpretation of this concept.

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Local artists gather for 46th annual Glen Echo Art Show at Spanish Ballroom

Glen Echo BallroomLocal artists gathered to display their work in the annual Glen Echo Art Show at Glen Echo Park's Spanish Ballroom. COURTESY PHOTO 

GLEN ECHO – During the holiday weekend, local artists displayed their work at the Glen Echo Labor Day Art Show at the historic Spanish Ballroom.

Now in its 46th year, the show is a lightly-juried festival that displays artwork in a variety of different media.

A percentage of revenue from artwork sold at the show supports the park’s educational programs.

“There’s a long history in the show of artists who are affiliated with the park, and also sometimes they are instructors or resident artists or they take lessons here, and some are just community members,” said Meredith Forster, Education program manager for Glen Echo Park.

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Center Stage: A unique twist on contemporary art at Smithsonian

DeMonte-5The DeMonte. PHOTO BY MARK POETKER 

WASHINGTON D.C. – The Smithsonian American Art Museum’s “Connections: Contemporary Craft at the Renwick Gallery” is an exhibit showcasing many different modes of art, with a unique twist.

Instead of ordering the art pieces by medium, artist, or time period into their own separate areas, “Connections” places the art randomly throughout the halls and connects each art piece with another through a common idea.

For example, next to the description of Viktor Schreckengost’s “Apocalypse ‘42”, a terracotta caricature of Hitler, Tojo, and Mussolini riding a berserk horse is a small icon of another art piece, “Batman 2”.

A dotted line leads to the “Batman” art in question: a full-body, knit costume by Mark Newport parodying Hollywood’s traditional view of the masculine superhero.

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Center Stage: An exhibition of Romaine Brooks' revolutionary style

brooks ida rubinsteinRomaine Brooks' Ida Rubinstein.  PHOTO BY MARK POETKER  

WASHINGTON DC — The Smithsonian American Art Museum is holding an exhibition of Romaine Brooks, an early 20th century painter notable for her revolutionary depiction of women.

Unlike traditional paintings that depict female subjects with bright, flowery colors, Brooks’ paintings are characterized by her use of muted tones and portrayal of women in androgynous attire.

Brooks’ later works are notable for the bold outlines of her subjects mixed with lightly blended colors, giving her paintings a uniquely modern feel.

These techniques emphasize the assertive poses taken by many women in her paintings, allowing her subjects’ features to carry a distinct vibrancy that carries throughout her later works.

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Local artist sees Metro riders as zombies

Eric Gordon Zombie 1Eric Gordon with one of his paintings. PHOTO BY MARK POETKER  

TAKOMA PARK – Local artist Eric Gordon said he sees a semblance of zombies, or what he likes to call “creeps,” in riders of the D.C. Metro and he sketches them when he uses public transit.

Gordon said he couldn’t take full credit for the idea of depicting riders as akin to zombies or creeps.

“I think that’s not my theory. It’s the morning, nine to five, daily grind, people going to their daily jobs,” said Gordon. “A lot of times people would much rather go to the beach or have a cup of tea, stay at home, do something like that.”

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