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Posted at 3:16 PM ET, 04/ 2/2007

Comings and Goings

By Julia Beizer

Local art fans, start your engines. April is shaping up to be a bacchanalia for the eyes. We have Artomatic coming up, in addition to a citywide celebration of color field painting and D.C.'s first international art fair. We'll run through some of the month's best shows after the jump.


ColorField Remix, a series of events and exhibits celebrating color field painting and the Washington Color School, kicks off this month at venues across the metropolitan area. I'm usually skeptical of these "citywide celebrations," but many of the exhibits on tap seem really good.

Gene Davis's 1969 work, "untitled painting," is part of the Kreeger Museum's permanent collection.

Take "Gene Davis: Interval." The Kreeger Museum exhibit features 60 paintings by one of D.C.'s most famous painters, so that's gotta be worth a look. Only 20 paintings make up the Phillips Collection's contribution to the festival, but local brush-stars like Morris Louis and Kenneth Noland are represented in this small show. Work by Leon Berkowitz, a seminal local artist who worked with color, but vehemently denied any affilliation with the Washington Color School, will be on view at the Edison Place Gallery (Reception: 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, April 10) and Hemphill Fine Arts. (Reception: 6:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m. Saturday, April 14)

But to me, some of the most exciting shows are the ones that incorporate new media into the color field tradition. I'm most looking forward to the robotic painting arms at Curator's Office that use computer sensors for inspiration and Washington Project for the Arts\Corcoran's Experimental Media Series devoted to contemporary color field work.

A version of Portia Munson's "Pink Project"

Hemphill offers another contemporary riff on the color field theme: Portia Munson's all-pink installation made up of disposable objects and a few other unmentionables that girls usually keep tucked away in their sock drawers.

But yes, Washington, there's more to April than color. On April 6, the Smithsonian American Art Museum opens "Saul Steinberg: Illuminations," an exhibit of 120 works by the famed New Yorker illustrator.

Barbara Probst's "Exposure #46, NYC, 555 8th Avenue, 10.09.06, 8:23 pm"

Using a multiple-release trigger system, photographer Barbara Probst captures the same image from many different angles at one time. Sound trippy? Check out her work at G Fine Art from April 7 until May 19. (Reception: 6:30-8:30 p.m. Saturday, April 7)

David Bradley's "Land O' Fakes, Land O' Bucks"

Suzan Shown Harjo, a Native American poet who was one of the paintiffs in the trademark lawsuit against the Washington Redskins, curated "American Icons Through Indigenous Eyes," an exhibit at the D.C. Arts Center that runs from April 13 to May 6. The exhibition features work by Native American artists and looks at stereotypes in American pop culture. Since the exhibit comes on the heels (spurs?) of the gallery's "Jolly Cowboy" exhibition, gallery staffers tell me that a talk with both curators is in the works. (Reception: 7-9 p.m. Friday, April 13)

Judith Thompson's paintings of smug and attractive long-necked women go on view at Long View Gallery from April 14 until May 5.

Harry Benson's "The Beatles with Cassius Clay, Miami, 1964"

Take a walk down memory lane in "Harry Benson: Being There," an exhibition organized by the Scottish National Portrait Gallery. Works by the famous photojournalist go on view at our National Portrait Gallery from April 27 through Sept. 3. Winston Churchill, Muhammad Ali, Martin Luther King Jr. and Elizabeth Taylor are among those represented.

Artists Megan Jacobs and Anna Westfall create an immersive installation made out of video, glass, porcelain, light and even a tricky material like ice at Flashpoint. "Penumbra" will be on view from April 27 until June 2.

From April 27-30, the Washington Convention Center is home to artDC, the District's first international art fair. More than 80 galleries are scheduled to exhibit contemporary art from around the world. Since this is the fair's maiden voyage, it's hard to tell what to expect. I'd imagine that it'll be sort of like the Auto Show or the Motorcycle Show or any other expo at the Convention Center -- except with much prettier things to look at. Like the Auto Show, if you're looking to invest in art, this is a good place to check out. Entry fees range from $6 to $12, but admission is free on Friday, April 27.

UPDATE, April 23: The following exhibit has moved to the Warehouse Arts Complex. After checking out art from around the world at artDC, step over to the Space, a nearby loft-style venue, for "Supple," an exhibition of work by local talents including Graham Caldwell, Mary Early and Robin Rose. The exhibit will be open from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. each day from April 26 to April 29, but stroll over for the receptions between 7 and 9 p.m. Thursday through Saturday.

Reception of the Month
Artomatic's opening night will be the place to be on April 13. Nearly 400 visual artists and countless performing artists will set up shop in this Crystal City office building for the month-long arts extravaganza. Artists are encouraging anyone who comes to opening night to come in costume. We'll have a lot more on Artomatic up on the site as the date comes closer. (Full disclosure: Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive, my darling employer, is sponsoring some of the opening night festivities.)

"Cell Phone," a much-lauded interactive digital exhibit in Baltimore, closes on April 22. The Natural History Museum's exhibit of orchids closes that day as well.

A slew of good shows closes on April 29: Eadweard Muybridge's lesser-known photographs of Central America, "Two Hundred Years of Black Paper Dolls" at the Anacostia Museum and "Perspectives: Simryn Gill," an exhibition that features a chili-pepper-and-cutlery installation and rolled-paper "pearls." The National Gallery's Jasper Johns exhibit also makes its way out on April 29.

-- Julia

By Julia Beizer  | April 2, 2007; 3:16 PM ET
Categories:  Museums  
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You've got a painting of a woman on the home page linked to this story. But it doesn't appear here. Can you tell me what this picture is from? It's an intriguing painting.

Posted by: Jane | April 4, 2007 4:37 PM | Report abuse

It's from the Judith Thompson show (right above the Beatles picture).

Posted by: Julia | April 4, 2007 6:08 PM | Report abuse

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