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Posted at 9:13 PM ET, 05/30/2007

Comings and Goings

By Julia Beizer

Big-time exhibitions of Portuguese treasures and American masters are on tap this month, along with public art projects, outsider-art displays and a trio of photography exhibits.


This Japanese plate with a Dutch seal speaks to cultural exchange during the Age of Exploration.

This month, the Sackler Gallery unveils the largest exhibit in its 19-year history: "Encompassing the Globe: Portugal and the World in the 16th and 17th Centuries." Made up of 300 objects from Brazil, the Persian Gulf, Africa, India, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Japan and China, the exhibit showcases the objects Portuguese explorers brought back from their Earth-circling travels. The exhibit opens June 23 24.

Several Logan Circle galleries kick off the month with opening receptions from 6:30 until 8:30 p.m. this Saturday night. Hemphill's "Mingering Mike: The Amazing Career of An Imaginary Superstar," an exhibition of fake records found in an area flea market; "Pulp Fiction," Adamson Gallery's exhibition of narrative-centered works; and G Fine Art's display of Lisa Marie Thalhammer's truck stop drawings are worth checking out.

"Anonymous," Washington Project for the Arts\Corcoran's annual fundraiser, serves up 100 2-foot-by-2-foot pieces of art by 10 established and 90 emerging artists. The gimmick? They're hung on the wall without identification. After the opening reception on June 7, the pieces will go on sale for $500. The artists' names will be revealed only after a piece has been sold.

A new exhibition dubbed the "Korea Gallery," opening June 8 at the Museum of Natural History, highlights centuries of ceramics, paintings, textiles and sculpture from the country.

Dana Ellyn's "Cowboys and Iraqis"

Dana Ellyn's bright, bug-eyed figures can be both wickedly disturbing and wildly funny. An exhibit of her work goes on view at Shaw's Long View Gallery from June 9 through June 30. (Reception: 6-8 p.m. Saturday, June 9)

Ellyn's work is also on view later in the month as part of "Art in Heat." This exhibit at the Warehouse features lowbrow and self-taught artists from around the region including Matt Sesow, Gregory Ferrand, Scott G. Brooks and Anna U. Davis. (Reception: 7-11 p.m. Saturday, June 30)

Karel Kasparik's "Why?"

Part history exhibit, part art show, the National Gallery's "Foto: Modernity in Central Europe" looks at the photography boom in Austria, Czechoslovakia, Germany, Hungary and Poland in the years between the World Wars. The exhibition, which features photographs, books and illustrated magazines, opens on June 10.

Photographer and poet Ellis L. Marsalis III captures scenes from his Baltimore neighborhood in "Voices and Visions from Tha Bloc." The exhibit of photographs and poetry opens at the Anacostia Community Museum on June 10.

Ken Ashton's "Asbury Park Boardwalk"

Ken Ashton's beautifully still photographs of the cities between Washington, D.C. and Boston are on view at Civilian Art Projects this month in a show titled "Megalopolis." Lily Cox-Richard's installation of an old-timey fence will be on view in the gallery's project space. (Reception: 7-9 p.m. Friday, June 15)

Ernest Lawson's "Spring Night, Harlem River"

There's no doubt that impressionism was revolutionary in it's day, but to my mind, it's always been a little on the vanilla side. Nevertheless, the Phillips Collection's upcoming exhibition, "American Impressionism: Paintings from the Phillips Collection," promises to be a good one. France's fine painters will always be the technique's masters, but the exhibition shows how American practitioners made the style their own. The show opens on June 16.

Political communication between the United States and Iran may not be easy, but cultural communication is doing just fine. On June 21, the Ellipse Art Center opens "Transform/nation:Contemporary Art of Iran and Its Diaspora," an exhibit that features the work of Iranian artists working in and outside of Iran. (Reception: 6-9 p.m. Thursday, June 21). Contemporary Iranian art is also on view at the Meridian International Center until July 29.

Reception of the Month

There's no time like summer time for public, outdoor art and what better place for it than the vibrant corridor of 14th Street NW, between P and V streets. Washington Project for the Arts\Corcoran and curator Welmoed Laanstra developed SiteProjects DC as a way for local artists to interact with the rapidly changing landscape by installing 12 site-specific pieces in the area.

The project kicks off with an opening event at the Black Cat at 7 p.m. on June 15. At 8 p.m., the curator will give a tour of the pieces on view. Highlights include Roberto Bocci's interactive video installation at 1520 14th Street, the Workingman Collective's installation of birdhouses, Tom Greaves's compliment-distributing machine at 1541 14th Street and Elizabeth Lundberg Morisette's "Shoe Tree" installation in Duke's Shoe Repair, that brightly lit shop in the Reeves Center.

Can't make opening night? Brochures that list each piece's location will be available at area businesses like the Black Cat, Busboys and Poets, Vastu and Garden District. In July, drop by the area for performance pieces by Kathryn Cornelius (5-8 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, July 10-14) and Mary Coble (time to be determined, Saturday, July 28).


For years, Jonathan Mannion has snapped iconic shots of some of hip-hop's brightest stars. An exhibition of his work is on view at Govinda Gallery until June 23.

"The Green House," the National Building Museum's long-running exhibit on eco-friendly home-building, closes on June 24. Dreaming of a renovation? This exhibit's like a free brainstorming session. (Being able to afford your green dream home is the next step.)

Jessica Dawson, The Post's gallery reviewer, had this to say about "Gute Aussichten": "A handful of German photography graduate students touch down with some of the strongest work I've seen anywhere." Catch the Goethe-Institut exhibit before it bids D.C. "auf Wiedersehen" on June 29.

By Julia Beizer  | May 30, 2007; 9:13 PM ET
Categories:  Museums  
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