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Posted at 8:29 AM ET, 11/ 2/2007

Comings and Goings

By Julia Beizer

This month, the best art-viewing opportunities come after dark. Details on evening receptions, activist exhibitions and shows for foodies follow the jump.


"Discovering Rastafari!," an exhibition opening today at the National Museum of Natural History, sets out to prove that there's more to Rastafarian culture than what any Peter Tosh CD might suggest. The exhibit makes its case with photographs, videos and artifacts like drums and clothing.

For after-dark art viewing, tonight's First Friday offerings look promising. Options include: a display of about 20 of photographs of Iraq by journalist and filmmaker Molly Bingham at R Street Gallery, an exhibition of glass works that incorporate gestural drawings at Hillyer Art Space and a show of William T. Wiley's large-scale abstractions at Marsha Mateyka. (Receptions: 6-8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 2)

Also opening today is "Waves," a group show at Civilian Art Projects. Expect a loose interpretation of the theme here. While Peter Garfield's photographs muse on actual ocean ripples, the other artists in the show deal with undulating forms, surf culture and assorted topics. (Reception: 7-9 p.m. Friday, Nov. 2)

David Byrne's "Macaroni" is made of embroidery on upholstery fabric. (Hemphill Fine Arts)

A few Logan Circle galleries stay up late tomorrow night. Perhaps most exciting is "Furnishing the Self: Upholstering the Soul" at Hemphill. The exhibition features work in a variety of media by David Byrne (of Talking Heads fame) that celebrates the common chair. Digital drawings by James Huckenpahler are also on display. Exhibitions of Linn Meyers's paintings and drawings and photos and videos documenting Kathryn Cornelius's performance works also open that night in the 1515 14th Street building. (Receptions: 6:30-8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3)

There's more to mid-century modernist Marcel Breuer than just the Wassily club chair (pictured below) that brought him such wide acclaim. A retrospective opening tomorrow at the National Building Museum showcases Breuer's accomplishments in both design and architecture. Expect drawings, scale models and photographs of wildly angular, cantilevered buildings.

Marcel Breuer in the Wassily chair. (Constance L. Breuer)

The American University Museum at the Katzen hosts some of the most politically volatile shows in town this month. The most explosive is a selection of works by Colombian painter Fernando Botero that muse on the atrocities at Abu Ghraib prison. The 75-year-old artist doesn't pull any punches in this graphic show, which focuses on the victims of the abuse. "Claiming Space," an exhibition of feminist works, and "Dark Metropolis," a show of work by left-wing painter Irving Norman, open along with the Botero show on Tuesday, Nov. 6. There is a reception from 6 to 9 p.m.

As we kick off the season of feasting and giving, two local galleries focus on food and giving back. In "Food for Thought," Art League member artists ponder the cultural significance of food with paintings, drawings and sculpture. Throughout the run of the show, the gallery will be accepting canned goods for the United Community Ministries. (Reception: 2-4 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 11)

Zenith Gallery's annual exhibit "Food Glorious Food" celebrates food with paintings, sculpture and photographs. Some of the works on display are bound in a calendar that is available with a minimum donation of $15 to the Capital Area Food Bank. The exhibit opens with a reception on Thursday, Nov. 8, but don't expect to get in for free. Tickets are $50 ($90 per couple), but proceeds from that event also benefit the food bank.

Donna M. McCullough's "Ginger Snaps." (Gallery Neptune)

An exhibit at Gallery Neptune explores femininity and fashion with dresses made of out tin, oversize sculptures of accessories and narrative drawings. Check out the exhibit during the Bethesda Art Walk from 6 to 9 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 9, along with "Land," an exhibition of landscape photography at Fraser Gallery.

"Black Panther Rank and File," an exhibit opening at Baltimore's Maryland Institute College of Art on Nov. 8, uses never-before-released historical documents, recordings, photographs in addition to contemporary artworks to tell the story of the activist group. Also opening in Baltimore this month is a display of work by minimalist Ellsworth Kelly in the front room of the Baltimore Museum of Art.

Reception of the Month

With all the great coordinated receptions mentioned above, it's hard to pick a favorite. The David Byrne opening is inked on my calendar for Saturday night, but I'm also looking forward to a more family-friendly celebration later in the month. The National Portrait Gallery and Smithsonian American Art Museum celebrate the opening of the new Robert and Arlene Kogod Courtyard with an all-day festival on Nov. 18.


Slow month for the "Goings" part of Comings and Goings: The one show that's a must-see before it closes up shop is "Earl Cunningham's America." It concludes a three-month run on Sunday, Nov. 4.


By Julia Beizer  | November 2, 2007; 8:29 AM ET
Categories:  Museums  
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