It’s August, and it isn’t just your tomatoes that are ripening on the vine. So are a lot of art exhibitions at area museums. If you still haven’t seen “To Make a World: George Ault and 1940s America” or “Green: The Color and the Cause,” don’t wait until the last minute, because they won’t be around much beyond Labor Day.
But read on for a month’s worth of additional time-sensitive tips about what else to see and do — including a ton of photography, some performance and a couple of Berlin-themed art events — as the summer winds down. Everything is free unless otherwise noted.
Right off the bat, we’ll admit we were intrigued by a couple of upcoming lecture titles. On Aug. 2 at 6 p.m., Alexandria’s Morrison House hotel will present “Photography, Physics and Complexity: Strange Bedfellows or a New Aesthetic?” The talk, by Andy Ilachinsky, an award-winning photographer with a Ph.D in theoretical physics, will focus on complexity theory, which has something to to do with the relationship between parts and wholes. (And here we thought photography was all about chemistry, or perhaps pixels.)
Here’s another good one: “The Woman in Me: Femininity and its Construction in Contemporary Culture.” That Aug. 4 performance/talk — offered at Heiner Contemporary at 6:30 p.m., in conjunction with the gallery’s fine little showcase of women’s portraits by women artists — promises to be lively, with appearances by electronic musician Yoko K, “boylesque” performer Paco Fish, deejay Ebony Dumas and poet Holly Bass.
On Aug. 5, there are two cool art openings to choose from. From 6 to 9 p.m., Hillyer Art Space will host a reception ($5 suggested donation) for “David Emerick: Variations” and “James Matthew Crooks: Opposing Planes.” It looks like a great twofer. The work of each photographer focuses on the beauty of mundane urban architecture. Across town that same evening, two Anacostia galleries — Honfleur and the Gallery at Vivid Solutions — will host openings as well. The work of Mei Mei Chang, on view at Honfleur through Sept. 9, is definitely worth a look.
Aug. 7 is your last chance to see the work of Sondheim Artscape Prize finalists Stephanie Barber, Louie Palu, Mark Parascandola, Matthew Porterfield and Rachel Rotenberg at the Baltimore Museum of Art. And this is one case when it’s a good idea to wait until the last day. That’s because Barber — a filmmaker and performance artist who moved her studio into the museum for the run of the show — will unveil a video she’s been working on since June. It will feature clips of hundreds of museum visitors (maybe even some you know) saying the words, “I love you.”
On Aug. 13 at 6 p.m., Danielle de Picciotto reads from her new memoir of life and art in Berlin, “The Beauty of Transgression,” at Civilian Art Projects. Against a backdrop of projected photographs and film clips, a live electronic soundscape will be performed by de Picciotto’s husband, musician Alexander Hacke of the legendary German band Einsturzende Neubauten.
Alexa Meade is known for brushing paint directly onto her sitters’ bodies, and then photographing them, creating portraits that are somehow both fake-looking and uncannily real. On Aug. 20 at 1 p.m., the local artist will give a live demo of her fascinating technique at Irvine Contemporary, in conjunction with “Tribute 2.” The show is Irvine’s last in its 14th Street space. A good-bye block party, with live music, is planned for 6 p.m. on Aug. 27, when the show closes.
On the evening of Aug. 25, the Phillips Collection is the place to be. Outside, several area food trucks will line the neighborhood streets, offering dinner deals for hungry museum visitors. Inside, there will be gallery talks , including, at 6 and 7 p.m., a discussion of the excellent little photo show, “Left Behind.” Admission is by donation except to hear the 6:30 p.m. lecture “Kandinsky, Münter, and the Circles of Influence,” which is $12.
A couple of museum openings to mark on your calendars:
And finally, for film nuts, there’s this: Beginning at 6 a.m. on Aug 27 and running for 24 hours, the Goethe-Institut will screen “24 Hours Berlin — A Day in the Life.” Shot on Sept. 5, 2008, by 80 separate camera teams, the marathon movie is a portrait of the city’s art scene. Drop-ins are welcome, as are sleeping bags.