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Posted at 12:21 PM ET, 11/01/2011

November art preview


Three of David Mordini's body-part sculptures from the show "Dis-Member" at Hillyer Art Space. From front to back: "Arm With Pink Nails," "Hand With Red Nails" and "Bruised Hand." (Ray MacDonald)
Halloween ain’t over.

A show of artist David Mordini’s creepy/beautiful figurative sculptures — which look like giant, disembodied human appendages — is the first thing on my must-see list this month. Mordini’s exhibition “Dis-Member” opens Friday, Nov. 4, at Hillyer Art Space, along with photographs of the California desert by Min Enghauser.

Mordini will have a little competition that night, as the fourth annual FotoWeek DC photo festival returns this month — with a blow-out launch party also on Nov. 4. Before you go, check out Lavanya Ramanathan’s tips on navigating the sprawling, multi-site photo festival — including how to get the required free pass you’ll need to visit the festival’s three main venues.

But wait, there’s more art in store. We’ll help you plan out the next few weeks of looking:

One of the coolest photo shows on the FotoWeek calendar is “Geo Location: Nate Larson and Marni Shindelman,” an exhibition whose public reception will take place Nov. 6 at Montpelier Arts Center. To create the work in the show, Larson and Shindelman monitored the Twitterverse, keeping an ear out for the evocative tweet, whether it be tragic or comic. They would then travel to the location where the tweet was sent from — using geographical information embedded in the tweet — and take a picture of the site, pairing the resulting image with the text from the original message.

I first caught Larson’s work in the “Geo Location” project at last year’s Sondheim Artscape Prize exhibition, where he was showing without his current collaborator Shindelman. The pictures and text are often heartbreakingly beautiful.

Artist Andy Holtin is having a busy month, and deservedly so. On Nov. 11, the talented local artist, whose work involves performance, video and often wildly clever machinery, will open “A Theatre of Objects” at Flashpoint Gallery. Across town, he’s got another show too. Holtin’s collaboration with artist Galo Moncayo, “The View: Sculpture and Video on the Modeled Landscape,” is already up, and running through Dec. 9, at Georgetown University’s Lucille and Richard Spagnuolo Gallery. Holtin will also be giving a talk as part of the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s free “Art and Coffee” lecture program on Nov. 13.

Trust me. You’re going to want to put one of those events — or maybe even all three — in your planner.

Robin Rose, a stalwart of the D.C. painting scene who recently branched out with a show of head-turning sculpture at the American University Museum, returns to familiar 2-D form this month. Hemphill Fine Arts will open “Robin Rose: The Big Payback” with a reception for Rose’s new paintings — inspired by such musicians as James Brown and They Might be Giants — on the evening of Nov. 12.

Earlier that same day, the National Gallery of Art will host its own contribution to music-and-art synergy. Brooding husband-and-wife popsters Dean Wareham and Britta Phillips will perform songs from their new DVD release “13 Most Beautiful,” set against a backdrop of Andy Warhol’s screen tests. Dubbed a cine-concert, the free event is being presented in conjunction with two excellent Warhol-themed shows on current view: the NGA’s “Headlines” and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden’s “Shadows.”

Before you get all swept away up in Thanksgiving prep, swing by the Corcoran Gallery of Art on Nov. 17 for “Under the Influence,” a free presentation featuring the art of several local up-and-comers who were inspired by the big-name African American artists in the museum’s “30 Americans” exhibition.

And finally, don’t forget to tune into our online chat this Thursday afternoon at 1, when the Gurus will be joined by cultural promoter, art collector and D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanties commissioner Philippa Hughes. Be sure and ask her about what it was like to have performance artist Agnes Bolt move into her condo for a week. And then be sure and read my Nov. 4 review of Bolt’s exhibition “Dealing” at Project 4.

By  |  12:21 PM ET, 11/01/2011

 
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