Folks; Seeking Provision
on view through April 20 at Civilian Art Projects, 1019 7th St NW; 202-607-3804; www.civilianartprojects.com.
Virginia sculptor and printmaker Brian Kirk uses metal to conjure delicacy. The four steel pieces in “Natural Reaction,” his Studio Gallery show, are brawny yet deploy heavy chains in ways that appear to defy gravity. All have rusty patinas, which links them to Kirk’s striking works on paper.
These begin with thin, laser-cut metal dies whose shapes generally suggest keys, gears or machine parts. (Among the exceptions are “Olmec II,” which could be the chiseled-stone face of an ancient god, and “Hand.”) Kirk encourages these to rust, then wets them and presses them against paper. The effect is to transfer textures as well as contours to the sheets so that the simple outlines contrast richly mottled tones of reddish brown. Since the residue is metal, these rust prints could be termed sculptural. But they also have a ethereal quality, documenting real-world decay while suggesting idealized forms.
on view through April 20 at Studio Gallery, 2108 R St NW; 202-232-8734; www.studiogallerydc.com.
The painting in the window of Pleasant Plains Workshop, Josh Dihle’s oil of another cat-human, is half-hidden behind a jungle of potted plants. Nature inspired much of this show, which is titled “Outside,” but few of the pieces are literal. A mix of paintings and drawings with a touch of collage, the work tends toward abstract patterning, with hints of vines or veins. “Untitled (Green and Blue)” suggests a Mondrian that’s mutated from geometric to biomorphic, while “Untitled (Flowers)” punctuates shifting shades of white with bloomlike bursts of deep color. Sometimes the natural element is actual, but subsidiary. “Drawing With Dog” incorporates several photos of dogs, as well as a flower, but they’re not immediately obvious; the small objects on the circular, white-enamel “Disk With Teeth” — the only three-dimensional piece — are shark’s teeth. What might be the most complete expression of Dihle’s aesthetic is also the most portable: a limited-edition book of collages, drawings and paintings that places “Outside” between hard covers.
on view through April 20 at Pleasant Plains Workshop, 2608 Georgia Ave. NW, www.pleasantplainsworkshop.com.
Jenkins is a freelance writer.