This selection includes a view of a stretch of Connecticut Avenue that’s a short walk from the gallery. The other prints, however, depict less-specific places, although sometimes with a recognizable feature — such as the Brooklyn Bridge — inserted into the composition. Several of the works are in Feldman’s long-running “Paradox of Place” series, which jumbles locations in a slightly disorienting way. The artist doesn’t seek to unnerve the viewer, though. With their bright hues, sensuous lines and humorous touches, these non-places are entirely inviting.
Landscapes/Cityscapes: Images From Wood
on view through Saturday at Marsha Mateyka Gallery, 2012 R St. NW; 202-328-0088; www.marshamateykagallery.com.
Medicine as art
The idea for “Pulse: Art and Medicine” seems to have begun with the work of Johns Hopkins University’s Department of Art as Applied to Medicine, which contributed 16 medical illustrations. The Mansion at Strathmore exhibition goes well beyond such pragmatic renderings, however. The array includes work that turns microscopic information into large-scale art, as well as some that just has fun with medical technology.
Depicted with exceptional skill and detail, the medical illustrations range from a close-up of atherosclerotic plaque inside an artery and a survey of kidney stones — more diverse than snowflakes, it seems — to a diagram of former president William McKinley’s bullet injuries. The images can be macabre, yet have an elegance that’s detached from the fleshiness of real injuries. This contrast is even more pronounced in such scaled-up pieces as Luke Jerram’s blown-glass replicas of virus molecules, including swine flu and HIV, and Jessica Beels’s hanging models of human papillomavirus and blood clots. At the microbiological level, these messily catastrophic ailments appear orderly and immaculate, much like Bruce Peebles’s massive, wall-mounted depiction of a more benign tiny form, DNA’s double helix.
Playfully, the physician Satre Stuelke uses CT scans to reveal the relative simplicity of human creations, including a Buzz Lightyear action figure and a set of Russian nesting dolls. Such computer-imaging procedures also underlie Stuelke’s videos of toy and appliance innards, as well as radiologist Kai Hung Fung’s seemingly abstract color video images of psychedelicized human tissue. Technologically less forward, but just as compellingly visually, are Virgil Wong’s multilevel drawings and paintings of the body, which draw upon both Chinese and Renaissance investigations of the universe within us. It’s a world that remains mysterious, no matter how well the latest technology can represent it.