Addison/Ripley Fine Art Gallery

Gallery
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Editorial Review

If any art dealership deserves the term "venerable," it's this one. In business since 1981, the space - half frame shop, half gallery - takes its name from Christopher Addison and his wife, Sylvia Ripley, whose decisions about what to show, Addison says, are still guided primarily by "what engages us."

What engages them runs the gamut from the emerging to the established. In recent years, that includes everything from the work of longtime D.C. painter Manon Cleary, whose pictures range from sublime skyscapes to portraits of her pet rats, to the work of Amy Lin, a young artist known for abstractions of dots and swooping slashes in colored pencil. It's an approach that entails some risks: Photographer Frank Hallam Day's recent show of eerie nighttime photographs of RVs was a critical success but a commercial bust.

"When Sylvia and I started out," says Addison, "we were incredibly naive. We thought we knew something other people needed to know." They still feel a little that way, he adds, but their missionary zeal has been tempered by wisdom.

Good neighbor: Govinda Gallery. Photography, mostly, with an emphasis on rock-and-roll.

-- Michael O'Sullivan (Jan. 14, 2011)