The Alex Gallery sits smack in the middle of Dupont Circle's tony R Street strip known as Gallery Row. It even participates in the monthly open house held by its neighbors on the first Friday evening of each month. But owner Victor Gaetan is one of the few remaining art dealers in this neighborhood off Connecticut Avenue who does not belong to the Galleries of Dupont Circle, a consortium of 21 local art businesses.
Gaetan's independent streak also extends to the art shows. While local artists still remain the cornerstone of many D.C. exhibitions, the Alex Gallery shows contemporary painting and sculpture with a decidedly cosmopolitan flair, mainly exhibiting work by Europeans or Americans with national reputations.
You won't find much traditional realism here either: Gaetan's tastes run more toward boldly colored abstractions and the expressive power of the pure brush stroke. Works are generally priced boldly too, ranging from one thousand to a sixty thousand dollars.
Like most of its neighbors, the gallery conducts business on two floors of a converted row house. The long, narrow building is divided into small rooms and, with multiple fireplaces on each floor, feels like a genteel residence from which the furniture has been removed.
Be advised that it's quite a tight squeeze going up or down the pinched, old-fashioned staircase. When the art crowd is out in full force on a pleasant Friday night, one might have to wait several minutes for a break in the traffic filing up and down between floors.
-- Michael O'Sullivan