The closing of Govinda Gallery -- a fixture on 34th Street since 1975 -- has left Georgetown a little bereft in the art department. But where one door closes, another one usually opens. Yes, there's a new kid in town.
Since May, 2011, the upstart Heiner Contemporary has joined Addison/Ripley Fine Art in the staid Book Hill neighborhood as Georgetown's contemporary-art standard bearers. But where Addison/Ripley is a known commodity around these parts -- representing such Washington stalwarts as Lou Stovall, William Dunlap, Nancy Sansom Reynolds and Manon Cleary -- Heiner, run by art consultant and former museum educator Margaret Heiner, is harder to pigeonhole. Its second show, "Women by Women," featured a mixed bag of female portraits by five contemporary women artists, most of whom are not household names in Washington. Future shows will mix it up even more, Heiner warns, with works in many mediums, including performance.
At less than 1,000 square feet, Heiner is teensy. Still, it feels big -- maybe because of the glass doors that open onto the courtyard out back, and maybe because of the size of its ambitions.
-- Michael O'Sullivan (July 20, 2011)