Not all the images are the sort that would disturb a censor. Some of Dix’s etchings portray carnival acts, including a man on horseback dressed as an American Indian warrior (long a fascination of German pop culture). Max Beckmann portrays everyday scenes, including a merry-go-round and ice skating, in delicate lithographs and etchings. Such Grosz works as “Just Half a Pound” (in which a butcher shop offers human flesh) and “Sex Murder in the Ackerstrasse” are disturbing, yet not specifically political.
Other pictures, however, are aimed in the general direction of the Nazi Party and its interests. Grundig’s “The Witch” shows a Grimm-like fairy tale in the foreground, with pollution-spewing factories to the rear. Sharp’s richly textured drawings of a bouncer and robed judges suggest corruption with every charcoal stroke. Kathe Kollwitz’s woodcuts eloquently employ black to evoke death and mourning. Her “The Mothers,” in which figures huddle in a circle while faces peer out, is from a series that mourned the effects of war.
Window on Weimar
On view through May 24 at Robert Brown Gallery, 1662 33rd St. NW; 202-338-0353, www.robertbrowngallery.com.
AGreek-born artist who settled in Washington after a long stint in Ohio, Athena Tacha is best known as a landscape architect. Her local projects include the plaza at Wisconsin Place, the shopping complex at Friendship Heights. There are sketches of such schemes in Tacha’s current exhibition at Marsha Mateyka Gallery, but also works that are not directly tied to her architectural practice. That’s why the show is called “Drawings: Private and Public, 1977-2007.”
Tacha’s landscape work often involves swooping forms and multiple terraces, motifs that can also be seen in her abstract drawings. “ComoWaves-Light” and “ComoWaves-Dark” are both constructed from whorls that abut and sometimes overlap each other. Each is on black paper, but where the former was drawn with silver ink, the latter uses black hot glue. The artist’s layering of glue gives her work a painterly quality, making texture as important as color — or more so, when the piece is black-on-black.
A series of pieces on paper feature thick, shimmering orbs, sometimes suggesting close-ups of the solar surface. While “S-Strings” is made entirely of tinseled hot glue, other works add sand or powder to the medium (which in one case is silicone rather than glue). That provides richer, more mottled hues, whether Tacha is evoking the sun or — in a piece that uses the archetypal “Greek blue” — the sky. She also employs an airbrush to apply acrylic inks, another technique that preserves a sense of the pigment’s fluidity even after it dries.