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A Vivid Spectrum of Commentary

That floor lamp leaning on the dresser suggests an elongated plastic nipple. The knife penetrates the cutting board with Hitchcockian force. And the excrement gives psychoanalysts lots to talk about. As in Jurgensen's best works, there's room for our own imaginations.

One thing missing from Meat Market, though, is space. Too many works vie for attention in a gallery that's too small to fit them. Selective editing would have given Jurgensen's work room to breathe.

Still, a minor issue for a promising debut.

As for Jurgensen, he's heading down to Richmond. This fall, he begins Virginia Commonwealth University's MFA program -- a program that should bring his practice to yet higher levels. He'll reside just a few hours down Interstate 95, so let's hope we'll continue to see him.

* * *

Tomorrow, Transformer opens the two-week run of an ambitious on- and off-site exhibition called "Here & Now." Seventeen artists show site-specific works on three floors of the former Church of the Rapture at 14th and T streets NW, and in Transformer's shoebox-size HQ down the street. In lieu of a boozy evening event, the gallery programmed a daytime artist talk and performance for opening day.

Benjamin Jurgensen: Don't Ready to Die Anymore at Meat Market, 1636 17th St. NW, Wednesday-Saturday noon-6 p.m., Sunday noon-3 p.m., 202-328-6328, to May 31; http://www.meatmarketgallery.com.

Here & Now opens tomorrow at Transformer, 1404 P St. NW, and at 1840 14th St. NW. Hours: Wednesday-Saturday 1-7 p.m. Runs to May 24. A second show runs at Transformer May 31-June 14. 202-483-1102; http://www.transformergallery.org.


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