A High-Water Mark

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Special to The Washington Post
Friday, September 12, 2008

By Jessica Dawson/ Special to The Washington Post

· A surprisingly affecting group show, "Way Down in New Orleans" memorializes the Crescent City's Hurricane Katrina travails. Dread Scott's elegiac installation -- posters of Katrina dead plastered on massive sheets of plywood of the kind used to protect storm-threatened homes -- marks the show's emotional center. Yet even the simplest print collage depicting a utility pole notched with past flood heights (Katrina tops a catastrophic 1849 levee breach) proves mournful.

Way Down in New Orleans at Civilian Art Projects, 406 Seventh St. NW, Wednesday-Saturday, noon-6 p.m., 202-347-0022, to Oct. 11.http://www.civilianartprojects.com.

A Collection of Friends

· District artists loved Herb White. He fed them (at his restaurants), put them up (at his homes) and -- most importantly -- bought and showed their work. His death last year sent his collection of mostly local art out of his homes and into the gallery. Though one imagines these paintings, prints and sculptures looked better at White's house -- Edison Place is a sterile gallery -- they form a handy who's who of District artists past and present. Former resident bad boy Stephen Lewis is here. So are David Mordini, Joe White, Gene Davis and James Wells, a Harlem Renaissance artist who taught at Howard.

"Herb White: A Taste for Art" at Edison Place Gallery, 701 Ninth St. NW (entrance on Eighth Street), Tuesday-Friday, noon- 4 p.m., 202-667-2714, to Oct. 17.

Anthony Cervino's Jets Get Their Props

· Imagine early Maggie Michael -- the bloblike, monochromatic "clones" canvases -- covered in the detritus of a model plane shop. Now you've got a picture of Anthony Cervino's wall works blurring the boundary between sculpture and painting. The Dickinson College art professor pours polyester resin on canvas, affixes jets and cars, and paints the whole thing in a matte gray that hobbyists favor. Sounds simplistic, but the results evoke, at turns, satellite surveillance, suprematist painting, abstract expressionism and the German postwar artist Anselm Kiefer.

Anthony Cervino at Flashpoint, 916 G St. NW, Tuesday-Saturday, noon-6 p.m., 202-315-1310, to Oct. 11.http://www.flashpointdc.org.


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