A High-Water Mark

By Galleries
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.

It's 1987, and Sightseers Are Quite the Sight to See

· Retired award-winning Washington Post photojournalist Lucian Perkins's exhibition "They Came From Beyond the Beltway: Tourists at the National Mall" may as well have been called "1987," the year these images were created. Big hair and short-shorts dominate scenes where tourism equals fidgety kids and interminable waits. Unfortunately, though, there's not enough of a good thing: One leaves wishing the series stretched into the 1990s and oughts.

Lucian Perkins at Carroll Square Gallery, 975 F St. NW, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-6 p.m., 202-234-5601, to Nov. 21.http://www.carrollsquare.com/gallery.htm.

Getting the Hang of Things

· A harp, a necklace or a Santiago Calatrava maquette? Washington artist Barbara Liotta's suspended rock and rope sculptures evoke analogies both natural and artificial. On view at Reyes + Davis, the fledgling gallery tucked among the revamped artists' studios on F Street NW, Liotta's works hang from the ceiling on long cords like beaded chokers suspended in midair. A passerby's movements stir them to life.

Barbara Josephs Liotta at Reyes + Davis, 923 F St. NW, Thursday, 2 p.m.-7 p.m., Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, 1 p.m.-6 p.m., 202-255-5050, to Oct. 10.http://www.reyesdavis.com.

Timeless. Ancient. Greece.

· The visitor who scribbled "process junkie" in artist Maro Vandorou's guest book wasn't far wrong. The artist photographed, then digitized, then printed her latest suite of pictures using the antiquated platinotype process. The Byzantine manufacture of the paper she used requires blocks of explanatory wall text. And the pictures? Her photos of decapitated statuary and ivy-encrusted stairways at an ancient Greek cemetery seem secondary to the labor of making them. Also on view at Hillyer, landscape paintings by Paul Reuther, an artist who is at his best when he allows highlights to emerge from below his paint-thick surfaces.

Maro Vandorou and Paul Reuther at Hillyer Art Space, 9 Hillyer Court NW, Monday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Tuesday-Friday, 10 a.m.-7 pm., Saturday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m., 202-338-0680, to Oct. 31.

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