NEW PAINTINGS BY WILLEM DE LOOPER: Through Oct. 7 at Protetch-McIntosh Gallery, 2151 P St. NW.

Willem de Looper's paintings speak another language. The locally trained abstract artist's works don't reflect images of everyday life. Instead of painting a landscape or portrait, he uses contrasting colors in geometric lines to explore movement and spatial relations. De Looper maintain that his works ultimately have the same goal as, say, a Cezaane still life: Both are experiments in form and texture, lines, color and shapes. A still life is immediately recognizable because it is imitative of concrete things in our realm. An abstract painting dispenses with the tangible subject, like a peach or a moutain, and concentrates on the unrecognizable. The result is a subtlety of hues and patterns that can resemble many things, depending on the viewer. Because of this, de Looper prefers not to interpret his works (or any abstract art) for people.It also can elicit protest from less enthralled corners on the ultimate meaning and purpose of art.

"My work is not for everyone," he says. "You can't expect people to appreciate an art form it they don't understand the vocabulary behind it."