After many years of emptying the image - of everything save color, line, and minimalist nothingness - artists in this city are filling it again. Anne Wood's exhibition at the Museum of Temporary Art, 1206 G St. NW, is so full of information, both visual and verbal, that though it is silkscreened on the wall, it seems to want to be a book.
"Men and Women" is her title. Her show is about love - pure and pornographic, physical and mental, requited, unrequited, disastrous, triumphant, Biblical and base.
This is a show of cuttings, of borrowings, quotations, scavenged souvenirs. In many years of searching, Wood has gathered for her memory, her scrapbooks - and the wall - those images and phrases that, for one reason or another, struck a sympathetic chord.
She has studied other artists: Durer, Raphael Soyer, S. Clay Wilson, Munch, Masaccio, R. Crumb, and has borrowed from their works.
Wonder Woman, Dracula, Supermand and Eve, Tristan and King David, and other famous figures play small roles in her show. Wood has read The Joy of Sex, the Bible, ads in smutty magazines, the comics, the I Ching. Though her show is on the wall, she does not paint, she quotes. We learn here that a courtly in 1174 ruled that "love cannot extend its rights over two married persons," and that Karen Machover, a scientist of sorts, has observed that "the inclusion of sexual organs in a drawing offered in response to the instruction 'draw a person,' is seldom seen in any but the drawing of professional art students, persons in analysis, and schizophrenics."
The walls are full of gags and graps, screams, sighs, curses. It takes about an hour to see, and read, Wood's show.
Though she shows much that is shocking, the end result is almost soothing. The viewers, blitzed by data, find himself thrown back on old and private reveries on love and sex and death. There is nothing here for sale. The quotations on the walls will be covered with white paint when "Men and Women" closes Nov. 30.