PAINTINGS BY MORIHARU SHIZUME - Through July at Washington World Gallery, 3065 M Street NW. Tuesday through Saturday, 10 to 6.
Moriharu Shizume's urban landscapes are a controlled explosion of color.
His six-canvas mural of Manhattan, a 360-degree view from the Waldorf-Astoria, bursts with the rhythm of elegant Baroque, Victorian and Art Nouveau buildings, reduced to prismatic geometric shapes, austere modern skyscrapers as taut ribbons of rainbow hues. Even the smokestacks billowing out golden pollution pulse out their beat.
"New York is a jazzy city," says Shizume, whose works are on exhibit through the month at Washington World Gallery, and "I had to use all the colors I could think of."
Shizume worked mostly in pen-and-ink when he lived in Italy and France. He switched to oils during his 10 years in Southern California, with its bright sunlight and lush colors. He was also intrigued by a friend's aerial photography, but didn't want to simply paint photorealistic renderings. He chose aerial drawings, allowing up to six weeks for a landscape sketch. His canvases take as long as six months to paint.
And he makes them swing. There's so much to see in the Manhattan mural that your eyes rattle from panel to panel, trying to soak up all the tempos of the city. A hot-air balloon drifts lazily toward the Empire State building. Gulls soar over the East River as a jet takes off in the background.
By contrast, Shizume's studies of Italy and Mexico are almost primitive. Rome is a subdued mosaic panorama of pristine buildings with meticulous tile roofs. The horizon is clear except for a few steeples and domes.
Schizume scales his works for the wideopen walls of corporate offices, but somehow they fit into the gallery's small room. His vivid renderings are offset by the floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking Georgetown's bustling M Street corridor. CAPTION: Picture, FOUR OF THE SIX PANELS IN MORIHARU SHIZUME'S "MANHATTAN," AT THE WASHINGTON WORLD GALLERY. By Joel Richardson.