The three galleries in Foxhall Square, the compact mall at 3301 New Mexico Avenue NW, are dishing up witty shows in a wide variety of media and styles.
The dolls by Sharon Avery Roslund and Timothy Evans at the Jackie Chalkley gallery share the title "Fantasy Dolls," but Roslund and Evans have highly contrasting imaginations. Her figures are mostly balletic, mime creatures, richly colored both in the fabrics and the painted features. His are fey creatures of white muslin trimmed with intricate, fine stitchings and snippets of lace, ribbon, silk and stain, beads and sequins. Best enjoy the high humor in Evans' craftsmanship and ignore his titles, which are cutesy.
Jerry Eisley's seriographs and wood sculpture at the Foxhall Studio are eye-catching and neat, especially the vivid geometrics, but they are overwhelmed by his huge forged-iron wall hangings. The black metal against stark white walls seems like line drawings with a fascinating suggestion of third dimension.
The Hull Gallery has interestingly mixed the recent abstract earth and garden paintings of Alan Gussow with welded-steel sculpture by Mimi Frank, a young product of the Maryland University graduate school of art.
Gussow, an incredibly prolific artist, critic, writer and editor, has always leaned toward nature and ecology for his subject matter. Now he's concentrating on abstractions reflecting his home outside New York, where his wife, a nutritionist, experiments with organic gardening. One huge canvas, titled "Early Morning Garden," is startling. Gussow has infused sparkles of gold in with his browns and vegetable greens, and as you move before the painting the aura of dew and filtered sunlight is unmistakable.
Frank's sculpture takes complete advantage of the third dimension, with new suggestions of what she's depicting showing up with every change in viewing angle. One piece, presented on a pedestal, evokes a crowded, hilly Old World town with planes of peaked roofs all jumbled joyously helter-skelter.