Artists have often satirized their audiences. Daumier did it, and so did John Sloan. Now sculptor Grace Gorlitz--in a considerably more lighthearted spirit--has taken on the subject in a bit of summer fun at Plum Gallery in Kensington. Even the most serious art aficionados are bound to find a chuckle or two.
These small, three-dimensional tableaux--titled "Museum Sketches"--deal with people looking at art: a big, fat woman staring intently at a skinny Matisse sculpture, for example; or a docent, arms thrust skyward, giving her spiel to an enraptured throng. Gorlitz's wit also has led to some strange goings-on after hours, as museum guards fantasize about marble nudes coming to life, and the nudes comply.
These are not works intended for the ages. Most are made from clay and paper and glue, though one fat figure, titled "Keen Observer," has been cast in bronze and placed in various funny juxtapositions, which make the best works in the show. Gorlitz is also showing some drawings, the best of which are very good indeed. The show continues through July at 3762 Howard Ave., Kensington. Summer hours, starting July 1, are Wednesdays through Fridays, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The gallery also will be open today 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Contemporary Printmakers
"Nine Contemporary Washington Printmakers"--all black--have been brought together for the current show at Nyangoma's Gallery, 2335 18th St. NW. It is a strong group, though better examples might have been chosen in some cases.
But there are high points. Sam Gilliam has made two very handsome new prints, notably the rich, dark "Coffee Thyme," a combination of woodcut, silkscreen, etching and lithography on handmade paper. Aden Hockman's "Hands in Love Series" is also involved with handmade paper, but cast into a three-dimensional form. The subject: a woman's hands around the back of her man.
Printmaker Percy Martin's new color etchings, titled "The Rejection of Brenda," are less provocative than the series he showed last year at Gallery 10, but they are strong and mysterious nonetheless. Virtuoso silkscreen artist Lou Stovall is showing a rather stiff new landscape titled "Morning Streams," and Winston Kennedy is stronger in his abstraction titled "So Live That When Thy Summons Comes" than in his rather murky "Dancer." Bernard Brooks, Joseph Holston, Stephanie Pouge and George Smith also are represented. The show continues through July 3, and hours are Tuesdays through Saturdays, noon to 6 p.m. Landscape Competition
There is much that is humdrum in the second annual National Landscape Competition at the Tolley Galleries, 821 15th St. NW. But there are nice things, too, and fans of small-scale, traditional landscape painting should have a look.
An ambitious undertaking begun last year, this national juried show prompted no fewer than 63 artists from as far away as Alaska to send in slides. From them, Washington realist painter Frank Wright selected 27 works and awarded $600 in prizes. Catherine Maize won a well-earned honorable mention for her wooded lakeside scene titled "September, Chicago," as did Collier Parker of Philadelphia for his house snuggled among snowy hills. Bradley Stevens of Arlington (who won first prize), James DePietro of Pennsylvania, Ann Grob of Alabama and Gary Shankman of Chevy Chase also make a strong showing. The show will continue through July 2. Hours are Mondays through Fridays, 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. IFA Gallery to Move
IFA, one of the city's oldest galleries, is about to move. After years at 2623 Connecticut Ave. NW, IFA will close next week and reemerge next fall at 4801 Massachusetts Ave. NW, in the Spring Valley Center.
"Metro promised us a rose garden, but now we have to leave," said Bernice Baker, who, with her artist-husband Manuel, founded the gallery and frame shop 32 years ago. "We looked forward to all those good things that would come when the Metro opened, but after five years of suffering Metro construction--and having windows broken and paintings knocked off the walls--we're having to move because new owners have bought the building and raised the annual rent from $15,000 to $49,000."
The Bakers will be greeting saddened neighbors and loyal customers at the Connecticut Avenue address until next Wednesday, when the eclectic stock of paintings, prints and sculpture will go into storage until September. Gallery artists include realist painters Joseph Sheppard and Tom Nicholas, sculptors Tony Padovano and Eliot Ofner, and print artists Harold Altman, Robert Burkert and Graciela Boulanger.