IF ALL goes as planned, Jane Haslem -- a mainstay on the P Street strip for more than a decade--will be shifting her gallery headquarters to the downtown complex at 406 Seventh St. NW this fall. Haslem expects to take over the space being vacated in August by McIntosh/Drysdale.
"I'm tired of being moved around in this building," said Haslem, who currently occupies two separate suites off the lobby of the Georgetown Hotel at 2121 P St. NW. She plans to keep one of the P Street spaces for showing prints and cartoons, but will concentrate her paintings business downtown.
Though known as a leading dealer in American prints (and more recently, in cartoons and comic strips), Haslem has been increasingly involved with paintings over the past few years, adding realists John Winslow, Stephen Tanis and Hayes Friedman to the short list of painters she has represented for years--namely Billy Morrow Jackson and Gabor Peterdi.
The impressive range of Haslem's stock--both in prints and paintings--can be seen in two shows now on view in the P Street galleries. Washingtonian John Winslow is the star of the painting show with some of the best work he has ever done, notably the large "Robert Ross in a Room with a Kenneth Noland Painting," a complex, painterly mood piece showing a colleague in his studio at Catholic University. Yale's Gabor Peterdi also makes a strong showing with a lush new seascape titled "Mother of Pearl"; and Stephen Tanis' intriguing "Studio at Cotuit" and Hayes Friedman's provocative "Self-Portrait" suggest that Haslem's faith in these emerging artists has been well-placed.
Across the lobby, where prints and drawings are being shown, there are other intriguing new talents: Joseph Wynes, who makes old-fashioned-looking still-life drawings from webs of cross-hatched color on handmade sandpaper; Elizabeth Peak, whose haunting, richly colored "Freeway" is made by drawing in pastel over monotype; and Gordon Mortensen, whose luminous reduction woodcuts glow with passages of color that seem to pop right off the paper. His "California Wildflowers" and "North Dakota Prairie" are two of the best examples. There is much more, including Misch Kohn's wonderful "Autobiographical Print" with collage elements and a nice small print by Carol Summers.
Haslem, contemplating the move, had some interesting things to say about how her market has changed: "Ten years ago I made more money in prints; five years ago it was even between prints and paintings, and now paintings are the biggest part of my business," she says, adding that all-over sales for last year went up, though in the month of June they dropped 66 percent from a year ago.
"But I have high hopes for the future. I think we're in a weeding-out period, and people are going to be cautious. But they're always going to buy good things by established artists. It's the investment market that is gone, but that's never been my market anyhow."
Haslem's print show continues through July, the painting show through August. Hours are 11 to 6, Tuesdays through Saturdays.
Gallery 10, 1519 Connecticut Ave. NW, is showing the work of two artists, both interesting, neither yet fully mature. Anne Krinsky of Philadelphia has used tissue paper, pelon, rhoplex and delicate color to build wispy, wall-hung constructions that seem to yearn for a gentle breeze to set them in motion. Lithuanian-born Ivona D. Kaz-Jepsen, now a resident of North Carolina, has used the monoprint technique to good advantage in her lyric color abstractions, and is also showing several tall, lozenge-shape constructions made from colored paper pulp applied to a gauze backing. Though Hilda Thorpe's works in this technique are far more polished, Kaz-Jepsen's experiments suggest possibilities for the future. The show will be open 11 to 5 through Saturday.