Aaron Fink's current show at the Jack Shainman Gallery marks an impressive Washington debut for the 30-year-old painter, who has exhibited previously in Amsterdam, New York and his native Boston. Fink paints isolated images of objects and people in a deliberately crude, Neo-Expressionist manner. His still-life elements radiate a commanding, icon-like presence: An aggressively yellow cup and saucer threaten to take over the entire canvas, while an enormous red cherry casts an eerie, almost radioactive glow through a pile of dipped paint. One of the most successful pictures features a flat, white-and-gold cigarette laid on a nebulous horizontal surface with a comic-book-style balloon of turquoise smoke, bounded by a heavy pink outline.
Fink uses colors and textures inventively. His rigidly frontal men -- wearing topcoats and hats, in homage to Rene' Magritte -- reveal surprising touches of red-violet, yellow and blue in their hands and in the shadows of their hatbrims. Several of Fink's objects are painted with surfaces that resemble melting tar; others recall textured plaster ceilings.
Fink's work can be seen through March 6 at the Shainman Gallery, 2443 18th St. NW, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday; noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday.