Most of the art made and exhibited at the Pyramid Atlantic Art Center is on (or of) paper. But “Hard and Soft” reaches well off the page to encompass stone, steel and plastic. Of the four artists in the show, the one who links soft and hard most explicitly is Michael Enn Sirvet, who prints one-dimensional likenesses of his perforated sculptures.
Trained as a sculptural engineer, Sirvet crafts seemingly aerodynamic swoops in metals and other substances. This selection includes a bladelike standing figure of white oak, with round holes drilled into it. The piece is paired with a cyanotype — a blueprint, that is — of the design, printed on mulberry paper. Here are two versions of the same image, made of (or on) two forms of wood.
Thea Gregorius, the show’s only out-of-towner, also employs paper. The Brooklyn artist arrays full or partial circles in tight rows, corralled by dotted lines. The white-on-white pictures are made entirely with pinpricks, not pigment. Because she causes tiny windows in the paper, Gregorius could be said to draw with beads of soft light.
Hewing various shades of marble and sandstone, Allen Linder makes elegant sculptures whose rounded contours suggest cells, eggs and fruits. Tim Tate invokes nature more directly with circular floral arrangements whose fragile-looking petals are rendered in rigid poly-Vitro, a plastic that mimics the delicacy of glass. Tate’s largest sculpture here includes a video of an eye that peers from a glass orb amid a field of roses. The title, “Where We Hide From No One,” refers to LGBTQ dignity, but the piece also is a cogent example of all four artists’ juxtapositions of forms and materials.
Hard and Soft Through Nov. 23 at Pyramid Atlantic Art Center, 4318 Gallatin St., Hyattsville.
Working as a photographer, Caitlin Teal Price finds people and places to freeze in a moment. A different kind of finding is involved in her recent work, surveyed in “Green Is the Secret Color to Make Gold,” at the Greater Reston Arts Center. The subjects of these portraits are bits of detritus discovered on the sidewalk or street, sometimes recognizable but often not. The photos are large, amplifying the forms, details and muted hues of “Twisted Spoon & Metal” or “Sharp Metal Red Plastic.”
Price might be said to monumentalize such things, but their ordinariness is fundamental, both visually and conceptually. The D.C. artist has two young sons — one of whose remark provided the show’s title — and thus a standard routine. This is represented by “Circadian Drive (A to B in 35 squares),” which abstracts Price’s regular trip to the boys’ day-care center as white lines carved into gray fields.
The piece’s incised cross-hatching recurs in two single-color, sail-shaped drawings that are flopped images of each other, like a photo negative and a print made from it. The processes of locating and making overlap, and the everyday is rendered central without being freighted with any symbolism. Price simply spots things to see, and then compels the viewer to see them, too.
Caitlin Teal Price: Green Is the Secret Color to Make Gold Through Nov. 24 at Greater Reston Arts Center, 12001 Market St., Reston.
Neon has a modern, urban vibe, which it retains even when artists adapt the glowing tubes for something other than signage. It’s unlikely that any practitioner has dragged neon further from Times Square than Craig Kraft. His “The Urge to Mark,” now at Montgomery College’s King Street Gallery, illuminates cave paintings that date to some 40,000 years before neon’s early-20th-century commercialization.
Kraft, who maintains a storefront studio in Anacostia, has visited 26 cave sites on three continents. He identifies the precise locations of many of the markings he reproduces in this show. Some are merely documented by photographs; others are simulated or lighted by glowing lengths of glass.
Having previously experimented with translating doodles and graffiti into luminous gestures, Kraft continues to move away from neon’s traditional uses. And yet, shaped light is crucial to the show’s most striking pieces: a homage to a penniform symbol painted in a Spanish cave and an anti-poaching statement. In one, light seems to flow like blood; the other (made with Libby Cahill and Tristan Roland) outlines an elephant’s head with multiple tubes. The latter doesn’t have anything to do with cave painting, but it vividly demonstrates Kraft’s quest to use neon for something more meaningful than advertising beer.
Craig Kraft: The Urge to Mark Through Nov. 21 at King Street Gallery, Montgomery College, 930 King St., Silver Spring.
There are as many visual modes in Carolyn Pomponio’s “Looking Back/Moving Forward” as there are image-replicating techniques. The Virginia artist’s show at the Washington Printmakers Gallery includes screen prints, monotypes and etching/aquatints, as well as photographs. The bulk of the works are still lifes of a sort, although the selection also includes gestural abstractions and hard-edge geometric patterns modeled on Amish quilt designs.
Several of the pictures are populated by furniture, notably high-back chairs. With their vertical orientation, the ladderlike seats stand in for people in compositions that contrast strong lines with overlapping areas of watery, textured color.
One wall contains a sort of suite of charming small prints and photos, mostly of fruit or floral arrangements. The Asian influence is made explicit by the occasional inclusion of Chinese characters for words such as “flower.” The characters are as much graphic as semantic, which suits Pomponio’s stylistically eclectic but always visually lucid work.
Carolyn Pomponio: Looking Back/Moving Forward Through Nov. 25 at Washington Printmakers Gallery, 1641 Wisconsin Ave. NW.
For about 30 years, Mark Giaimo played in rock bands, which inspired the realist paintings in his “Between Rock and a Hard Place.” (Giaimo works for The Washington Post.) The artist’s previous Susan Calloway Fine Arts show was mostly still lifes of toys, and this one pays the same close attention to small items, including effects pedals and a pair of Converse sneakers — puckishly split between two canvases. A “Rockumento Mori” updates a classic painting motif by placing a skull alongside a guitar and drum sticks.
There also are larger tableaux that include humans, notably “Hurry Up and Wait,” in which a musician cools his Converses at a rehearsal space. It looks like a story that Giaimo has waited a long time to tell.
Mark Giaimo Through Nov. 25 at Susan Calloway Fine Arts, 1643 Wisconsin Ave. NW.