Women’s (Artistic) Liberation

The show is at the National Museum of Women in the Arts, so of course the 77 works in “Royalists and Romantics” are by women. Anywhere else, though, viewers would likely be surprised to encounter so many accomplished paintings, prints and sculptures made by women from 1750 to 1850. Even the owners of the artworks […]

On the Spot: Jae Ko

Korea-born, Washington-based artist Jae Ko is having her seventh solo exhibition at Marsha Mateyka Gallery, near Dupont Circle. Ko works with ink and paper but makes sculpture rather than drawings: She twists rolls of adding-machine tape into coiling forms, held in place by glue and ink. After years of using only black ink, why did you add […]

Photographic Evidence

In the latter half of the 20th century, photography became enmeshed with fine art. Photographs went up on museum walls next to works that responded to the form, such as Andy Warhol’s Pop-Art silkscreens and Richard Estes’ photo-realist paintings. When photography was entering the popular landscape about 50 years earlier, however, artists were more discreet […]

War Story

For more than a decade, photojournalist Tim Hetherington was a regular in war zones: Liberia, Sierra Leone, Afghanistan and his final stop, Libya. Unlike more traditional war photogs, Hetherington wasn’t concerned simply with freezing the action at its most explosive moments. He also wanted to show the humanity of the participants. That was his inspiration […]

This Woman's World

Rodrigo Garcia has earned a reputation as a master of what used to be called “the woman’s picture,” directing such movies as “Mother and Child” (about three generations of single mothers) and “Nine Lives” (an ensemble piece about women in Los Angeles). His latest effort, “Albert Nobbs,” which opens Friday, is another example of the […]

Navigating Unfriendly Skies

Cuba Gooding Jr. has played a Tuskegee Airman twice — once in the 1995 HBO movie named for the unit of African-American pilots, and now in “Red Tails,” a new, George Lucas-produced World War II aerial adventure. But that doesn’t mean Gooding likes planes. “You gotta have a stomach for that,” he says. “I have […]

Framing a Nation's Inequality

Pioneering African-American photographer Gordon Parks, who was born in Kansas in 1912, made his reputation traveling the world for Life magazine. But he began his career in Washington on a photo fellowship from the Farm Security Administration in the early 1940s. “It was really his first professional work as a photographer,” says Philip Brookman, chief […]

‘Demon’ Beats of Japan

Its style is sometimes referred to as “demon drumming,” but the troupe’s full name is Wadaiko Yamato — which translates as “Japan Drum Japan.” Yet the ensemble, known in the West simply as Yamato, is not entirely nativist in its approach to the ancient art of taiko (Japanese for “drum,” and referring to the performance […]

Limited-Edition Images

It’s not exactly the Library of Congress, but the Indie Photobook Library is fast becoming one of Washington’s more interesting small collections. Founded just last year by Larissa Leclair, the archive has already grown to more than 600 photography-related books issued by the tiniest of small publishers. “These kinds of books are really challenging the […]

Philosophical Development

Nika Roza Danilova, the Los Angeles-based neo-goth musician who records as Zola Jesus, is just 22 years old. But she’s been making music since she was 8, when she decided she wanted to sing opera. She and opera didn’t get along, she says, because it didn’t allow room for interpretation. “The expression of the voice […]