Lines, circles and blocks are the basic ingredients of hard-edge color-field painting, a style that developed in the 1960s. A few decades later, the artists of Pazo Fine Art’s “The Neo & The Geo” returned to these elements, but with machine-like precision and a stronger emphasis on 3-D forms. In their 1986-1995 output, painting verges on architecture.

Of these four New Yorkers, once known as practitioners of “neo-geo,” only Michael Scott is represented by pieces in a standard rectangular painting format. His monochromatic pictures, executed in enamel pigment, position black lines in orderly patterns. The jazziest of his three entries consists of regular arrays of horizontal segments, but he varies the width of the lines and the spaces between them to create a sense of pulsating motion.

Li Trincere, the only woman in the group, is showing immaculate pictures whose two-toned arrangements of elemental hues — one is red and black, the other red and white — are complicated by the use of shaped canvases. The most vibrant pieces are by Mark Dagley, whose brightly colored, methodically deployed triangles and diamonds are disrupted by cutout sections or by being placed parallel to the floor.

The cutouts are even more striking in the work of Max Estenger, who builds wood-framed windows into painting-like constructions that also include sections of stainless steel and raw canvas. The use of canvas is an homage to Washington colorist Morris Louis, according to an essay by show curator Paul Corio, who notes that Dagley grew up in the Washington area and also is an admirer of Louis and his peers.

The earliest Washington colorists did not make hard-edge pictures, and that looseness may have inspired an intriguing touch in Estenger’s “Osha (White, Blue and Orange).” The picture is as exactingly rendered as all of those in this show, except that one border of its orange rectangle is a bit ragged. This intentional flaw is a subtle acknowledgment that “Osha” is, at heart, a painting.

The Neo & The Geo: New Painting Forms 1986-1995 Through Oct. 28 at Pazo Fine Art, 4228 Howard Ave., Kensington. Open by appointment.

Jessica Drenk

Color is not foremost in the work of Jessica Drenk, whose relief sculptures are made mostly of wood, paper and plastic. So the ripples of bright red and blue flowing through “Aggregate 11” come as a surprise. The piece is one of several in the Upstate New York artist’s Adah Rose Gallery show, “The Anatomy of an Inanimate Object,” that use a new but characteristically humble material: junk mail. Compressed into an undulating seven-foot-wide ribbon, the paper resembles something organic, save for those bright artificial colors.

The palette is more limited in sculptures made of books, plywood panels and white PVC pipes. The various forms of printed paper are tightly compacted, whether into rectangles or more free-form shapes, and often finished with wax. The plywood and plastic are abraded to create furrows and gaps. The results suggest objects worn over millennia by such natural forces as wind, rain and tides.

The most naturalistic sculptures are those in the “Circulation” series, made of book pages pressed into rings that look like those of trees. But all of Drenk’s work blurs the distinction between found and manufactured, biological and industrial. The artist both unmakes and remakes, transforming everyday objects into both raw material and accomplished art.

Jessica Drenk: The Anatomy of an Inanimate Object Through Oct. 31 at Adah Rose Gallery, 3766 Howard Ave., Kensington.

Jiménez and Austen

Their art isn’t very similar, but Harmut Austen and María de Los Angeles Rodríguez Jiménez find a patch of common ground at Terzo Piano, where they’re exhibiting together in “Two Horizon(te)s.” Rodríguez Jimenez, a Cuban-born New Yorker, constructs fabric-heavy assemblages; Austen, a German-born Bostonian, makes paintings that aren’t as abstract as they initially appear. The two were brought together by guest curator Olga Viso, a former director of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden.

Rodríguez Jiménez mostly manipulates preexisting remnants, combining them into sculptural pieces that she nonetheless calls paintings. Where her work contains allusions to the human form, Austen’s depicts the body more directly, although such imagery is submerged into the overall composition, and in only some pictures.

Both artists made new pieces for this show in reaction to each other’s work, and take an improvisational approach to installation. Austen filled the space behind his “Procession” with a large wall drawing; Rodríguez Jimenéz did something similar to enhance two free-standing pieces. She also adapted her pieces to the gallery with tactics such as draping the curtain-like “Lady of Water” around a corner. Neither artist’s work will be displayed exactly this way again, which gives “Two Horizon(te)s” an appealing spontaneity.

Maria de Los Angeles Rodriguez Jimenez and Harmut Austen: Two Horizon(te)s Through Oct. 31 at Terzo Piano, 1515 14th St. NW.

Button and Chandrasekar

Stylistically, the two artists paired in “Bodies: Sections and Reflections” are another odd couple. Most of Linda Button’s contributions to the Strongin/Collection show are realistic oil paintings, while the bulk of Shanthi Chandrasekar’s are tightly patterned abstract drawings. What the duo share, aside from a Bethesda studio, is an interest in multiple dimensions.

Button often portrays mannequins as seen through shop windows whose glass distorts and layers the image. Reflections of things outside of the display intrude on the central objects, adding to the sense of ephemerality. Sometimes, people can be glimpsed within the picture, but always in a secondary role. The showroom dummies upstage the humans, but also stand in for them. The mannequins are as real as anything else in the paintings, whose essential subject is the flickering charm of illusion.

One of Chandrasekar’s principal inspirations is kolam, a decorative folk art practiced by women in southern India. But the artist’s version of kolam is informed by her interest in science, from microbiology to astrophysics. Her intricate pieces are fundamentally symmetrical but packed with intriguing deviations, and dominated by a single color but dotted with contrasting hues. The effect simulates range and movement. Both Button and Chandrasekar make one-dimensional artworks that conjure a sense of depth.

Linda Button and Shanthi Chandrasekar: Bodies: Sections and Reflections Through Oct. 25 at Strongin/Collection, 1631 Wisconsin Ave. NW. Open by appointment.