BY PHIL HUTINET
January Shows at Mid City’s Galleries
Mid City’s galleries start off the new year with a diverse series of exhibitions mostly from contemporary local artists including Jodi Walsh at Long View Gallery, Naoko Wowsugi at Hamiltonian in conjunction with Whop Dee Doo and three exhibitions at Touchstone including at multi-media group show by its 45 members as well as two solo shows by Patricia Williams and Gail Vogels respectively. Hemphill Fine Arts will exhibit work by another Washington Color School artist, Willem de Looper, who passed in 2009 leaving behind a powerful curatorial legacy at the Phillips Collection and a remarkable body of work inspired in part by his time at the hallowed Washington institution.
Reinterpreting the Birthday at Hamiltonian
Hamilitonian resident artist Naoko Wowsugi partners with travelling artist project Whoop Dee Doo to create a birthday themed exhibition which challenges the teacher-student hierarchy and materialism through community participation.
Wowsugi does not want “things” for her birthday—she wants experiences. She tasked her American University Students with the following “Assignment: Happy Bithday.” Wish— “Surprise me!” The exhibition consists of work by Wowsugi’s students in response to her request. Their pieces challenge traditional teacher-student relationships by exposing public and private boundaries while simultaneously generating a host of emotions.
Whoop Dee Doo will partner with local DC-based performance groups to create their own unique “Birthday Experience” for Wowsugi in the same vein as what her students produced during their assignment.
De Looper Retrospective at Hemphill Fine Arts
Following in the footsteps of their last exhibition which featured the works of Washington Color School painter Alma Thomas, Hemphill Fine Arts will present the work by Willem de Looper (1932-2009) a Dutch-born native of The Hague who rooted himself in Washington, DC at the age of 17.
A member of the Washington Color School, de Looper began his career at American University where he studied painting and graduated in 1957. After a two year tour of duty with the US Army which stationed him in Germany, in 1959, de Looper returned to DC and worked as a security guard at the Phillips Collection. In the early 1960s, while watching over the Paul Klee, John Marin and Arthur Dove filled hallways of the Phillipps Collection, de Looper created a series of watercolors inspired by these artists. De Looper eventually moved up the Phillips Collection’s hierarchy becoming Assistant Curator at in 1972 and Curator from 1982-1987.
Hemphill Fine Art has selected work created by de Looper during the 1960s, specifically from 1964 through 1970. Titled Stained Paintings, the 1960s period retrospective highlights the “weightlessness” of de Looper’s process whereby he allowed thinned acrylic paint to run freely across his unprimed canvas changing direction only at the artist’s whim, “with a flick of his wrist.”
Group Exhibition, Patricia Williams & Gail Vogels at Touchstone
Touchstone starts off the year with a group member exhibition titled win-win situation. The artists take a look at last the political election cycle in a substantive manner and reinterpret national symbols. Expect to see a wide range of media including prints, painting, sculpture, photography and mixed-media.
Patricia Williams began to see new forms take place during the gesture drawing phase of her still life observations. In Hidden Things Revealed, Williams deconstructs commonly found plant and animal life through drawing, applying strongly colored washes which reveal similar patterns between seemingly different subjects. Williams invites the viewer to interpret each individual work.
In Oh, Life! Gail Vogels reveals life’s quotidian aesthetic by synthesizing her life figure drawings with hand altered papers and found objects. Reassembling familiar objects in a manner other that which they were intended reveals a “magical” world filled with life’s mysteries.
Current Exhibitions on View:
HEMPHILL FINE ARTS
1515 14th Street NW
202.234.5601 | www.hemphillfinearts.com
Stained Paintings: 1964 – 1970 by Willem de Looper
January 17-March 28
OPENING RECEPTION: Saturday, January 17 from 6:00-8:00 p.m.
LONG VIEW GALLERY
1234 Ninth Street NW, Washington, DC 20001
202.232.4788 | www.longviewgallerydc.com
Past, Present & Future by Jodi Walsh
January 15-February 15
OPENING RECEPTION: Thursday, January 15 from 6:30-8:00 p.m.
901 New York Ave NW, Washington DC 20001
202.347.2787 | www.touchstonegallery.com
- Win – Win Situation by Touchstone Gallery 45 Member Artists
- Hidden Things Revealed by Patricia Williams
- Oh Life! New Multi-media Work by Gail Vogels
January 2–February 1
1404 P Street NW
202.483.1102 | www.transformerdc.org
Through January 31: Oil, Then Acrylic by Jameson Magrogan