Posts by Claudia Rousseau, Ph.D.

Born and raised in New York City, Dr. Rousseau completed a B.A. in Art History at Hunter College (C.U.N.Y.), and her M.A. and Ph.D. at Columbia University in New York. Prior to coming to the DC area in 2001, she lived and worked as a curator, critic and translator in Santiago de Chile in South America for about three years, and in San Salvador, El Salvador for two in the early 1990s. She was a Guest Professor at the Freie Universität in Berlin, as well as having taught study abroad programs in Italy. Currently, she is Professor Emerita of Art History at Montgomery College. An internationally published scholar of Renaissance and Modern art, she is an active critic and editor. Dr. Rousseau has curated many contemporary art exhibits at venues in the Washington DC region, and she continues to serve on the Public Arts Trust Steering Committee of the AHCMC, as well as the Art Review Panel of the Maryland National Park and Planning Commission for Public Art. Since 2010 she has been a juried member of the prestigious International Association of Art Critics (AICA) for her writing on art.

By Claudia Rousseau, Ph.D. on June 27, 2024

East City Art Reviews—Sondra Arkin and Ellyn Weiss The Human Flood at American University Museum

The Human Flood, on view at American University Museum, immerses visitors in the urgent crisis of climate-driven human migration through a powerful collaborative installation by artists Ellyn Weiss and Sondra Arkin. Curated by Laura Roulet, the exhibit uses various media to evoke empathy and raise awareness about the complex and pressing issue of immigration.

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By Claudia Rousseau, Ph.D. on January 12, 2024

East City Art Reviews—Moving Beyond Beauty: Reverence and Reclamation at McLean Project for the Arts

The large and fluid space of Emerson Gallery at McLean Project for the Arts is the venue for an exhibit of five women artists addressing climate change and other environmental perils. Although each has this content, the work goes beyond that in aesthetic expression

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By Claudia Rousseau, Ph.D. on December 13, 2023

East City Art Reviews—Eternal Paper at UMGC

A large and diverse exhibition of works on, and of, paper is on view in the Arts Program Gallery of the UMD Global Campus through May of next year. Featuring works by 20 artists, it was originated and guest curated by artist and art educator Helen Frederick.

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By Claudia Rousseau, Ph.D. on August 17, 2023

East City Art Reviews—Philip Guston Now at the National Gallery of Art

Guston saw his self-esteem as an artist, and an honest human being, in his ability to abandon what was fully explored for something else that represented a new path.

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By Claudia Rousseau, Ph.D. on June 13, 2023

East City Art Reviews—Painting Is Alive and Well: The 19th Annual Bethesda Painting Awards

The art of painting—qua painting, on a flat support using traditional means—has had a number of deaths and resurrections over the past 50 or so years. The high quality work on view now at Gallery B of the winners and finalists of the Bethesda Painting Awards, it is alive and well in the DMV, with a strong emphasis on figuration.

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By Claudia Rousseau, Ph.D. on May 2, 2023

East City Art Reviews—Revisiting the Art and Science of Alberto Gaitán, 1955-2022

Albertopalooza: The Self-Organizing Systems of Alberto Gaitán was curated by Gaitán’s collaborator and friend, James Huckenpahler at Otis Street Art Project. The exhibit is primarily a retrospective of Gaitán’s conceptual stance as it was expressed in his sometimes quirky, often fascinating and surprisingly elegant work.

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By Claudia Rousseau, Ph.D. on April 27, 2023

East City Art Reviews—June Linowitz at Portico Gallery

Two series of works by area artist June Linowitz is currently on view at Portico Gallery & Studios in Brentwood, Md. titled June Gets Emotional. The exhibition features all but one of Linowitz’s 24 Heads, first exhibited in 2017, and Nostalgia, her recent series of fascinating multi-media paintings based on memories captured in photographs from the artist’s childhood.

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By Claudia Rousseau, Ph.D. on February 7, 2023

East City Art Reviews—Kyujin Lee and Jacqui Crocetta Looking In, Looking Out at Adah Rose Gallery

Adah Rose Gallery has two small exhibition spaces making it possible to have two solo shows at the same time. Yet, the proximity of each suggests some connection between the two, as is the case with the current installation under the title Looking In, Looking Out.

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By Claudia Rousseau, Ph.D. on November 30, 2022

Vermeer’s Secrets at the National Gallery of Art

Vermeer’s paintings have been examined with an amazing array of noninvasive conservation tools including techniques reflecting the latest advances in scientific imaging. The research is a quantum leap in our understanding the way Vermeer created his works, altering ideas that have become commonplace because of the apparent perfection of his surfaces.

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By Claudia Rousseau, Ph.D. on September 13, 2022

East City Art Reviews—2022 Trawick Prize Finalists Exhibition at Gallery B

Examples of work by the eight finalists of the Trawick Prize: Bethesda Contemporary Art Awards are on view in the light-filled Gallery B in downtown Bethesda. The exhibition offers a wide range of approaches and materials competing for viewers’ attention.

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By Claudia Rousseau, Ph.D. on August 12, 2022

East City Art Reviews—20 Years in Maryland: Alonzo Davis at BlackRock Center for the Arts

An extensive retrospective of the art of Alonzo Davis continues on view at the BlackRock Center for the Arts in Germantown through this month. The exhibition features a large body of works in various media from the past twenty years, that is, since the artist’s move to Hyattsville, MD in 2002.

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By Claudia Rousseau, Ph.D. on February 7, 2022

East City Art Reviews—Willem de Looper : Paintings 1968-1972

One of the first things one notices is the brilliant color and the perceived movement in each of the paintings. De Looper’s veils of extremely diluted poured acrylic seem almost like colored smoke, moving in and around in the space they occupy in unpredictable sequences.

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By Claudia Rousseau, Ph.D. on January 4, 2022

East City Art Reviews—Helen Frederick SANJEEVANI: From Here to There

An impressive retrospective of the work of Helen C. Frederick is currently on view at the Terzo Piano Gallery. Curated by the artist and gallery owner Giorgio Furioso, it tracks the artist’s trajectory over five decades. This long and extraordinarily productive career is represented by works on and of paper expressing crisscrossing themes fundamental to her thinking.

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By Claudia Rousseau, Ph.D. on November 30, 2021

East City Art Reviews—Alma W. Thomas Everything is Beautiful at The Phillips Collection

Coinciding with its centennial anniversary, the Phillips Collection is hosting a retrospective of paintings by Alma W. Thomas. The show is fully contextualized with archival materials and objects.

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By Claudia Rousseau, Ph.D. on October 26, 2021

East City Art Note—Maryanne Pollock Rebirth the Earth

Without a doubt, the most interesting and arresting painting in the current solo exhibit of recent work by Maryanne Pollock is her Rebirth the Earth (2021), also the title of the show. Against a black background that appears cosmic, explosions of aqua, blue and white acrylic burst forward, along with translucent orbs that seem to be in a state of formation.

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