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 October 5, 2020

East City Art Reviews—Carol Barsha: Within My Meadow

With summer winding down, and leaves beginning to fall, Carol Barsha’s solo exhibit at gallery neptune & brown may feel nostalgic for spring—a spring we largely lost this year because of the pandemic. Nevertheless, while viewing the show in person, surrounded by these works in the small but bright gallery space, the words that came to me were “uplifting” and “refreshing”.

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By Claudia Rousseau, Ph.D. on September 29, 2020

East City Art Reviews—Wayne Paige: Not out of the Woods

If you’re up for a ride in the Virginia countryside, you can just catch a small but fascinating exhibit at the Middle Street Gallery in Washington, VA of new work by Washington DC artist Wayne Paige. Not Out of the Woods is a series of ink drawings made this year in response to recent events, and the artist’s own experiences during these dark and uncertain times.

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By Claudia Rousseau, Ph.D. on September 11, 2020

East City Art Reviews—The Trawick Prize: Bethesda Contemporary Art Awards 2020

If you google the phrase “what is art” or “what is the purpose of art” you get a plethora of responses. The work of the winners and finalists of this year’s Trawick Contemporary Art Awards competition generated these questions in my mind as fairly all of the work in the exhibition, now at Gallery B in Bethesda until the end of the month, expresses political opinions and social themes with varying degrees of aesthetic interest.

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By Claudia Rousseau, Ph.D. on September 8, 2020

East City Art Reviews—Andrew Sovjani, Pages & Paper: Explorations of Light and Form

An exhibit of the work of Andrew Sovjani is on view at Calloway Fine Art in Georgetown and online. Sovjani is a magician, using his knowledge of physics and chemistry to create unique manipulated prints that incorporate painting and performative practices in their production. The results are both aesthetically remarkable and visually compelling.

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By Claudia Rousseau, Ph.D. on August 18, 2020

East City Art Reviews—Degas at the Opéra: An Artist’s Journey

Degas at the Opéra is an exhibition produced collaboratively by the Musée d’Orsay, Paris and the National Gallery of Art, Washington DC. Given its particular emphases, this broadly aimed exhibit will provide viewers with a yet fuller understanding of Degas’ artistic relation to the theater, and in particular to the ballet. After the long closure of the museum, the exhibit has been extended at the NGA, and is viewable through October 12, 2020 by reservation.

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By Claudia Rousseau, Ph.D. on July 6, 2020

East City Art Reviews—W.C. Richardson: Blind Spot at Addison/Ripley Fine Art

An exciting group of recent paintings by W.C. Richardson opened in early March of this year at Addison/Ripley Fine Art. Not long thereafter, the gallery was forced to close, but has reopened by appointment. These works represent the artist’s most recent stage in a 40 year interaction with abstraction that has formed a remarkable trajectory.

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By Claudia Rousseau, Ph.D. on April 20, 2020

Plague Pictures or Art in Times of Pestilence

The massive toll that the current pandemic is wreaking is already affecting the art world. We thought it would be both interesting and appropriate to take a look back at the artistic response to widespread pestilences of the past. A simple look at art made during and after outbreaks of the plague in western Europe alone produces a huge and fascinating inventory.

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By Claudia Rousseau, Ph.D. on February 11, 2020

East City Art Reviews—Dialog: Landscape and Abstraction—Freya Grand and the Permanent Collection of the Art Museum of the Americas

Freya Grand does large scale landscape paintings. The key to understanding her work is to realize that her paintings are not so much descriptive of the places she visited to make them, but are about the experiences of being there. This exhibit pairs her work with abstract paintings by Latin American artists in the OAS/AMA collection.

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By Claudia Rousseau, Ph.D. on February 5, 2020

East City Art Reviews—Dialogues at Stable

Dialogues, the inaugural exhibition in the gallery of STABLE, the new art studio space in northeast Washington, opened last fall. Featuring the work of 32 artists working there, it is slated to be the first and last of its kind there as the organizers plan never to repeat this group show idea.

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By Claudia Rousseau, Ph.D. on January 14, 2020

East City Art Reviews—Looking In: Edward Hopper’s Hotel Interior Views

Edward Hopper and the American Hotel is a major exhibition of paintings, watercolors, prints and never before exhibited drawings at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond. With a focus on Hopper’s representations of hotel interiors, it includes works that show Hopper’s extensive influence in this genre. Hopper’s works were designed to encourage the viewer to look in—even in cases where they’d rather not.

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By Claudia Rousseau, Ph.D. on December 18, 2019

East City Art Reviews—Beyond the “Encuentro”: Printmakers from Medellín, Colombia

The first encuentro of printmakers in the city of Medellín in 2018 was the brainchild of Washington DC artist Felix Angel. From among the seventy in that show, Angel has selected eighteen artists for an exhibit at the International Development Bank Staff Association Art Gallery. The exhibit shows the diversity and richness of the printmakers currently living and working in the city of Medellín.

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By Claudia Rousseau, Ph.D. on December 9, 2019

East City Art Reviews—Andrea del Verrocchio: A New Understanding of a 15th Century Master

The history of art includes numbers of cases where students of a particular artist have very nearly eclipsed the reputations of their teachers. Andrea del Verrocchio, the subject of a superb exhibit at the National Gallery, is among them. Teacher of Leonardo da Vinci and many others, his importance can now be re-evaluated.

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By Claudia Rousseau, Ph.D. on October 30, 2019

East City Art Reviews—Cianne Fragione Gate to the Sea

Works from a large series of paintings watercolors and prints by Cianne Fragione is on view at Gallery Neptune & Brown. They were inspired by a residency the artist had at Monasterace (Reggio Calabria) near the destroyed Greek town of Caulonia on the southernmost coast of Italy. Facing the Ionian Sea, ancient Caulonia is now an archaeological site reached through an iron gate and a flight of 50 or 60 steps down to the water—a gate to the sea.

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By Claudia Rousseau, Ph.D. on September 23, 2019

East City Art Reviews—“JUST DO IT”: Michael Platt and Friends at Honfleur Gallery

Honfleur Gallery is currently filled with works that speak of the influence, the teaching and the mentoring, the spirit of collaboration, and the love of “making things” that characterized the life and work of Michael Platt.

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By Claudia Rousseau, Ph.D. on September 18, 2019

East City Art Reviews: The Trawick Contemporary Art Awards 2019

The sixteenth annual Trawick competition for contemporary art resulted in a show of eight finalists now at Gallery B in downtown Bethesda. This year’s exhibit is especially content heavy, with an emphasis on expressions of identity and environmental reflections.

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