September Exhibitions at Touchstone

By Editorial Team on September 8, 2015

Fri, 04 September 2015 - Sun, 27 September 2015

Quarter Section 20 by Janet Wheeler. Courtesy of Touchstone.
Quarter Section 20 by Janet Wheeler. Courtesy of Touchstone.


Opening Reception: Friday, September 11 from 6pm to 8:30pm
Encore Reception: Saturday, September 26 from 2pm to 4pm (Artist Talk at 3pm)


Being captivated by the obvious is only the first step in understanding Touchstone member artist’s exhibit. Layers of color thinly applied or thickly spread and layered points of view are found beneath the apparent in these works of photography, painting, sculpture, hand pulled prints, collage and drawing.

Metropolis by McCain McMurray
A new series of artwork inspired by cityscapes that are themselves explorations of color and architectural forms.

Artists have been inspired by cityscapes for centuries. McCain McMurray takes inspiration from cityscapes, plus his 37 years as an architect, to create works that are structured explorations of color and architectural forms in his new show at Touchstone Gallery called Metropolis.

McMurray usually works in series so you see colors and forms that play off each other or continuously develop certain ideas. In these works, long vertical forms are grounded by horizontal forms or marks in contrasting and complementary colors. Colors are repeated with different tones or textures in each work. These references produce a continuity of thought throughout the series with each work building and expanding on another to evoke the experience of walking through a city and seeing a familiar view in a completely different light.

Working in both acrylic and oil on canvas as well as board, McMurray uses trowels and squeegees to push and pull the paint in layer upon layer to build up the narrative of color and form in these ordered compositions. Within the work, each element emerges with its own identity through the intention and coincidence of the painting process. This process results in freedom to take advantage of serendipity and the surprises it can bring.

Quarter Sections by Janet Wheeler
A procession of assemblages based on oppositions – repetitions/variation – manmade/natural.

In Quarter Sections Janet Wheeler relies on oppositions – repetition/variation, manmade/natural – that reference, for example, the repeated but varied segments of an individual leaf or a composer’s variations on a theme. Her incorporation of a natural element into a formal jeweled palette brings to mind Japanese aesthetic, just as her procession of variation recalls dancers’ movements in Asian temple friezes.

On each repeated black shape Wheeler used a varied pattern of colored papers and an added circle of grape vine, the flat shapes of man-made paper a contrast to the natural elements of sculptured vine. While the contour of each piece is equally less than a circle, the parent disc’s original dimension is echoed in the rounded vine.

Each piece’ pattern of repetition/variation is again referenced in the artist’s installation of flow and direction on the gallery’s walls. This display carries the viewer’s eye across the shapes, just as one would view a ceremonial procession of apsaras and bodhisattvas dancing with subtle gestures across the facade of an eastern temple or watch rows of blossoms bending both high and low in a changing breeze.

Gallery Hours:

  • Wednesday – Friday: 12pm to 6pm
  • Saturday – Sunday: 12pm to 5pm

Touchstone Gallery is located at 901 New York Ave. NW. Please see the gallery’s website for additional information, or call 202-347-2787. For more information contact Ksenia Grishkova, Director, 202-347-2787 or email