June-July Exhibitions at Mid City Galleries

By Phil Hutinet on June 29, 2015
Beth Hanson, Night Parrot, 2015, Screenprint with wax and oil pigment.  Courtesy Pleasant Plains Workshop.
Beth Hanson, Night Parrot, 2015, Screenprint with wax and oil pigment. Courtesy Pleasant Plains Workshop.


The Evolution of Human Form at Long View Gallery

Zachary Oxman‘s artistic career began in Florence, Italy where his reverence for figurative work led him to perfect his oeuvre and master the traditional process of bronze casting. By mid-career, while continuing to work in metal, Oxman transformed his human forms into vivid, colorful abstractions made of steel and best understood by the viewer when interacting face-to-face with the work. The interpersonal interaction, whereby the viewer gazes upon the work and whose body becomes a reflected image in the work, results in a figurative abstraction and, by extension, an evolution in the perception of the human figure. As such, the works in Optic Symphony, shown to the public for the very first time, seek, according to the artist, “to illuminate the complexities within all of us.” This subtle attraction between the viewer and the work will result in a type of seductive gaze leaving the audience insatiable for further interaction with Oxman’s work leading to a type of figurative transformation of the audience member.

Imagery from an Inconstant South at Hemphill

Artist William Christenberry examines the boundless stretches of Alabama’s backcountry through photographs, works on paper and silkscreens (a recent medium for the artist). His imagery labors to shed light on the complex incongruences of his home and of his past. His status as a native Alabaman provides him with the unique ability to seek out and find autochthonous cultural sites such as a clapboard church set amid a pine forest and a red dirt road. His visual exploration of rural Alabama also enables him to understand his southern identity as a paradox consisting of his homeland’s sense of timelessness on the one hand and the constant flux of the passage of time on the other. By examining his past, Christenberry understands his identity as one deeply rooted both in time and space leading him to arrive at the conclusion that, like the images of vine covered rural ruins which he has photographed so often, he too can be “perfectly flawed, because one can be no other way.”

Re-adaptation of Ecology at PPW

A resident of Pleasant Plains Workshop, artist and Corcoran graduate Beth Hansen employs printing and mixed media sculpture as her primary mediums. In Natural Selection, Hansen seeks to understand the relationship between various animals in the natural ecology. Specifically, she examines the relationship between two extremes—on the one hand, she examines endangered species that dwell in such scant numbers that they are actually known, and, the other extreme, animals that are so great in number that they form the ecology of certain areas. Through her specialization in mixed media prints and sculptures, fabric patterns and newspaper clippings, Hansen will seek to compare these extreme ecologies with human beings as a reflection not only of where we originate as a species but what we’ve become or will become as result of our adaption to specialized ecologies.
1234 Ninth Street NW, Washington, DC 20001
202.232.4788 | www.longviewgallerydc.com
Through July 12
Optic Symphony: Movements in Steel by Zachary Oxman

1515 14th Street NW
Washington, DC 20005
202.234.5601 | www.hemphillfinearts.com
Through August 1
William Christenberry

2608 Georgia Avenue NW
Through July 11
Natural Selections by Beth Hansen