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Trevor Young: Seeing in the Dark
The coronavirus quarantine has left the outside world looking a little like a Trevor Young painting: Lots of empty space, devoid of people. So it is either ironic or eerily appropriate that Young’s fourth exhibit at Addison/Ripley Fine Art, which was due to open in April, has been postponed—hopefully—until the fall. Fortunately, the works from the show are already accessible online, and if the miniature pixelated versions don’t compare to Young’s full-sized, creamily textured paintings, their subject matter is undoubtedly of the moment: blank billboards in the twilight, empty gas stations, unclogged highways, desolate Metro platforms, and vacant parking garages. At the same time, there’s something timeless about Young’s minimalist architectural forms and evocative hues—lavender, fiery ochre, royal blue, McDonald’s yellow. Young says these recent works include a stronger presence of nature than in his usual oeuvre; the diffuse natural glow contrasts with the synthetic light of the adjoining infrastructure. “While the lockdown hasn’t changed my subject matter, I do find myself missing the outside world,” Young says. In addition to the online exhibition, a few of Young’s works will be on display in the windows of the gallery’s brick-and-mortar location, at 1670 Wisconsin Ave. NW. The exhibition is available at artsy.net. Free. —Louis Jacobson
What might transportation look like in the very near future, when we have places to go and people to see? Sweden has a few ingenious and even entertaining ideas, and virtually welcomes you to take a look. On March 4, the House of Sweden unveiled Smart Mobility in its gorgeous exhibition space overlooking the Potomac River in Georgetown, as well as two fashion and design exhibitions on the lower-level galleries. While you can’t enjoy river vistas during the pandemic, you can check out their online overview of cool Nordic transit innovations, from driverless Volvos to hybrid electric bikes. But not everything in the exhibit has wheels. Sweden has long been a leader in child safety, so the exhibition also includes car seats that could get infants back in the front of a car, as well as the latest hipster baby carriers. The especially promising Hövding 3 is not an Ikea bookshelf, but a bike helmet that inflates like an airbag and protects necks during a collision. Not every Scandinavian scientific advance successfully becomes the next big thing, however, which is why Smart Mobility also includes examples from the Museum of Failure, curated by Sweden-based psychologist Samuel West. So get excited about that bike helmet, and get a good laugh out of the Bilar racecar-shaped candies that were supposed to be marshmallows but turned out more like Swedish fish. The exhibition is available at houseofswedenexhibitions.com. Free. —Rebecca J. Ritzel