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For an exhibit titled “The Salon of Little Deaths”—a name derived from the French term for orgasm—the Hamiltonian Gallery’s current production doesn’t show much sex. But in the works of Milana Braslavsky, there’s a not-too-subtle sexuality at play. Her still-life photographs feature pears, peaches, tangerines, yellow plums, and nectarines in all their bulbous, sensual glory, set on fabrics that range from fancy tablecloths to blue coverings that suggest aseptic hospital linens. The exhibit only includes a couple of her weirder arrangements—including a rather creepy tableau of pears and gloves set on a plate—but other works not on display toy with unusual uses for purses and various articles of clothing. Still, measured by their oddness quotient, Braslavsky’s works pale compared to Matthew Mann’s. Look past Mann’s thing for dead birds; it’s his landscapes that go beyond surreal to deeply off-kilter. “Intervention on Kobayashi Cliff,” for instance, offers a disjointed patchwork of prim garden paths, a rambling cliff, receding fields, and a sky reminiscent of Donnie Darko. The visual results, at least, are as intriguing as they are off-putting.
The show is on view Tuesdays to Saturdays, noon to 6 p.m., to June 15 at Hamiltonian Gallery, 1353 U St. NW, Suite 101. Free. (202) 332-1116. hamiltoniangallery.com.