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In a new exhibit at Kensington’s Adah Rose Gallery, it’s tough to tell apart the photographs of Esther Hidalgo and Julie Wolsztynski. Both offer square, unframed, bleeding-to-the-edge, up-close images of female bodies and body parts. But these two old-school film photographers differ in color palette. Hidalgo’s abstract and enigmatic photographs, depicting goose-bumped skin and stray strands of hair, run hot with an orange glow; Wolsztynski’s are soothing, limned in ocean blues and greens. Her nearly full-body nudes compare well to the defiantly out-of-focus works of Uta Barth; the most notable shows a woman standing by a bathtub, with only a thin plane of focus that zeroes in, somewhat mysteriously, on a collection of water droplets. The third artist in the show—Chandi Kelley, who, like Hidalgo, graduated from the Corcoran College of Art and Design—offers a deeply personal series that revolves around a diary written by her maternal grandfather. Kelley was given the opportunity to read the diary, but she declined, opting to speculate on its contents through still-life pieces. Her three black-and-white images don’t live up to the theme’s promise, but a related series—in color, using book spines to tell a story—play more gainfully with similar ideas.
“Magnifying Memories…Isolating Ideas” is on view noon to 6 p.m. Friday to Sunday and noon to 8 p.m. every third Thursday at Adah Rose Gallery, 3766 Howard Ave., Kensington. adahrosegallery.com. (301) 922-0162.