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“Portray,” an exhibit of some three dozen portraits, is a testament to the fine curatorship of Frank Hallam Day, a Washington-based photographer. Though the exhibit includes a few pieces that seem inexplicably abstract, it offers a smart cross-section of contemporary portraiture in painting and photography. Of special note are works by three of Day’s fellow D.C. artists: Colby Caldwell’s two lush, large-scale photographs of figures standing within wide-angle, big-sky landscapes; Annette Polan’s breathtakingly delicate maple leaves with faces sunbleached onto their surfaces; and Pat Goslee’s photograph of an elderly gentleman taking a digital picture of Abraham Lincoln, a metaphotographic tableau that reminded me of the image of a couple holding up a daguerreotype that graced the original cover of Susan Sontag’s On Photography. Appropriately, Day himself offers two standout images, one of a fashion-forward mannequin and the other of a magazine photograph pinned to a wall, both of which play fruitfully with the enigmatic frontiers between fantasy and reality.
THE EXHIBITION IS ON VIEW 11 A.M. TO 5 P.M. TUESDAY TO FRIDAY TO AUG. 28 AT ADDISON/RIPLEY FINE ART, 1670 WISCONSIN AVE. NW. FREE. (202) 338-5180.