If the 2010 All-Senior Exhibition at the Corcoran College of Art and Design is any indication, the trend in photography is large-scale documentary prints, often with indistinct focus and abundant murk. One series by Jenny Yang echoes Nan Goldin’s “Ballad of Sexual Dependency,” with the bonus of a nice abstraction of paint on a clear pane. Michelle Yo offers a spooky night image of a tree draped with seasonal lights that from a distance somehow looks like a dark explosion, while Howard Solomon upends this approach with a glib pseudodocumentary sendup. Other photographic works tread fresh visual ground, such as Carrie E. Greenwood’s family images that are prematurely aged with a heavy coat of lacquer. The theses of design students show subversive sparks of inspiration, such as the “green” cleanser bottle that deadpans, “80% water—15% natural ingredients—5% potent carcinogens” or the dazzling place setting with dog food and the tagline, “Design so appealing it could be dinner.” But the most winningly edgy exercises in irony are three students’ sculptures of an ax, knives, and a chainsaw dripping with blood, made from crochet and sparkly decorations.
THE EXHIBITION IS ON VIEW 10 A.M. TO 5 P.M. WEDNESDAY AND FRIDAY TO SUNDAY AND 10 A.M. TO 9 P.M. THURSDAY TO MAY 23 AT THE CORCORAN GALLERY OF ART, 500 7TH ST. NW. $8-$10. (202) 639-1700.