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Flight Patterns” are not just for the birds. Though the title of Phil Nesmith’s show at Irvine Contemporary is quite literal for his glass-plate images of birds and insects, flight unites his show with the concurrent exhibition by Oliver Vernon. Both are characterized by movement through air, but with completely divergent approaches. Nesmith, whose medium is photograms (a method in which exposures are made directly on photosensitive black glass plates), captures delicate, subtle movements. Vernon, on the other hand, creates futuristic abstract landscapes that look as tenuous as Jupiter’s—stormy gases and debris, rotating and swirling together in orbit. Nesmith’s birds and insects are restricted in their flight by the glass jars in which he’s ensnared his subjects. Vernon’s paintings and a 3-D installation explode into space, bound by nothing.

THE EXHIBITIONS ARE ON VIEW FROM 11 A.M. TO 6 P.M. TUESDAY-SATURDAY TO DEC. 12 AT IRVINE CONTEMPORARY, 11412 14TH ST. NW. FREE. (202) 332-8767.