It did not take Carole Wagner Greenwood quite as long as Odysseus to find her way home. The local artist’s exhibition—her first solo show in six years—easily bests Odysseus’ 10-year epic journey, the inspiration for many of Greenwood’s sculptures. In Civilian Art Projects’ “Ghosts and Circumstance,” the theme of finding one’s way echoes throughout most of Greenwood’s works, which combine plaster, linen, and found objects to a wistful, organic effect. Titles of works hint at the story arc of The Odyssey,” such as “How to Get From Here to There” and “Who Ate the Navigator.” Greenwood has also mapped out the battles and skirmishes on the way home from Troy in a plaster landscape that serves as a record of Odysseus’ triumphs. The artist is at her best, however, with her most minimal works—the simplest and most interesting sculpture is “Tabula Rasa,” a frame stretched with linen and held in place with tacks, ruched on one side. Also at Civilian, graphic novelist Dame Darcy’s illustrations for her book Gasoline depict a post-apocalyptic world of witches seeking the titular product, the most valuable commodity of their time. Darcy’s style verges, at times, into the territory of high school notebook doodles, with hearts, rainbows, and a cast of emo goth fairies. Other pages of the book are lovely; in particular, one of an old house crying. The witches seek gas as they learn to give up material things, and Darcy resists the urge to preach her overt eco-commentary, choosing whimsy instead.
THE EXHIBITIONS ARE ON VIEW FROM NOON TO 6 P.M., WEDNESDAY THROUGH SATURDAY, TO FEB. 7 AT CIVILIAN ART PROJECTS, 406 7TH ST. NW. FREE. 202-347-0022.