City Paper is not for tourists
The horse of different colors that prances through Lucy Hogg’s “The Last Pony”—a solo show and public declaration, of sorts, on display at Meat Market Gallery—is a bold one. A massive painting at the center of the show depicts a beastly indigo stallion, whose fat neck is a braid of muscles and arteries; its cut legs are as thick as tree trunks. Hanging in the same gallery are six digital prints, which Hogg produced from photographs of the painting. For each print, she’s tweaked the color, rendering the horse in stages across the color spectrum. (The wall wasn’t long enough to accommodate all seven prints; the version of the horse in chartreuse is missing, leaving quite a leap between the orange/salmon horse and the next print in emerald.) In the back gallery, Hogg has collaged the prints for a video projection: The horse seems to change colors, like its counterpart from The Wizard of Oz. But Hogg’s horse is more symbolic than magical. She’s charged her painting with references to painting: It’s an equestrian, first of all, made after George Stubbs’ Whistlejacket, which she’s mashed up with the landscape from Diego Velázquez’s Philip IV on Horseback. With this show of painting and prints, the longtime painter has declared that she’s forsaking the former medium for the latter. However, it’s a navel-gazing transition, and clunky to boot: The prints don’t have a place in the broader conversation about photography, and those who accept the line that painting is dead held that funeral some three decades ago. With her steed galloping over a cliff, Hogg risks beating a dead…oh, never mind. The exhibition is on view from noon to 6 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and noon to 3 p.m. Sundays, to Sunday, Dec. 16, at Meat Market Gallery, 1636 17th St. NW. Free. (202) 328-6328.