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to july 22
“Balance” is the watchword at Project 4 Gallery. Rarely do you come across such synergy between a fresh artist looking to strike out in a solo show and a fledgling gallery hoping to really land one. Laurel Lukaszewski’s “Kuroi Shiroi,” a twofold presentation of the artist’s work in white porcelain and black stoneware, makes such good use of the gallery’s open floors, it’s as if she’d renovated the space herself: Shiroi, a towering column of winding white porcelain veins, hangs from the second-floor ceiling through to the entrance area on the first floor. Flow and Still Music, two grates of stoneware curlicues that snake along a corner and window ledge, respectively, were also created with the floor plan in mind. The artworks are segregated, with porcelain presented on the first floor and stoneware on the second—an approach that emphasizes Lukaszewski’s single sculptural vision: finding symmetry through chaotic forms. Wild spirals seem to escape in every direction but are bound by some unseen gravity to a vertical or horizontal plane. Falling (pictured)—a mass of stoneware tendrils hanging roughly in the shape of the state of Florida—is the exception that proves the rule. As in the Eastern philosophy that influenced the artist (“Kuroi Shiroi” means “Black White” in Japanese), balance and symmetry here are matters of perspective. Look closely and her works are an implausibly delicate mess of fired clay dough; taken in their entirety, the pieces have presence and weight. “Laurel Lukaszewski: Kuroi Shiroi” is on view from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and noon to 6 p.m. Saturday to Saturday, July 22, at Project 4 Gallery, 903 U St. NW. Free. (202) 232-4340. (Kriston Capps)