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to june 17
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One imagines that Jeff Spaulding walks with his eyes glued to the ground. To create his recombinant Pop sculptures, he repurposes and reanimates found objects, a number of which seem to have started life as things you might expect to find strewn about a messy yard: various lawn toys, inner tubes, lawn-care implements. They lend a summery feel to the show that’s contrasted by Spaulding’s dark bent. The artist gravitates toward puns: in Mine, a cluster of fire-engine-red plastic objects—which might be children’s toys—blossoms like a bouquet from a Christmas tree stand. In fact, the entire show could be interpreted as a pun on the word “base”: His works not only draw objects from the ground, they hug the ground. Curvy cones and hoops throughout Spaulding’s objects speak to base sexual concerns as well; in particular, Pierce (pictured), a plastic playground slide joined to a large plastic egg by a silver hoop, resembles nothing so much as a tongue tweaking a nipple. A less successful series of pink plaster orbs in the form of molecular models certainly look like chemical bases. And a work called Dark Flower includes a heavy base: The piece is a Civil War mortar on top of which Spaulding has affixed a red rubber ball of almost identical size. The artist’s black humor guarantees that his formally dense sculptures don’t fall too heavily on the viewer. “Mine” is on view from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, to Saturday, June 17, at G Fine Art, 1515 14th St. NW. Free. (202) 462-1601. (Kriston Capps)