Sign up for our free newsletter
Free D.C. news, delivered to your inbox daily.
TO DEC. 30
What does it say about contemporary photography that the most impressive work in this seven-artist year-end show was made by someone who died in 1970? Probably nothing, but it’s worth noting nonetheless. The other six photographers in the exhibition include several based in the D.C. area or not-too-far-out Virginia (Sam Abell, John Grant, Allan Janus, and Rob McDonald) and two based farther away (Henry Horenstein and Floyd Segel). Celebrated National Geographic contributor Abell offers three colorful but surprisingly static images of garden landscapes. Janus and McDonald share the same vibe: ultra-understated images of farms in black-and-white (Janus) and birdhouses in warm sepia (McDonald). Grant’s botanical studies in color call to mind those produced in recent years by Amy Lamb of Bethesda; two enormously enlarged, crystal-clear prints of flowers with milky-white petals are especially impressive. Horenstein, who showed his brilliant low-light photographs of aquarium life at the Kathleen Ewing Gallery in 2003, here offers a too-limited selection of photographs he took of country-music figures and hangouts during the early ’70s. (His work is pictured.) But the show’s standout works come from the late A. Aubrey Bodine, a longtime Baltimore Sun photographer who extensively documented the mid-Atlantic region, including several sites that have since disappeared. Some of his photographs look a little too perfect—he did manipulate his images in the darkroom—but they are mesmerizing for both their substance (smoke-belching ships in the Baltimore Harbor, sunny farmscapes) and their striking bluish toning. The show is on view from noon to 6 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays, through Friday, Dec. 30, at the Kathleen Ewing Gallery, 1609 Connecticut Ave. NW. Free. (202) 328-0955. (Louis Jacobson)