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17

THURSDAY

It’s fitting that one of the six paintings in W.C. Richardson’s new show, “Set,” has a title that suggests an early Steve Reich piece: Loop Phase. Like the minimalist composer and the many electronists and hiphoppers who followed him, Richardson builds his work from repeated motifs: orderly circular or rectangular forms, executed in just a few colors, that cover the painting, suggesting enlarged designs from textiles or ceramics. But the designs don’t cover the paintings completely, leaving the background with space to breathe. Look closely, in fact, and you’ll see that there are areas of pigment so light that the texture of the canvas shows through, as in a vintage Washington Color School piece. This is just one of the tensions at play in Richardson’s large pictures, which contrast bright vs. pastel, tight vs. loose, foreground vs. backdrop. In these paintings, things aren’t as set as they first appear. The show is on view from noon to 6 p.m. (to Dec. 17; see City List for other dates) at Fusebox, 1412 14th St. NW. Free. (202) 299-9220. (Mark Jenkins)