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TO OCT. 22
“Blasts,” a nine-artist show at G Fine Art, aspires to critique the modern explosion, both its “traumatically real occurrence” and its reproduction by “state propaganda and the entertainment industry.” Buy this line or not, there’s still a primal, unintellectualized thrill in simply seeing things blow up, and the exhibition offers a generous sampling. (Gardar Eide Einarsson’s Untitled (Other Scene) is pictured.) Some works focus on the terrible beauty of the blast, such as Joy Garnett’s rich oil painting Jog, featuring a runner in a surgical mask passing a series of luscious-looking orange-yellow plumes; others deliver a welcome dose of humor, such as E.V. Day’s four-panel faux blueprint that morphs one Cold War icon, the mushroom cloud, into another, Marilyn Monroe’s dress. Heide Fasnacht’s pastel-hued pencil drawing of imploding high-rises is most notable for its ironic title—Three Buildings, which they clearly aren’t anymore. Two video artists offer inspired works: Matias Faldbakken with a cheeky loop of obscure film clips called, in a perfect self-explanatory deadpan, Movie Scenes Where the Problems Get Bigger When or If They Fight It, and Christoph Draeger, with a 13-minute video spoof in which a newscaster buoyantly announces the descent of the world into chaos, backed by dazzling visuals. (Draeger’s most inspired decision may have been to air the End of the World As We Know It on MSNBC, the least well-defined of the news channels.) But no artist fits the mission of the show as well as Rosemarie Fiore, who provided two large-scale, colorful and surprisingly geometric “firework drawings,” which are made from residue imprinted by fireworks she’s ignited on paper. Somehow, they survived the explosion just fine. The show is on view from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays, to Saturday, Oct. 22, at G Fine Art, 1515 14th St. NW. Free. (202) 462-1601. (Louis Jacobson)