Get to know D.C. with our daily newsletter
We dive deep on the day’s biggest story and share links to everything you need to know.
Very little links the 28 works by 14 artists in Hemphill Fine Arts’ summer show, but at least the gallery didn’t phone it in. Two renderings of undramatic landscapes—a near-photorealist painting of an industrial site by Martin Kotler and an extraordinarily detailed, wall-filling composite photograph by Anne Rowland—are redeemed by their exhilaratingly clear skies of blue. Two artists offer a bit of whimsy: Arlene Shechet casts silver-pigmented rubber as if it were toxic goo spilling across the gallery floor, and Tanya Marcuse photographs a full-body suit of armor that includes a prominent and oddly squat chamber for the warrior’s penis. Al Souza contributes a motley collection of circular jigsaw puzzles laid partially on top of one another and mounted in a large frame—the whole piece a cacophonous medley of gum packages, stamps, license plates, dogs, birds, and airplanes, whose title (Make Ready; pictured) pays homage to Marcel Duchamp’s dadaist “readymades.” Colby Caldwell offers a silent film loop of a lone woman standing and speaking (or screaming) in front of a window; he luxuriates, as usual, in rendering the imperfections of celluloid film and the process of feeding it through a projector. (At one point, an insect even crawls across the film.) But the exhibition’s quiet standout is the husband-and-wife team of Eduardo del Valle and Mirta Gomez, whose project to photograph salt led them to Mexico’s Yucatán peninsula, where they found mounds of sodium chloride poking out of milky water and thin webs of the stuff criscrossing a sandy beach like fragile strings of pearls. The show is on view from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, to Friday, Aug. 26, at Hemphill Fine Arts, 1515 14th St. NW. Free. (202) 234-5601. (Louis Jacobson)