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TO DEC. 18
“Desire Lines,” explains curator Elizabeth Fisher in her exhibition introduction, are, in the lingo of planners, “the paths cut by pedestrians through freshly landscaped areas and around new buildings before pavement is laid, paths that unselfconsciously inscribe patterns of use in new spaces.” It’s a wonderful term for an immediately familiar phenomenon, though that sense of accessibility doesn’t come through in the work of five of the show’s six artists. All six base their work on landscapes, real and imagined: Terence Gower creates simple two-dimensional mockups of interior spaces (including the gallery itself, on its front-door glass); Nicola Lopez and Jason Gubbiotti pose as cartographers, producing stylized, ink-on-paper aerial views of urban and industrial landscapes; Joan Linder draws a complex power-transmission scene using a quill pen and ink; and Ulrike Heydenreich uses a tall wood-and-metal contraption to help her re-create 360-degree panoramas en plein air. But the works of Gower, Lopez, and Gubiotti are too enigmatic to carry much power, Linder’s pieces seem too prosaic, and Heydenreich’s panoramic pedestal (Panorama Drawing Device is pictured) is more compelling than the pieces she uses it to create. The unchallenged star of the show is Cynthia Lin, who does a reverse Vik Muniz: Rather than using dust to create art, Lin uses silver and graphite to create a convincing facsimile of dust. Equally impressive is the companion show: the red-white-and-blue fiberglass creations of Vincent Szarek, which mimic hot-rod parts, alternately over the top (flaming stars and stripes) or unexpectedly subtle (baby blue and pink). The show is on view from noon to 6 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays and from noon to 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, to Saturday, Dec. 18, at Fusebox, 1412 14th St. NW. Free. (202) 299-9220. (Louis Jacobson)