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TO NOV. 12
A faded stretch of asphalt winds through the landscape, bypassing rugged mountains and scrubby flatlands. A taste of the Mojave Desert? Southern Utah, maybe? Not if the image is by Danish photographer Thomas Linder Brox. Brox’s pictures depict scenes in the northern reaches of Scandinavia, well above the Arctic Circle. To Brox, such images do not suggest, as they do to Americans, the exhilarating freedom of the open road. “The subjects of isolation and restlessness are recurrent themes in Scandinavian art,” he writes—and for him, the empty road epitomizes those emotions. But while Brox’s interpretations of his squarish roadway images are unusual, their iconography is already quite familiar (with the possible exception of Highway E69, Norway, pictured, whose hazy blue dusk adds a distinct air of mystery). On the whole, Brox’s more compelling work, as judged by aesthetics alone, is a separate series of digitally composed photographs that use not the roads of Scandinavia but, rather, the railways. Thyboroen, Denmark is one of several works that suggest the mosaic-like collages that David Hockney assembled from individual photographs. Brox’s images apply Hockney’s aesthetic to the Photoshop age, with sometimes stunning results: In Broendby Strand Station, Denmark, a seemingly piecemeal, ghostly male figure stands on a rail track, his back to the camera, gazing at a row of uninspiring apartment buildings. Even more strikingly, Dyboelsbro Station, Denmark joins a dizzying pastiche of railway lines with a sky that’s composed, disorientingly, of ice blue, gray, and charcoal chunks, photographed at different times of day. The exhibition is on view from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Tuesday and Thursday, and by appointment, to Friday, Nov. 12, at Ingrid Hansen Gallery, 1203 19th St. NW, Level 3. Free. (202) 266-5022. (Louis Jacobson)