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TO MAY 1
David Foster Wallace once said that film director David Lynch’s art looks like something Francis Bacon would have done in junior high school. And though the 13 Lynch drawings, photo-paintings, and etchings currently on view in a group show at MOCA D.C. do contain their share of cigarette filters, they are unmistakably Lynchian. (An untitled work is pictured.) An old man named “Mr. Jim” levitates in one drawing and shows off gruesome magic tricks in another. Framing devices in the shape of stage curtains or movie screens appear in many of the works: In The Third Ray, a golden beam that could be either a spotlight or a mystical emanation is visible between red drapes. Lynch sticks mostly to a black-and-white palette, but the paintings of his friend and sometime benefactor Christine McGinnis are almost unbearably colorful. McGinnis likes to combine real animals with creatures out of mythology, and doesn’t leave much room for her owls (actually, elephants, monkeys, and cats) to be anything other than what they seem. McGinnis’ husband, Philadelphia art-crowd heavyweight Roger La Pelle, contributes some excellent Miró-esque paintings to the mix, and a few works by Hank Widmaier round out the show. All of the aforementioned hoary, venerable artists began influencing one another in ’60s Philadelphia, but the show also presents the nighttime Hollywood streetscapes of young Christopher Saah, who frankly channels Lynch’s distinctly American aesthetic of stylish, uneasy enigma. The show is on view from 1 to 6 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays, to Saturday, May 1, at MOCA D.C., 1054 31st St. NW. Free. (202) 342-6230. (Bidisha Banerjee)