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TO MARCH 27
Jay Stuckey’s airplane paintings currently on display at Strand on Volta have a little of the whimsy of Antoine de Saint Exupéry’s Little Prince illustrations and quite a bit of the controlled fury that is the forte of Stuckey’s pal Ian MacKaye. Although there are nine small pieces in the show, the larger ones command instant attention. In Airplanes Moving Forward (pictured)—a combination of oil, graphite, and rubber-stamps on paper—hundreds of World War II–era airplanes line up, kamikaze style. Though they are cute at first glance, cumulatively, their deadpan topaz wing tips summon ominous reveries. In Green Swarm—a long horizontal riff on Warhol’s S & H Green Stamps—planes tumble together like a confused school of emerald-colored fish. In Orange Airplanes, which spans the ceiling, a bevy of aircraft are spattered on the sky like bugs on a windshield. And in Large Airplane, countless little planes attack a blocky mothership, some on fire, others swirling saucily through the air. Inspired by a deck of cards featuring vintage planes that he came across in Las Vegas, Stuckey—a former D.C. resident—forsook his previous passion (charcoal depictions of mummies) and spent the past four years working on his airplane epics. Delicate and chaotic, Stuckey’s work brings new meaning to the words of the Little Prince: “Straight ahead of you, you cannot go very far.” The show is on view from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays and Sundays and Mondays by appointment, to Saturday, March 27, at Strand on Volta, 1531 33rd St. NW. Free. (202) 333-4663. (Bidisha Banerjee)