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TO FEB. 21

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Ever notice how much uncluttered room Capt. Kirk got to roll around in whenever he and his sparring partner of the week got into a tussle? And what about all those paperback covers that strew a few buildings around a limitless perspectival plane, the bastard offspring of Yves Tanguy, Giorgio de Chirico, and the anonymous Renaissance View of an Ideal City? For a while there, the spacious modern piazza was up for grabs, an arena of alienation in the hands of Giacometti, an apollonian utopia on the drawing boards of the architects of La Défense. The diptych drawings of Los Angeles–based painter Adam Ross take us back to a future that, though conditioned by the forms and fears of the space age, echoes with anxieties recognizably our own. (In Between Places 2 is pictured.) There’s arboreal life, but it has taken strange shape—platform or bulb or ring—and it appears to be down for the ten-count. Dead twigs are rendered by an eloquent line, as spindly as the stilts of a daddy longlegs, which elsewhere may be cytoplasmic tendril or electrical arc. The concatenated ovals and capsules that spike the recessional zoom of the planetary surface may be architecture or transport or cybernetic parasite. If the latter, then the battle between silicon life and carbon has been lost. There’s a lot of empty space here to roam around in, but none of it is meant for us. The show is on view from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays, to Saturday, Feb. 21, at the Numark Gallery, 625 E St. NW. Free. (202) 628-3810. (Glenn Dixon)