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TO OCT. 31

Jack Pierson is a hot art-world property right now. It is difficult to judge why this is, however, from the selection of eight works on view at the David Adamson Gallery. The artist’s late-’90s series of neon and mixed-media works toyed intelligently (if not entirely originally) with commercial lettering, teasing out modest ironies from the transformation of everyday signage into art. Adamson’s exhibition presents a later series, from 2001: large pigment prints on velvet, based on collages of photographs and ripped-paper color patterns stuck together with Scotch tape. The resulting works are imposingly kaleidoscopic, but—unlike Adamson’s much more successful 2002 show of Judy Pfaff’s large-scale assemblages—they ultimately amount to less than the sum of their parts. With a sprinkle of frond-shadow photographs, Untitled VI suggests a Hockneyesque take on Palm Springs or Sun City. The repeated image of a well-dressed older couple on the street in Untitled VII works as a homage to Andy Warhol (of which the world certainly has no great shortage). Other pieces—such as Untitled IV, which features a mess of fire escapes, flowers, chair backs, and film sprockets—might simply leave viewers scratching their heads. The show’s most successful image is also the most abstract: Untitled IX (pictured) manages, despite itself, to echo the early-20th-century vortographs of Alvin Langdon Coburn and the cut-paper abstractions of Francis Bruguiere. Ultimately, however, even this project seems too much of a pastiche. The show is on view from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays, and from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays, to Friday, Oct. 31, at the David Adamson Gallery, 406 7th St. NW. Free. (202) 628-0257. (Louis Jacobson)