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TO OCT. 23
A century ago, slightly offset, paired photographs called “stereographs” offered 3D portrayals of the world when seen through a special viewer. The idea of twinning images has recurred periodically, most notably in the late-’60s double prints of Eve Sonneman. “Double Exposure” at G Fine Art attempted to recapture this spirit by commissioning twinned images from 14 leading contemporary photographers. Unfortunately, the effort proves only fitfully successful. Catherine Yass’ industrial-drab staircases are lit by nauseating lavender and lime tones. James Welling’s unpicked apples offer more pleasing colors but suggest little compositional interest. Vanessa Beecroft offers self-indulgent, stagey images of an upside-down naked model positioned next to a well-dressed man on a downtown street. And Uta Barth underwhelms with photographs taken from the inside of first-floor fishbowl windows. Several of the show’s most compelling works draw their interest from factors entirely divorced from their pairings: Bill Jacobson’s out-of-focus street scenes suggest Barth’s more inspired works, and Thomas Ruff’s rephotograph of a newspaper image of a planet plays gainfully with the imperfect texture of a sphere that’s rendered in benday dots. All told, only two artists make productive use of the twinning conceit: Nan Goldin, who pairs boudoir photographs of a woman taken seven years apart in Berlin and New York (Joey in My Mirror, Berlin, 1992, and Joey in My Mirror, NYC, 1999, pictured) and Candida Höfer, whose interior-architectural images of a library atrium in Hamburg are taken from slightly different anglesjust like an old-fashioned stereograph. “Double Exposure” is on view from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays to Fridays and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays, to Thursday, Oct. 23, at G Fine Art, 3271 M St. NW. Free. (202) 333-0300. (Louis Jacobson)