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TO JULY 3
As a youngster, Ray Charles White was fascinated by the liquid-metallic properties of mercury. The son of a dentist in Toronto, White sometimes spirited away small amounts of the silvery fluid to play with. Safety-wise, this was a questionable hobby; but as inspiration for art, White could have done worse. His photo-based, silk-screened prints on aluminum focus exclusively on the surface ripples and aquatic plants of a quiet pond on Virginia’s Eastern Shore. Though he lives and works in New York City, White has gone back to the pond so many times that he’s amassed a detailed knowledge of the water’s moods, demonstrated both in individual images and in fractured matrices that run as big as 80 inches by 150 inches in metallic tones of sepia, beer-bottle green, and Tahoe blue. (One easily recognizes the debt White owes to David Hockney’s Polaroid mosaics of backyard pools.) At their best, White’s works straddle the line between restfulness and restlessness: Some images re-create such subtle details as submerged vegetation, while others become so abstract that they begin mimicking visualizations of sound waves (as in Resonate, pictured) or magnified crosshatch patterns. In an attempt to perfect his waterborne minimalism, White sometimes exchanges elements of a matrix in piecemeal fashion over the course of several years before he’s satisfied. For the sake of avoiding monotony, however, one hopes that Whitewho’s taken four years perfecting water and spent six years prior to that focusing on leaveswill soon find a fresh object of obsession. The show is on view from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday, to Thursday, July 3, at the David Adamson Gallery, 406 7th St. NW. Free. (202) 628-0257. (Louis Jacobson)