There’s still time to nominate local icons for Best of D.C.
TO AUG. 23
Given its modest exhibition space, Conner Contemporary Art’s second annual student show—which exhibits the work of 16 graduates from eight local art programs—offers a surprising smorgasbord of works. As can be expected of any group show—especially a show of student work—the output is uneven, but there’s at least one intriguing piece in each genre. Nina Chung Dwyer’s 42-inch-by-42-inch painting Assimilation features what appear to be sunlit prison bars rendered in creamy whites and gunmetal grays—a blend of op-art visuals with Ashcan School stylings. Dave Beers’ Christenberry-meets-Beuys Hood series consists of KKK-style headgear crafted from unexpected fabrics, including fur, keffiyeh cloth, and wood pinstripes, each hung from invisible lines so that the hoods twist eerily, as if mimicking a lynching. Youngmi Song used pedestrian materials—namely, folded acetate sheets bought from an office-supply store—to create Flower, an unexpectedly evocative, lotus-shaped sculpture. But the exhibition’s selection of photography may be its strongest point: Andrea Tese’s Avedonian black-and-whites of masked, naked people (Unmasked Beauty is pictured); Julie Stovall’s inkjet prints of an eerily formalistic crime scene; and Jenny Lescure’s matrix of nine images made at a laundromat. The series’ retro colors (sky blues, mustard yellows, and Tide-box oranges) and geometrical resonances (circular view holes playing off gumballs) make it the most buoyant piece in the entire show. The exhibition is on view from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday, to Friday, Aug. 23, at Conner Contemporary Art, 1730 Connecticut Ave. NW. Free. (202) 588-8750. (Louis Jacobson)