There’s still time to nominate local icons for Best of D.C.
FRIDAY & MONDAY
Born in 1959, Diego Donner has used his retro palette and distinctly handmade shapes to become one of Uruguay’s rising talents. Influenced by the abstract symbolism of Andean cultures, Donner’s works (Untitled is pictured) are palimpsests of paint and cuts into paint. Ladders, pots, fire escapes, boots, bell towers, children’s writing, as well as Buddhist and pre-Columbian symbols are all suggested by his lines, but never actually depicted. His paintings—done in styles and colors abandoned more than 20 years ago by American abstract artists—look like an imaginary metropolis’s mysterious topography, revealed in tones of blue and orange. Donner uses thin washes of sepia and sienna to mute his colors, and in doing so, creates an archaeological effect, as if these multiples had been unearthed from some long-hidden cache. Two years ago, Donner joined some 100 other Uruguayan artists to found the Uruguay Cultural Foundation for the Arts—which now manages the “Sala de las Artes” on the second floor of D.C.’s Embassy of Uruguay—to promote the culture and arts of the tiny South American nation. Though the nonprofit can’t compete with the artistic promotional efforts backed by neighboring giant Brazil—which, in the past year, has sponsored massive shows of contemporary and historical Brazilian art around the world—the foundation is making a considerable effort: Donner’s is the fourth of 10 shows the embassy plans to hold this year. The exhibition is on view from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Friday and Monday at the Embassy of Uruguay, 1913 I St. NW. Free. (202) 331-1313. (Garance Franke-Ruta)