Get local news delivered straight to your phone
TO JUNE 19
Support City Paper!
How’s this for getting the creative juices flowing: Travel with a group of diverse artists to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, and spend the next week taking photographs of nude models as they romp through picturesque ruins and gardens. That’s what a group of 14 photographers, led by New York City-based portraitist Joyce Tenneson, did in 2001. The results—now on display at the Fraser Gallery in Georgetown and in a slim but well-produced catalog—are impressive. Though most of the photographers chose to document partially undressed female forms within one dreamy setting or another, their wide variety of techniques, in both black-and-white and color, staves off redundancy. Briana Boyle sets her fuzzy-focused nude within a tableau of swaying grasses, whereas Amber Amsterdam has hers walk out of a tunnel and into an unearthly green glow. Washington’s Danny Conant flips her waterborne reflection of a nude 180 degrees; the image’s soft colors unexpectedly hint at the palette of Winslow Homer. Mark Frank’s moody, large-scale image frames a model against a stucco wall, and Skip Oesterling’s full-frontal photograph of a stretching woman conjures up the aura, if not the precision focus, of Edward Weston during his sojourn in Mexico with Tina Modotti. Two of the most impressive images in the show are those that diverge most radically from the rest: Using movement and technical tricks, Blanca Santa Maria’s orange-toned diptych sublimates the human shape into a ghostly apparition, and Lilili Guerrero’s photograph of a foot stepping into a pond packs a bracingly centrifugal punch. “Exhalations, Exhalaciones” is on view from noon to 3 p.m. Tuesday to Friday and from noon to 6 p.m. Saturday, to Wednesday, June 19, at the Fraser Gallery, 1054 31st St. NW. Free. (202) 298-6450. (Louis Jacobson)