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TO JUNE 8
Appointment-only galleries hold little appeal for me—I dislike having to be anywhere on time—but this week I finally lost my call-first alt-space virginity. And all for the genitals of a neutered Great Dane named Wolfgang. He belongs to Ledelle Moe, a local sculptor originally from South Africa who is known for distressed monumental figures. Her “Dogs” exhibition includes 14 photographs of Wolfgang’s groin (looking more or less manly depending on the folds of his fur) and a one-ton concrete-and-steel construction (pictured) based on the more overtly masculine images. Three towering canine crotch reliefs are bolted together into a triangular configuration, outlining an area that can be entered through a narrow, birth-canal-like passage. Moe neatly establishes her dialectic: an abstract, feminine space is defined by figurative, masculine walls; a warm, womblike chamber is crafted from coldly assertive materials; an interior is framed by exteriors, which in turn show their spiky backs to the exterior space; the humane springs from the animal. The clearest spatial precedents are works such as Bruce Nauman’s triangular room and Richard Serra’s Torqued Ellipses, but Moe’s effect derives from neither. So why a dog? Because a man would have been far too specific. Also on view is a video of the belly of a sleeping bulldog by Carol Gainer, who, like Moe, showed at the FLAT Gallery in Durban, South Africa, in the mid-’90s; its snores sound like passing cars. The exhibition is supposedly on view from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and by appointment Monday to Friday and Sunday, to Saturday, June 8, at Decatur Blue, 919 Florida Ave. NW, 2nd floor. Free. (202) 518-8969. (Glenn Dixon)