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TO DEC. 22
The titular scribblings in the Troyer Gallery’s “Lost Writings” show are profoundly enigmatic. To make her pieces, artist Anne Slaughter slathers mixed mediaincluding canvas, handmade paper, gauze, and duct tapewith rich colors, including faux copper and lead, indigo, and creamy shades of white. Then, Slaughter confidently adds line after line of a seemingly incomprehensible language. The effect is perhaps best described as a cross between the Rosetta Stone and the primal scrawls of Jackson Pollock. Although some of her envelope-and-letter assemblages veer off unnecessarily into clichéd Griffin and Sabine territory, larger works such as Ancient Night, Lost Writings #18, and Lost Writings #15 (pictured) impressively mix text with texture. Troyer’s other gallery space features anonymous snapshotscontemporary and antiqueof Old Glory, plus small works by seven artists. Phyllis Plattner’s paintings of actual Mexican revolutionary dolls feature beribboned girls transformed into gun-toting soldiers with the addition of a facemask. Trevor Young’s oil-on-canvas paintings fashion street and highway scenes into pleasing abstractions (much the same way Richard Diebenkorn did with California vistas). But perhaps most impressive are Hsin-Hsi Chen’s paper sculptures, which are decorated with a winning style of graphite shading. A folding fan that evokes William Christenberry is surpassed only by her abstract, polygonal gargoyles that hang from the wall. They are as mysterious, in their own way, as Slaughter’s writings. The exhibitions are on view from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday, to Saturday, Dec. 22, at Troyer Gallery, 1710 Connecticut Ave. NW. Free. (202) 328-7189. (Louis Jacobson)