Sign up for our free newsletter
Free D.C. news, delivered to your inbox daily.
TO NOV. 30
The Washington Color School’s painters are best known for their large canvases suffused with uncontoured, translucent colors. But “On Paper,” now at Conner Contemporary Art, showcases some of these Washington artists’ smaller, more linear works. Morris Louis’ sketches from the ’50s are the strongest part of the show. These pen-and-ink drawings with a Picassolike warble evolve from fantastical representation (in the earliest piece on display) to graphic patterns of black-and-white abstraction. These works are wholly different from his more widely known canvases of thinned paint: unafraid of brush strokes, and spare rather than viscously full. Gene Davis’ parallel magic-marker lines on paper are small-scale explorations of color and harmony, similar to many of his larger canvases, but intimate enough that the inherent bar-code-ness of his work comes through in a way that’s less obvious in his large paintings. Finally, Tom Downing’s red, white, and yellow dots painted on the underside of large brown-paper grocery bags are witty, one-note musings for connoisseurs of his characteristic dials. The work of all three is on view from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday (except for Wednesday, Nov. 21, when the gallery will be open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Thursday, Nov. 22, when the gallery will be closed; and Friday, Nov. 23, when the gallery will be open from noon to 6 p.m.); and from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, to Friday, Nov. 30, at Conner Contemporary Art, 1730 Connecticut Ave. NW, 2nd Floor. Free. (202) 588-8750. (Garance Franke-Ruta)