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TO MAY 5
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Artist Terence La Noue would be better suited as a travel agent. The titles of his recent paintings and works on paper promise romantic visions of faraway lands lush with mysticism and exotic delight. His pieces (Worlds Seen and Imagined: Nazca is pictured), however, are far less enchanting than their grandiose titles would suggest. La Noue creates ambitious abstractions by combining clumsy impasto with a panoply of textures and patterns. Using this technique, La Noue aims to evoke the essence of, say, the Bombay marketplace or maybe the stupas of Kathmandubut his work always seems to end up looking more like splatter-paintings you’d find at the Dress Barn circa 1987. La Noue’s patterns are heavy-handed and ill-considered; his colors are disjointed and uncooperative. Even the artist’s smaller collagesthough more sensibly organizedremain problematic, plagued by the artist’s penchant for animal motifs. Take a hard look at Worlds Seen and Imagined: Parrots. Can you find the parrot? (Hint: Check behind that brown mass to the left. Yeah, the one that looks like a piece of gift wrap I puked on.) In today’s multimedia global culture, Terence La Noue’s starry-eyed exoticism seems antiquated, excessive, grossly commercial, and quite forgettable. His work is on view from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday, to Saturday, May 5, at Addison/Ripley Fine Art, 1670 Wisconsin Ave. NW. Free. (202) 338-5180. (Chris Richards)