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TO APRIL 21
Maybe it’s the flight of creaky wooden stairs that leads to the artist-run exhibition space, but Decatur Blue still feels like a secret. And the new gallery’s latest show, “Fumes,” features mostly young artists (including the Washington City Paper’s assistant art director, Geoff Johnson), many of whom are also secrets. That is, with one notable exception: celebrated veteran D.C. photographer Fred Maroon. The artist’s gorgeous black-and-white prints of postwar Europe (Gondala Dock, Venice 1951 is pictured)most of which date from the early ’50sare a dignified surprise. Despite their elegance, Maroon’s works are somewhat eclipsed by the oeuvre of Brooklyn-based artist Oscar Tuazon. Tuazon’s compositions sprawl across blank fields of silver and manila, and their negative space chokes like a kung-fu grip. At the same time, his photographsculled from found snapshotskeep a graceful quiet. The worlds depicted in “Fumes” are exceedingly disparateand even more so when one considers Michelle Rogers’ rich, swollen images of abandoned homes and Brian Balderston’s diaphanous, surveillancelike photographic constructionsand indeed they leave viewers groping for some thematic common ground. But, almost inexplicably, “Fumes” holds together. The exhibit is on view from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday to Saturday, April 21, at Decatur Blue, 919 Florida Ave. NW, 2nd Floor. Free. (202) 518-8969. (Chris Richards)