Get local news delivered straight to your phone

AUGUST 8

We can't make City Paper without you

$
$
$

Your contribution is appreciated.

Perhaps he’s no Peter Quaife, no Mickey Dolenz, but fellow rhythm-section stalwart-turned-artist John Entwistle is better known as a visual poet than either of them. His whimsical connect-the-dots rendering of himself and his bandmates for the cover of 1975’s The Who by Numbers provided hours of rainy-day fun for shut-ins, as well as demonstrating the bassist’s mastery of both the frontal and side views. When the following year he returned to the subject for Spirit of ’76 (pictured), Entwistle produced an iconographically coded representation remarkable for its formal and psychological complexity. Note how the instrumental/vocal divide in the group is emphasized by the placement of guitarist Peter Townshend, Entwistle, and drummer Keith Moon to the left of vocalist Roger Daltrey, whose manic onstage persona is again captured in a masklike profile. The heavily bearded Moon menaces the viewer like a fuzzy death’s head (perhaps a prescient memento mori?), while his drumsticks have been exchanged for a hatchet, the better to indicate the ferocity with which he plays his instrument. And observe how the placement of the musicians’ legs points up Entwistle’s role as anchor in the dynamic group: Only the bassist has both his feet firmly on the ground. Understanding that Who aficionados would cherish the opportunity to study such works in greater depth, Entwistle is making them available as limited-edition prints. He brings “Who’s Art?” to D.C. for one day before heading to Lilburn, Ga.’s Picture Me Framing. See the exhibit between 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and join the artist at a reception from 6-9 p.m. at P&C Art, 3301 M St. NW. FREE. (202) 965-4630. (Glenn Dixon)