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TO MARCH 25
One of the lithographs in Michael Platt’s current exhibition at the Franz Bader Gallery is called Department of Fragile Families, but the title would be fitting for most of the work in the show. Executed in a monochromatic, expressionistic style, the lithographs and sculptural constructions in “Looking Back” combine Platt’s characteristic explorations of alienation, racism, and violence in ways that emphasize vulnerability rather than victimization. The show’s most frightening works come from the artist’s “Target” series—sculptures of human figures built around police practice target sheets—and concretize the loss of life in African-American communities that results from urban violence. By contrast, the newer works in the show investigate memories of the artist’s family through photographs collaged onto lithographic plates in abstract gestural patterns that link these works to the more visually energetic earlier ones. At the Franz Bader Gallery, 1500 K St. NW. (202) 393-6110. (Martha McWilliams)