Marsha Mateyka Gallery’s “Drawing: An Exhibition of Widely Different Approaches” lives up to its title. The four artists offer works that range from traditional drawing techniques (graphite on paper, oil on old mechanical drawings) to quite untraditional ones (projected light and mushroom spores). Maria Moser pays homage to her father’s farm-implement workshop in rural Austria—-where she now lives and works—-by transforming the black-and-white mechanical drawings through the careful application of paint in fiery hues of red and yellow. Nancy Wolf, meanwhile, uses graphite to produce detailed, Escheresque futurescapes. On balance, the two nontraditional approaches are more intriguing. Athena Tacha “draws” with mushroom spores on black watercolor paper (below), most impressively in works where you can actually see her gestural marks; she also creates textured, circular forms with hot glue and glitter that bear a strong resemblance to a fertilized egg surrounded by sperm. But the standout is Jim Sanborn, the Washington, D.C., native best known for Kryptos, his cryptographic sculpture at CIA headquarters. Sanborn offers a selection of photographs documenting stunning light projections on natural and built environments—-a dual arc of light set against a rocky stretch of coast of Oregon, fingerprint-like patterns on rocks in Ireland, and a series of nested, rectangular stripes that echo the old stone structure they’re projected on (above). Sanborn’s works are hardly new—-they were made in 1997—-but they’re well worth reviving.
The exhibition is on view 11 am. to 6 p.m. Wednesday to Friday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday to Feb. 29 at Marsha Mateyka Gallery, 2012 R. NW.