The objects in “Kay Jackson: Environmental Works” are equal parts religious icons, Joseph Cornell boxes, William Christenberry architectural miniatures and fancy Christmas cards, with a dash of Gustav Klimt ornamentalism and Rachel Carson environmentalism thrown in. Jackson goes medieval with her art, literally, using centuries-old gesso-and-gold techniques to produce small sculptures and paintings that feature endangered species and other environmental-themed images glowing with calculated preciousness. They range from wall-hung pieces with finely textured surfaces to an abacus-like device with moving parts, and even a piece that features an “alphabet” of dangerous chemicals, from Pb to CFC. But the most visually striking pieces are those that combine delicately milled gold adorned with tempera paint. In one, Jackson features an endangered Grevy’s zebra in stark black-and-white on gold; in another, she pays homage to the buffalo (above right), set against a western landscape limned in pitch-perfect Charles M. Russell hues.
Through October 28th at George Washington University’s Luther W. Brady Art Gallery, 805 21st St NW, Washington, D.C. (202) 994-1525. Tues-Fri, 10-5.