I’m a sucker for maps, so take with a grain of salt my high regard for the works in “Mapping,” a six-artist exhibition at the Carroll Square Gallery. In one work, Dahlia Elsayed offers a diptych featuring an abstracted city layout, painted in a pulsating style unexpectedly reminiscent of Keith Haring. In another, she takes a quirky, New Yorker cover-art approach to mapping a series of seemingly unrelated emotions and adjectives. Juan Tejedor supplements his recent Flashpoint show by offering two geographical works on based on New Orleans and the Louisiana coastline; the orange ink that spreads delicately across the work’s translucent surface poignantly reminds the viewer of the 2010 Gulf Coast oil spill. Carol Barton offers three charming pieces made between 1988 and 1993 that appropriate the paper-engineering techniques of pop-up books. But the exhibit’s standout is Renee van der Stelt. In one work, she takes great pains to create two Spirograph-style circles in pencil that she then overlays with the shapes of the continents as seen from the poles. In the other, she uses carefully cut paper to replicate the familiar latitude and longitude lines from globes, then twists them into a glorious mess—-a concise and weighty meditation on form that breathes three dimensions back into lines that are essentially a flat approximation of a sphere.
Through June 3 at Carroll Square Gallery, 975 F St. NW, Washington, D.C. (202) 234-5601. On view 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Friday. Free.