Looking at Yayo Tavolara’s works, now on display at the Chilean Embassy, one gets the distinct impression that, even though she’s become a Corcoran College of Art and Design-trained artist, Tavolara has never really left behind the influences of her earlier career—-kinesiology and physical therapy. Tavolara’s works linger unblinkingly over viscera and injury—-flapping strips of canvas painted blood red and tinged in black; paintings of eyes slit and then stitched up again; a brain with a surface that suggests squirming worms. There are a few less bloody works, such as the cloak made of linen and playing-card-sized patches of tree bark. But only in one piece does Tavolara—-a Bolivian-Chilean who now lives in Washington—-suggest complete release from gore and pain. That would be in “The Seeker,” in which small, human forms swim out of a genitalia-shaped orifice into light blue waters. It is easily the most soothing element of an elusive and unsettling exhibit.
Through Feb. 28 at the Embassy of Chile, 1732 Massachusetts Ave. NW.