When the Multiple Exposures Gallery says it’s putting on a Small Works Show, they aren’t kidding. In an era when digital technology has pushed prints ever larger, none of the 39 photographic works in the show – curated by D.C art fixture F. Lennox Campello – is bigger than a breadbox, and some, like Karen Keating’s 1930s-snapshot-looking image of cabanas in Florida, are quite petite. A number of the photographers offer straightahead black-and-white – Clifford Wheeler’s lovely image of one white rock sitting amidst other, darker ones, for instance, or Collen Henderson’s ladder-back chair framed by angular shadows – but most of the standouts are in color. Susan Myers offers a still life of an apple in a vase with an elemental backdrop of rich brown and gold; Alan Sislen presents dreamily blurred cypresses in Tuscany; and Min Enghauser contributes a striking image of a cracked desert floor that looks bizarrely like exposed, beige intestines. But the most consistently interesting works are the assemblages by Danny Conant and Louise Noakes, which push the limits of what might be called photography. A series of women’s portraits by Conant are finished with an unexpected matte surface that is at once silky and seemingly varnished, while a photographic transfer on wood by Noakes features embedded gold fibers that complement the hair of the woman pictured in profile.
Through Jan. 2, 2011, at the Multiple Exposures Gallery, Torpedo Factory Art Center, 105 North Union Street, Studio #312, Alexandria, Va. (703) 683-2205. Daily 11am – 5pm.