Gallery shows: ‘new. (now). 2013,’ ‘Abstraction,’ ‘1460 Wallmountables’ by Mark Jenkins

Gallery shows: ‘new. (now). 2013,’ ‘Abstraction,’ ‘1460 Wallmountables’ by Mark Jenkins

an excerpt from the article...

Introducing the latest crop of Hamiltonian fellows, Hamiltonian Gallery’s “new. (now). 2013” ventures into political territory. Among the five-artist show’s confrontational works are two by Larry Cook. “M.L.” is a manipulated video of Martin Luther King Jr., waiting at a microphone and looking wary. “All American” depicts three figures, symbolically color-coded: models dressed in the battle gear of the Bloods (red) and Crips (blue) flank one in a Ku Klux Klan robe (white). The triptych may not be a fair representation of the U.S.A., but its bristling hostility is true to one aspect of the American character.

Eric Gottesman addresses life in the Global South with a video of a guffawing Ethiopian boy, shot from below, competing in a laughing contest at what’s identified as “The 1st Annual AIDS Orphans Comedy Festival.” He is also showing a series of self-photographs of a young Ethiopian woman who has shifted names and identities less as an art project than as a means of survival.

Lisa Dillin invokes a different sort of struggle to endure — of an entire species, not just an individual — with a vinyl floor-tile representation of a tiger-skin rug. “Dead Ethiopian” is the most politically charged of the paintings by Will Schneider-White, who combines child-like imagery with sophisticated textures and palettes.

Of these young artists, all recent MFAs, the only one who presents a world entirely of his own making is Joshua Haycraft, who works in plastic and video. Small sculptures that combine natural and synthetic material echo forms seen in a short video with a long title. “BHBITB Meditations 3: Invocations” features a god­like male figure, overlapping pulsing circles and triangles. This HD vision may be mystical or anti-mystical, but it seems very American.

new. (now). 2013

On view through Sept. 7 at Hamiltonian Gallery, 1353 U St. NW, Suite 101; 202-332-1116; hamiltoniangallery.com

 

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