"In the galleries: The stars and planets align for ‘hyder flares’ featuring Adam Ryder and Dan Perkins" by Mark Jenkins

"In the galleries: The stars and planets align for ‘hyder flares’ featuring Adam Ryder and Dan Perkins" by Mark Jenkins

an excerpt from the article...

Dan Perkins & Adam Ryder

“Alone in the Woods,” Dan Perkins’s show at Hamiltonian Gallery, takes its name from its largest canvas, in which a rising sun glows over a lake its rays have painted yellow. Nine smaller pictures are vignettes of nature, with heightened, slightly artificial colors. These oils intensify 19th-century landscape painting with the saturated hues of pop art and photorealism.

Perkins’s sprin+g show at the Arlington Art Center more often depicted human-made structures in the wild, but there’s always a hint of human intervention in his work. While the Baltimore-based artist doesn’t place people amid the vistas, he uses tents, fences and telephone poles to frame the views, and thus set nature on a sort of stage. His recent paintings are interrupted by oblong portals, which suggest windows, lenses or digital-device screens. Perkins emphasizes painting’s artificiality by making every composition a look through, and not just at, the natural world.

Does Washington’s neoclassical architecture signify Athenian democracy or Roman imperialism? For Adam Ryder, it’s the latter. So at Hamiltonian he’s assembled actual photographs, ambiguous artifacts and a fictional organizational chart to illustrate his choice. The Brooklyn artist’s “Renovatio Imperii” purportedly documents a covert group, based in D.C., that seeks to reestablish the Roman empire. It’s an amusing little riff, but one that pales next to the vast corpus of existing conspiracy theories that involve Washington, let alone Rome.

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