Sunday, November 23, 2008

In Memoriam: Gretchen Feldman

We are saddened by the recent death or our dear friend Gretchen Feldman, whose vibrant works in watercolor graced the walls of our gallery earlier this year. Gretchen was remarkable not only for her enormous artistic talent, but for her grace, kindness and unfailing humor. The obituary in her hometown paper, the [Martha's] Vineyard Gazette, got her just right.

Gretchen Feldman, "Stripes & Squares", 2007, watercolor on paper, 29" x 27"

Our deepest sympathies go out to her beloved Sam and her daughters and grandchildren. We will miss her delightful presence.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Heavy Metal

With an affinity for exotic metals and hardware, it is no surprise that Stirling Elmendorf is a fan of the architecture of Frank Gehry. “Temporary Constructions” features a series of photographs Stirling took of the Gehry-designed Experience Music Project in Seattle, WA.

Stirling Elmendorf, “Static Wave”, 2008, pigment print

Appropriately, a pile of electric guitar parts inspired Gehry’s design for the EMP which was created as a venue for the history and exploration of popular music. In his photographs, Stirling captures beauty in the gleaming ripples of metal that form the futuristic structure as well as what he describes as “the juxtaposition of rigid elements taking on completely fluid lines.”

Although this is the last weekend to see “Temporary Constructions: New Photographs by Stirling Elmendorf and Marc Parascandola”, please contact the gallery or the artists directly if you are interested in seeing more of their work.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Lucky Number 7

Well, you don’t have to take our word for it, the FotoWeek DC bloggers agree that “Temporary Constructions” is a Top 10 Must Attend (lucky number 7 to be exact) on your tour of FotoWeek exhibitions. For the complete list, click here.

Thank you to Laura Kuah (former NKG employee and now talented gallery opening photographer) for mentioning the show in her article for the Baltimore Examiner. For the complete article, click here.

This is the last weekend to see “Temporary Constructions: New Photographs by Stirling Elmendorf and Mark Parascandola” and the official end of the first annual FotoWeek DC. For more information on other photography exhibitions and events, check out the FotoWeek DC Web site. We also have FotoWeek guides here that at the gallery, so make us your number one stop, pick up a guide, and go from there.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Preserving Constructions

Mark Parascandola recently blogged about the history and fate of the Carabanchel prison in Madrid, a site he had the opportunity to photograph in October. A number of his photos of the prison are currently on view in the gallery as part of the exhibtion “Temporary Constructions”. Here is an excerpt from his blog:

Mark Parascandola, “Carabanchel 1”, 2008, pigment print

“The Carabanchel prison in Madrid is one of the most infamous architectural landmarks from Spain’s decades of dictatorship. General Francisco Franco ordered construction of the prison in the 1940s to house the regime’s many political prisoners. The complex is designed on the panopticon model, with the cell blocks extending outwards from a round central tower. This arrangement, first proposed by 17th century philosopher Jeremy Bentham, allowed guards to easily observe all areas of the prison and was intended to amplify the prisoners’ sensations of powerlessness.

“Carabanchel was finally closed in 1998 and its few remaining inhabitants moved to other prisons. Since then, the building has been heavily looted—all the metal gates and fixtures have been removed—and it has been visited by graffiti artists, drug addicts, gypsies and curious observers.

Mark Parascandola, “Carabanchel 2”, 2008, pigment print

“The Spanish government now wants to make the site available to private developers with plans for condominiums and a hospital. However, an informal group of architects, social workers, neighbors, and former prisoners have demanded that part of the prison be preserved as a memorial to those who suffered under the dictatorship. Members of the Platform for a Center for Peace and Memory have held a series of demonstrations and camped out near the site.

“Just a few weeks ago the fate of the structure appeared uncertain. A national judge had ordered a study of the prison for possible evidence relevant to ongoing investigations into crimes committed under Franco’s regime. And the Congress was debating legislation on the prison’s future. However, the Madrid city government effectively put an end to the debate by authorizing the start of demolition. Seventy people were removed from the complex, mostly Romanian gypsies who had been living on the site. Construction crews began work at 1:00 am on Wednesday October 22. By the following Saturday half of the 32-meter wide central c├║pula, the most architecturally significant element, had collapsed.”

Carabanchel and other architectural structures have been captured in time by Mark Parascandola and Stirling Elmendorf in the photographs of “Temporary Constructions” on exhibit through November 23rd.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

“Temporary Constructions” Reception Breaks Ground

Thank you to friends, photography lovers and passersby who came out Thursday night for the opening reception for “Temporary Constructions”. What a great crowd! Congratulations to Stirling Elmendorf and Mark Parascandola on their striking collaborative exhibition.

Mark Parascandola, Nevin Kelly and Stirling Elmendorf

Mark Parascandola and guest

Stirling Elmendorf and friends

Here is a snippet from a statement that Stirling and Mark prepared for the show:

“Monumental man-made structures suggest a confidence in the future and the human capacity to conquer the natural environment. However, their seemingly timeless presence belies the reality that even the most ambitious of constructions are subject to the same natural and man-made forces of decay, destruction, and transformation. The images presented here highlight the contrast between two extremes -- the idealized, abstract elements of innovative, contemporary buildings, versus the complex, textured surfaces of decaying structures, revealing changes in human priorities and the impact of time and the natural environment. In these scenes, new architectural elements appear detached from their surrounding environment and devoid of human presence. In turn, the aged structures are captivating not so much for the architectural ideals behind them but for the accumulation of imprints that serve as evidence of the activity of the human and natural world.”

Installation shot of the show

“Temporary Constructions” is a must see on your tour of FotoWeek DC and will be on view through November 23rd.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

I Break for Abstraction

We recently had some good news from one of our gallery artists Wesley Wheeler. Wes, who lives in Upstate New York, sold a painting to a major corporate collection in Philadelphia, PA. The painting entitled “The Fire Next Time” takes its name from a book by African-American writer James Baldwin (1924-1987) about race relations in America. The striking painting speaks to Baldwin’s passion and ultimate offering of hope and healing.

Wesley Wheeler, “The Fire Next Time”, 2008, oil on canvas, 48” x 48”

While “The Fire Next Time” already has a home, the gallery has a number of Wesley Wheeler’s meditative abstractions available.

Wesley Wheeler, “August Afternoon”, 2007, oil on canvas, 40” x 30”

Wesley Wheeler, “Water Columns”, 2008, oil on canvas, 40” x 30”

Please stop by the gallery, and we will be happy to show you Wesley Wheeler’s work in person.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Don't Miss "A History of Dogs and Witches"

You’ve probably already hung up your brooms until next year, but it is not too late to see Laurel Hausler’s solo exhibition “A History of Dogs and Witches”.

Laurel Hausler, “Witch Hunt”, 2008, mixed media on paper, 18” x 18”

The show will be up through this Sunday, November 9th.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Celebrating FotoWeek DC with “Temporary Constructions”

Next week marks the much-anticipated launch of FotoWeek DC. In conjunction with this first annual city-wide celebration of photography, the gallery will host a two-artist exhibition of works by local photographers Stirling Elmendorf and Mark Parascandola.

top: Stirling Elmendorf, “Tenley”, 2008, pigment print
bottom: Mark Parascandola, “Carabanchel 1”, 2008, pigment print

The exhibition, titled “Temporary Constructions”, will showcase new photographs by Elmendorf and Parascandola highlighting architectural changes over time in Washington, DC and elsewhere by juxtaposing images of contemporary monumental architecture with those of time-worn abandoned structures.

“Temporary Constructions” will be on view November 12-23, 2008. Please join us in celebrating photography and local talent at the Opening Reception on Thursday, November 13 from 6 to 9 pm.