At the Fraser Gallery Bethesda to July 7, 2004
By Louis Jacobson
© Washington City Paper
Thursday, June 17, 2004.
With more than a dozen artists represented, Fraser Gallery Bethesda’s exhibition zigzags wildly across genres, from landscapes to still lifes to portraits to surrealist arrangements.
Some pieces are inspired but fall short of the mark, such as Rachel Scheron’s double exposure of a woman blending into a view of thick foliage, or Jan Saudek’s image of a naked woman facing a wall of peeling paint—an unexpectedly static image from an otherwise compelling visual stylist.
Several of the photographers offer promising material but have only one or two pieces on view. These include Grace Weston, who photographs allegorical, toy-based scenarios; Prescott Moore Lassman, whose inky candid of a woman carrying two children recalls the work of Kenneth Josephson; and Hugh Shurley, whose dreamy, sepia-toned image of a man’s bandaged head suggests the protagonist of Jacques-Louis David’s 1793 canvas Death of Marat.
Washington-area artists Heidi Marston and James W. Bailey offer impressive work—Marston with her frenzied female figures who whirl themselves into oneness with a wall of abstract sketches, Bailey with his near-inscrutable, compositelike pieces whose surface textures unexpectedly suggest fired enamel.
Two nonlocals, however, are the show’s standouts: Nate Larson, whose text-and-image vignette Time Travel puts an amusing twist on the conceptual art of the early ’70s, and Viktor Koen, whose Fritz Lang–style renderings of flesh and machine and Kafkaesque portrayals of part-men-part-insects are so creepy and bizarre that they’re refreshing.
The show is on view from 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays, to Wednesday, July 7, at the Fraser Gallery, 7700 Wisconsin Ave., Suite E, Bethesda. Free. (301) 718-9651. (Louis Jacobson)
© Copyright 2004 Washington City Paper