Katzen’s winter exhibition features six local artists
Artists created work with paint, oil and more
Saturday marked the formal opening for Katzen’s winter 2018 exhibitions. From Jan. 27 until March 11, work by D.C.-area artists Frank DiPerna, Erik Thor Sandberg, Abel Tilahun, Thomas Downing, Katerina Vincourova and Brian Dailey will fill the Katzen Arts Center.
Directed by Jack Rasmussen, Katzen’s space will showcase a variety of contemporary art and partner with The Alper Initiative for Washington Art. The Alper Initiative is an organization that creates a database of D.C.’s art history, presenting five new exhibitions submitted by Washington artists a year.
The exhibition has three floors, which all opened Jan. 27.
The first floor, where guests enter the museum, displays work from three of the artists. DiPerna’s “Retrospective,” displayed a survey of the artist’s photography over the past 40 years. Next, you’ll see Ethiopian artist Abel Tilahun’s “Vital Signs” work, which includes interpretive meanings associated with the human body. Dailey’s “Contemporary Tower of Babel” is a multi-screen video installation investigating the relationship between language, culture and national identity.
On the second floor, Erik Thor Sandberg’s provocative work features a series of new paintings inspired by historical works involving magic realism. On three-dimensional wood panels of his own design, his paintings express how people connect with each other, according to Sandberg.
“All of them weave my own symbolism and my own narrative. Whatever’s hitting me,” Sandberg said at the gallery’s reception.
Sandberg’s paintings tend to portray illusionism and cruelty, which he says reflects human decisions.
“I do paint things that aren’t always uplifting because I don’t think life is,” Sandberg said. “I can’t even imagine a good narrative without conflict and that’s what I want in my work. I want something to gnaw at you a little bit to make you think.”
On the third floor, Downing’s “The Sublime Decorative” features elegant circle and dot compositions. Downing’s newfound fame has been due to using acrylic paint on a non-acrylic canvas.
Czech artist Vincourova’s display shares the space with Downing’s exhibit. It is meant to be seen as a large-scale spatial drawing rather than as individual works.
Over the course of the exhibition's standing, several programs and events will occur, including gallery talks for Erik Sandberg, Brian Dailey and Thomas Downing as well as Free Parking with Frank DiPerna.
Each program is posted on the Katzen website here, with links to respective tickets as well as Katzen’s overall event calendar.