A meet­ing of sound and line

The Washington Post Sunday - - THIS WEEK - BY MARK JENK­INS Jenk­ins is a free­lance writer.

In 1980, when he was bet­ter known as the syn­the­sizer player for the Ur­ban Verbs, lo­cal painter Robin Rose and fel­low artist Kevin MacDon­ald de­vised Script ro ni cs, in which am­pli­fied felt pens pro­duce sound as some­one draws. But the Verbs broke up, Rose spent a few years in New York, MacDon­ald died in 2006, and Rose aban­doned the process. Now he’s re­con­sid­ered, and the McLean Project for the Arts is of­fer­ing “Scrip­tron­ics: An Art for the Fu­ture.”

It’s a three-part show. The in­tro­duc­tion tells about the Verbs, Rose and MacDon­ald’s col­lab­o­ra­tions and down­town Wash­ing­ton in the early 1980s, when the neigh­bor­hood was much live­lier (and much less up­scale). The main gallery show­cases Rose’s en­caus­tic paint­ings, which mix pig­ment and wax in un­du­lat­ing or cross­hatched pat­terns that some­what re­sem­ble those used to pro­duce both sound and line in Scrip­tron­ics.

Fi­nally, there’s a draw­ing­board-and-am­pli­fier setup, where Rose has demon­strated the tech­nique and of­fered his sound-en­abled mark­ers to par­tic­i­pants. At one work­shop, the artist wrote in an e-mail, a woman with Down syn­drome tried her hand: “It was very mov­ing and in­tense. When she fin­ished she turned to­ward ev­ery­one and said over and over, ‘Bravo bravo bravo.’ ”

No more demon­stra­tions are planned, but vis­i­tors can still view Rose’s paint­ings and prints, many of which are in muted col­ors. Rather than the rum­ble and squeak of Scrip­tron­ics, th­ese pic­tures sug­gest the am­bi­ent mu­sic of one­time Verbs col­lab­o­ra­tor Brian Eno. They also evoke the cool hand of MacDon­ald, whose large pen­cil drawingof the Verbs’ mu­si­cal equip­ment flanks the real pub­lic ad­dress setup at the other end of the gallery.

Nearby at the venue is “Color Riffs,” Bar­bara Januszkiewicz’s suite of paint­ings named for blues songs. The lo­cal artist has ex­plored the style of the Wash­ing­ton Color School in wa­ter­color, but she re­cently adopted those painters’ fa­vored medium — di­luted acrylic on un­primed can­vas. Januszkiewicz’s pic­tures can re­sem­ble Mor­ris Louis’s “flo­rals,” yet her style is hot­ter, with a hint of the ab­stract ex­pres­sion­ism the Color School aban­doned. She al­lows grains of undis­solved pig­ment to show and oc­ca­sion­allyap­plies paint thick ly rather than hav­ing it seep into the fab­ric. Such twists don’t rev­o­lu­tion­ize the Color School style, but they do en­dow it with wel­come en­ergy.

Rose and Januszkiewicz share more than the prox­im­ity of their shows and an in­ter­est in com­bin­ing mu­sic and vis­ual art. Both had in re­cent years sought the wis­dom of Paul Reed, the last of the orig­i­nal Color School artists, who died Sept. 26. Reed spurred Januszkiewicz’s switch to acrylic and gave her vin­tage can­vas to en­cour­age her. Reed “could not have been a cooler guy,” Rose says, with a “won­der­ful cu­rios­ity to the end.” Robin Rose Presents Scrip­tron­ics: An Art for the Fu­ture and Bar­bara

Januszkiewicz: Color Riffs On view through Oct. 24 at McLean Project for the Arts, 1234 In­gle­side Ave., McLean. 703-790-1953. www.mpaart.org.

Ques­tion­ing the bomb

For the 70th an­niver­sary of the atomic bomb­ings of Ja­pan, the Univer­sity of Mary­land Art Gallery is show­ing more than 80 posters by artists from around the world. (Most are new, but a few date from a sim­i­lar ef­fort in 1985.) The starkly pow­er­ful plac­ards in “Ques­tion­ing the Bomb: His­tory and Non-Pro­lif­er­a­tion” are heavy on red and black, styl­ized bomb shapes and such uni­ver­sally un­der­stood sym­bols as the skull and bones. Origami, cherry blos­soms and Ja­panese fans are in­evitable mo­tifs, as are the dove and the mush­room cloud. Also re­cur­ring are the names of Hiroshima and Na­gasaki, writ­ten in Ja­panese char­ac­ters or Ro­man let­ters, and “heiwa” (“peace”) in Ja­panese.

Some of the images seem too gen­tle to be an ad­e­quate re­sponse. Doves peck at a mis­sile, and a bomb mu­tates into a feather; an­other bomb bears the slo­gan “All we need is love” and is trailed by a heart-shaped cloud. In a mis­fired at­tempt at whimsy, a manga-style Beni­hana chef filets a bomb as if it were a shrimp, ac­com­pa­nied by a slangy ep­i­thet.

Nearly all the posters, how­ever, are beau­ti­fully ex­e­cuted and demon­strate the force of sim­ple ideas and di­rect ex­pres­sion. One just high­lights the “n” and the “o” near the be­gin­ning of the names of the two dev­as­tated ci­ties; an­other, in the style of an Asian ink paint­ing, shows a tree whose roots are drips of blood. The poster’ s spare lines are as omi­nous as the black wires that out­line the skele­tal model, hang­ing at the gallery’s rear, of the bomb that hit Na­gasaki. Ques­tion­ing the Bomb: His­tory and

Non-Pro­lif­er­a­tion On view through Oct. 23 at the Art Gallery, 1202 Art-So­ci­ol­ogy Build­ing, Univer­sity of Mary­land, Col­lege Park. 301-405-1474. art­gallery.umd.edu.

Ed­uardo Car­dozo

While a show of his paint­ings and mixed-me­dia work is at the tem­po­rary Ge­orge­town space of Vir­ginia-based Art­ful Liv­ing, Ed­uardo Car­dozo has been walk­ing the neigh­bor­hood with pen­cil and pa­per. He makes rep­re­sen­ta­tional sketches that look very un­like the fin­ished pieces in “The Other Side” but are the ba­sis for his style.

The Uruguayan artist melts nat­u­ral forms into ab­stract com­po­si­tions that em­ploy mostly pale, earthy col­ors.

Be­cause of their light hues, the pic­tures have an open feel yet are com­plex ly lay­ered, some­times with bright col­ors al­most buried un­der white and tan. Acrylic pro­vides the sub­strata, with oils on top; ink and pen­cil may in­trude, adding line to the patches of soft color. The re­sults look worn and an­cient, as if weath­ered by rain and wind.

Car­dozo takes the shapes he saw yes­ter­day, or last year, and turns them into things that ap­pear to have ex­isted for ages.

Ed­uardo Car­dozo: The Other Side On view through Oct. 31 at Art­ful Liv­ing pop-up, 1666 33rd St. NW. 703-447-9848. www.art­ful-liv­ing.org.

Elisa Berry Fon­seca

One way to turn a white-box gallery into ac ave would be to cl oak the room’ s edge sand dim the lights. For “Chro­matic Canyon,” Elisa Berry Fon­seca did nei­ther. She re­cast Vivid So­lu­tions Gallery by fill­ing it with ta­pered for­ma­tions made of stacked, mul­ti­col­ored scraps of felt. Some rise from the floor, sup­ported by me­tal rods; oth­ers hang from the ceil­ing. The tallest is more than six feet high. Al­though the col­ors range from sub­dued to day-glo, and the shapes from nat­u­ral­is­tic to ab­stract, the con­struc­tions fit to­gether con­cep­tu­ally.

Grouped tightly to­gether at the cen­ter of the room, the pieces com­bine to pro­duce a strong sense of place. It’s pos­si­ble to ne­go­ti­ate a path on foot through Fon­seca’s in­stal­la­tion. But the cloth buttes and spires are so sug­ges­tive of Mon­u­ment Val­ley that the proper means of tran­sit would seem to be a stage­coach. Chro­matic Canyon: Elisa Berry

Fon­seca On view through Oct. 27 at Vivid So­lu­tions Gallery, 1231 Good Hope Rd. SE. 202-580-5972.




Ed­uardo Car­dozo’s "Creek," oil on can­vas, is among the paint­ings and mixed-me­dia works he has on view through the end of the month at an Art­ful Liv­ing pop-up gallery in Ge­orge­town.

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