Leslie Parke & Beth Kaminstein
At Cross MacKenzie Gallery in 2013, Leslie Parke showed realist paintings of ceramics submerged in surf, their surfaces glistening wetly. The work in the Upstate New York artist’s “Particle Wave” is rather different, yet also relies on reflection. Although the blurry, disorienting pictures look like abstract digital collages, they’re actually photos of objects seen through plastic.
Parke began photographing visually ambiguous vignettes as inspirations for painting, and only recently decided to exhibit the originals. They show such ordinary things as rolled-up metal fencing, wrapped in plastic outside a building-supply store. The transparent sheeting traps condensation, whose bubbles further distort the image and give it an underwater feel. Like those submerged dishes, the subjects of these photos have undergone a sea change.
Also at the gallery, and quite compatible with Parke’s photography, is Beth Kaminstein’s earth-toned, nature-evoking stoneware. The trays and bowls are irregular in shape, marked with pebble-like forms and finished with different glazes on the same pieces. The Florida artist titled the two larger trays with the word “leaf,” but they also suggest oyster shells. Shimmery and eccentrically beautiful, her work appears as much found as made.
Leslie Parke: Particle Wave and Beth Kaminstein: Ceramics On view through June 3 at Cross MacKenzie Gallery, 1675 Wisconsin Ave. NW. 202-337-7970. crossmackenzie.com.