Les­lie Parke & Beth Kamin­stein

The Washington Post Sunday - - ARTS & STYLE -

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.

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