In the galleries: Digital and traditional media join forces

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Alexis Gomez’s “Being,” 3-D printed sculpture, on opinion at Goal Gallery. (Alexis Gomez/Target Gallery)

Digital technologies, which permits for its promiscuous reproduction and dispersal of images, isn’t necessarily a friend to artwork galleries. Nevertheless, it’s hard to prevent, and not possible to dismiss. Therefore, the vogue for shows like Goal Gallery’s “Glitch,” whose 11 artists mate computerized devices with more traditional media — and with the human form itself.

Alexis Gomez’s “Being” is a 3-D outline according to a scan of the artist’s figure, its nine slices cut with a computer-operated machine, but finished by hand. Lyric Prince’s video animation represents a youth concussion that might have been “a hard reboot of my mind.” Less personally, Zach Nagle distorts pictures from fashion magazines, extending willowy models into even more elongated characters, and distorting black cloth patterns to prism-like colour.

In the cyber era, personal identity is not always corporeal. Tracy Miller-Robbins’s projected animation represents “the female spirit,” while Eric Corriel’s digital-generated light piece transforms “all 710” of this artist’s personal passwords to blotches of purple and green. Maxim Leyzerovich supplies local off-color with degraded digital prints of the District as noticed by surveillance cameras.

The 3 jacquard weavings at Sasha p Koninck’s “Zeroes and Ones” might seem traditional, but they notate musical scores that perform every time a computer tablet’s camera reads them. There’s also a pill at Jill Burks’s piece, but the digital animation unspooling on its display is mostly obscured below a sheet of yellow-gridded glass. This might be an act of revenge on crisp digital vision, or merely an acknowledgment that everybody, computer-assisted or perhaps not, perceives the world through a glass darkly.

Glitch: An Explanation of Digital Media On view through July 9 at the Torpedo Factory, Target Gallery, 105 N. Union St., Alexandria. 703-746-4590. torpedofactory.org/target.


Rosemary Feit Covey’s “Gingko,” mixed media on canvas, on watch at Morton Fine Art. (Rosemary Feit Covey/Morton Fine Art)

Nature teems at Rosemary Feit Covey’s large mixed-media paintings. Countless pink and red fish school in spirals, and uncountable yellow ginkgo leaves cover most of a deep blue background. Nevertheless the Washington performer has doubts regarding the fecundity she depicts. Her Morton Fine Art series is titled “The Planet is a Delicate Object”

Covey’s skills comprise woodblock printing, whose carving technique she integrates into low-relief images that are partly engraved and partly painted. This variety’s epic, “Black Ice,” is an immersive eight-panel tableaux; it matches with the gallery’s longest wall using blue-and-white ice floes onto a darker-than-wine sea. The magnificent Arctic oceanscape, like the polar bear to the adjoining wall, was motivated by a visit to northern Norway.

The artist does not directly portray ecological disasters, though this series includes one of those bone-pile pictures she’s exhibited at Morton before. But global warming menaces the polar arenas, and those fish have been fleeing the petroleum in your 2010 Deepwater Horizon blowout. Covey’s responses to such disasters are equally expansive and exquisitely detailed.

Rosemary Feit Covey: The Planet Earth is a Delicate Thing On view through July 9 at Morton Fine Art, 1781 Florida Ave. NW. 202-628-2787. mortonfineart.com.


Jeremy Flick’s “575015755,” oil on canvas, on watch at Studio 1469. (Jeremy Flick/Studio 1469)

The Eye of Faith Flanagan

Watching through the current display at Studio 1469 is a large but dim drawing of local art curator and also patron Faith Flanagan, made by Ian Jehle in pink pencil. The portrait can be seen as delicate or unearthly, both which now seems apt: “The Eye of Faith Flanagan” is a tradition to the D.C. art curator and patron, who died suddenly in January.

The series features work by nearly two dozen artists and includes objects from Flanagan’s very own collection. Revenue will benefit the District of Columbia Arts Center, where Flanagan had functioned as a board member.

The selection is varied in style in addition to media. A small Erik Thor Sandberg painting recalls the grotesqueries of Bruegel and Bosch, whereas Jeremy Flick’s hard-edged abstraction places one red square amid cool and neutral hues. The photographs record trips like William Christenberry’s to rural Alabama (of course) and Jayme McLellan’s to a sideshow inhabited by inflatable superheroes. Thom Flynn assembled a stripe “painting” with collaging found posters, while Brandon Morse’s computer-generated video perpetually assembles and collapses a construction of black lines. It’s, in a way, a vision of life threatening.

The Eye of Faith Flanagan On view through July 8 at Studio 1469, 1469 Harvard St. NW, rear. 202-518-0804. studio1469.com.


Jorge Caligiuri’s “Unseen III,” on view at Watergate Gallery. (Jorge Caligiuri/Watergate Gallery & Frame Design)

Fresco and encaustic are historical methods, and Jorge Caligiuri uses them to make artwork that looks timeworn. Nevertheless the Philadelphia artist included at the Watergate Gallery show “Motion” is an abstractionist whose principal motifs are stripes and circles. These don’t bleed into the surface, like in post-painterly color-field images. Instead, they are constructed up with, or punched into, thick layers of pigment. Rendered on timber panels, the most near-sculptural images employ mostly muted hues, using the occasional vivid contrast.

At their very best, Caligiuri’s paintings indicate close-ups of battered stucco walls or (like Thom Flynn’s slice at Studio 1469) found-object assemblages. They are stark in design yet rich in nuance. The artist’s newest frescoes are less minimalist. Even though the colors stay quiet, these appealing Cubist-influenced compositions break free of regular patterns.

The series also has stainless and mild-steel sculptures by Richard Binder, whose typically sleek but sometimes awesome pieces are often exhibited at the gallery.

Motion: In Two and Three Dimensions: Richard Binder & Jorge Caligiuri On view through July 8 at Watergate Gallery, 2552 Virginia Ave. NW. 202-338-4488. watergategalleryframedesign.com.


Ed Cooper’s “April Waters,” oil on canvas, on watch at Susan Calloway Fine Arts. (Ed Cooper/Susan Calloway Fine Arts)

If no longer the “immense protein factory” extolled by H.L. Mencken, the Chesapeake Bay is still abundant in vistas. The 3 oil painters at “Chesapeake Views” at Susan Calloway Fine Arts — Virginia’s Ed Cooper, Washington’s Stephen Day and New York’s Judith Vivell — travel different distances to accomplish the area, and depict it in different ways.

The only one of the trio who carries indications of human existence, Cooper donated one large and over a dozen small pictures. His job is the most realistic and excels at simulating the play of light. Vivell’s design is ever so slightly looser, and evocatively captures the delicate colours and shapes of overcast days or misty mornings.

Day’s job is nearly subjective, but split into horizontal slices that represent sky or water. The artist make this clear by adding a form of plaster to the occasional band of colour, producing textures that indicate currents or clouds. The outcomes are clean and crisp, with just a hint of real-world grit.

Chesapeake Views On view through July 8 at Susan Calloway Fine Arts, 1643 Wisconsin Ave. NW. 202-965-4601. callowayart.com.