September Arts Preview by Beth Shook

Photo of Gaia work in P Street alley by PoPville flickr user a digital cure

Ed. Note: Sadly, this will be Beth’s last contribution as she is moving on to an internship at SAAM (Smithsonian American Art Museum.) Congrats Beth and thanks for all your great recommendations! If anyone is interested in covering the museum scene for PoP please send an email to princeofpetworth(@)gmail

Art After Dark: Street
If you missed last week’s gallery parties, you’ll have another chance to check out contemporary art to the tune of electro pop tomorrow night at the Art Museum of the Americas’ second annual Art After Dark. The event, which is themed “street,” will include video and performance art by local artists, including Billy Friebele and Kristina Bilonick, as well as music by Screen Vinyl Image, DJ Smudge and multi-talented violinist/hipster overlord Matthew Hemerlein. Oh, and there will be food trucks. And an iPad raffle.
Where: Art Museum of the Americas (Metro: Farragut West)
When: Sept. 1 from 8 p.m. to midnight.
How Much: Tickets are $25 in advance; $30 at the door. Includes open bar and entry to the after-party at L2 Lounge on Cady’s Alley.

Gaia: New Works
Irvine Contemporary may be on the move, but that hasn’t stopped the gallery from organizing a full fall exhibition schedule. First up is this show of new works by Baltimore/Brooklyn-based street artist Gaia to be hosted by the Montserrat House (9th and V Streets NW). Known for his black-and-white drawings wheat pasted on buildings around Washington, Baltimore and New York, Gaia will focus in this show on the history of cities and the environment. In conjunction with the exhibition, he will be installing public murals in “symbolic locations” around the city.
Where: Montserrat House (Metro: U Street-Cardozo)
When: Sept. 9 to 17. Opening reception on Sept. 9 from 6 to 8 p.m.
How Much: Free

Ellington Robinson: In Quest of The Sun
D.C.-based painter Ellington Robinson tackles migrations, both physical and socioeconomic, in this upcoming solo show at Project 4. The elements of his highly structured, three-dimensional collages are anything but random: found objects, such as cassette tapes, vinyl records and travel documents, reference his childhood in a musical household and his move from Washington to St. Croix. But the works also address more universal themes of ancestry, collective memory and social mobility.
Where: Project 4 Gallery (Metro: U Street-Cardozo)
When: Sept. 9 to Oct. 15. Opening reception Sept. 9 from 6:30 to 9 p.m.
How Much: Free

Continues with lots more after the jump.

Central Nigeria Unmasked: Arts of the Benue River Valley
This upcoming survey of Central Nigerian art, organized by the Fowler Museum at UCLA, will include around 150 objects, including statues, masks, ceramics and metalwork, and aims to draw attention to the cultural patrimony of a lesser known part of the country. That the press release makes no mention of a time period could be reason for alarm. In a region with thousands of years of art-making — especially on a continent whose art was for so long dismissed as static and primitive — this is a risky oversight at best.
Where: National Museum of African Art (Metro: Smithsonian)
When: Sept. 14 to Mar. 4, 2012.
How Much: Free

(e)merge art fair
Momentum has been building all summer for Leigh Conner and Jamie Smith’s contemporary art fair, and yesterday the participants were officially announced. Of the 80 exhibitors, a dozen or so come from Canada and Europe, while the vast majority are based in New York or the D.C. area. (e)merge will be open to the public for three days, with art on view and for sale throughout the Capitol Skyline Hotel. Local galleries participating include Conner Contemporary, Flashpoint Gallery, Curator’s Office, Hemphill Fine Arts, Irvine Contemporary, Transformer and Washington Project for the Arts. Meanwhile, another group of D.C. artists is organizing But Is It Art?, a DIY alternative art fair to be held simultaneously at wonderbox.
Where: Capitol Skyline Hotel (Metro: Navy Yard or Waterfront)
When: Sept. 23 to 25. Opening preview with poolside concert on Sept. 22 from 7 to 11 p.m.
How Much: Opening preview is $25. Daily admission is $15 for adults and $10 for students and seniors.

Andy Warhol, “Shadows,” 1978-79. Dia Art Foundation. © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. Photo: Bill Jacobson.

Warhol: Headlines and Andy Warhol: Shadows
September also brings two significant Andy Warhol exhibitions to Washington. Warhol: Headlines at the National Gallery will focus on the artist’s interest in tabloid news headlines, a motif that has historically taken a backseat to his ubiquitous commodity and celebrity silkscreens. It will include 80 works in various mediums, as well as some of the artist’s news sources. Across the mall, the Hirshhorn will be displaying Warhol’s late work Shadows, a 1978-9 series of 102 silkscreened and painted depictions of shadows, installed edge-to-edge along the museum’s curved walls. To supplement the exhibitions, the two museums have teamed up for Warhol on the Mall, a series of public programming celebrating the artist.
Where: National Gallery of Art and Hirshhorn Museum, respectively. (Metro: Archives or L’Enfant Plaza)
When: Sept. 25 to Jan. 2.
How Much: Free

Other September openings:
Containment and Diversion: Thomas Burkett (PDF) at the Long View Gallery (Sept. 1 to Oct. 2)
Ben Tolman: a few more drawings… at the Fridge (Sept. 10 to Oct. 9)
Ilya and Emilia Kabakov at Hemphill Fine Arts (Sept. 10 to Oct. 29)
Is Realism Relevant? at Conner Contemporary Art (Sept. 10 to Oct. 22)
Traveling Light and Common Place at the Art Museum of the Americas (Sept. 15 to Jan. 22, 2012)
Site/Schema: Nikki Painter at Civilian Art Projects (Sept. 17 to Oct. 22)
transformers: the next generation at Transformer (Sept. 17 to Oct. 22)
Sam Gilliam Paintings at Marhsa Mateyka Gallery (Sept. 17 to Oct. 29)
The Invention of Glory: Afonso V and the Pastrana Tapestries at the National Gallery of Art (Sept. 18 to Jan. 8, 2012)