Weekly Art Lens by Beth Shook

Theodore Halkin, Homage to Archimboldo, 1970, oil, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of the S.W. and B.M. Koffler Foundation. On view this weekend at the SAAM.

Portraiture Now: Asian American Portraits of Encounter
Featuring works by seven artists from Asia or of Asian descent, this will be the first Smithsonian exhibition to focus on contemporary Asian American portraiture. According to the NPG press release, the art on view aims to both counter existing stereotypes about the Asian American experience and offer a more nuanced exploration of transnational identity. Portraits of Encounter was co-organized by the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Program.
Where: National Portrait Gallery (Metro: Gallery Place-Chinatown or Metro Center)
When: Aug. 12 to Oct. 14.
How Much: Free

Paint, Canvas, Walls, People
A minimalist exhibition of work by Thomas Canavan and Arijit Das closes this weekend at the Lamont Bishop Gallery. While both artists hang their art on the gallery walls, they are more interested in conceptual experiments than the final product. With his blank canvases accompanied by text, Canavan asks viewers to meditate on their own expectations for a painting. Das takes a more personal and expressive approach by painting abstract compositions that appear both meticulous and unplanned. The two artists team up in Sorry, Sol, an amusing take on the wall drawings of Sol LeWitt.
Where: Lamont Bishop Gallery (Metro: Mt. Vernon Square or Shaw-Howard Univ.)
When: Until Aug. 13. Closing reception on Aug. 13 from 8 to 11 p.m. including live painting by Das and other artists.
How Much: Free

Continues after the jump.

Made in Chicago: The Koffler Collection
Contemporary works donated by Chicago collectors Blanche and Samuel Koffler go on view this weekend at the American Art Museum. The 26 paintings, works on paper and sculptures in the show were all made by Chicago artists between 1960 and 1980. A number of the works borrow motifs from traditional landscape and still-life painting, while straddling the line between figurative and abstract — not unusual at a moment when Abstract Expressionism was going out of vogue. Those who made it to last fall’s National Gallery exhibition of Archimboldo portraits will especially appreciate Theodore Halkin’s Homage to Archimboldo (above).
Where: Smithsonian American Art Museum (Metro: Gallery Place-Chinatown or Metro Center)
When: Aug. 12 to Jan. 2, 2012.
How Much: Free

new. (now.)
Hamiltonian Gallery’s annual exhibition of new fellows will include work by five emerging artists: Nora Howell, Sarah Knobel, Matthew Mann, Jenny Mullins and Joshua Wade Smith. You make recognize Mullins from her recent show at Flashpoint. While the group seems to have a slight bent toward the conceptual (see Howell’s performance pieces involving edible clothing and racial stereotypes), painting and photography will also be on display.
Where: Hamiltonian Gallery (Metro: U Street-Cardozo)
When: Aug. 13 to Sept. 10. Opening reception on Aug. 13 from 7 to 9 p.m.
How Much: Free

Short list: Transient at Gallery 31 at the Corcoran; [email protected] at Touchstone Gallery.