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Weekly Art Lens by Beth Shook

Photo credit (c) Bruce Guthrie, Fragment KBI Wi Kani by Marcel Pinas at the Art Museum of the Americas.

Beth is an art history graduate student at George Mason University and works part-time at an emerging markets investment fund. Originally from Texas via New York, Beth graduated from Georgetown in 2009 with a degree in Spanish and has been living in Columbia Heights since then (and will probably never leave). In her free time, Beth practices amateur darkroom photography and conducts independent research projects, such as assessing where the best Tex-Mex is in D.C.

There aren’t many openings this week, but there are several noteworthy events and ongoing exhibitions around town. Here are some highlights:

DEBT: Simon Gouverneur and Andy Moon Wilson at Curator’s Office: A small and mesmerizing exhibition that asks to what extent an artist is indebted to his predecessors. The show includes dozens of drawings, most of which are just 4″ by 4″, by Atlanta-based artist and carpet designer Andy Moon Wilson. Moon Wilson’s vibrant, optically jarring works are juxtaposed with the more metaphysical (but still pattern-obsessed) paintings by one of his influences, Simon Gouverneur. On view until Feb. 12.

Wrestling with the Image: Caribbean Interventions at the Art Museum of the Americas: I’m reposting this one because I had very little info on it last week. Wrestling with the Image tackles head-on the discourse surrounding Caribbean identity, or to phrase it better, the region’s multiplicity of identities. The media exhibited, including contemporary paintings, prints, drawings, video art, mixed media installations (read: conch shell strobe lights) and photographs, are as diverse as the 36 artists behind them. And it’s no accident that the accompanying labels often demarcate with a slash the artists’ birthplace and current country of residence: the works are inherently global, and they reflect the diasporic nature of art from the past decade. With minimal wall texts, the exhibition catalog, available for download here, is a useful guide. On view until March 10.

Continues after the jump.

climate, control at Civilian Art Projects: A three-artist exhibition addressing the artists’ response to their environment and the materials it makes available. Highlights include J.J. McCracken’s biomorphic handmade clay-and-Wonderbread sculptures, which she has captured in bell jars and “left to transform with condensation and mold.” On view until Feb. 19.

“Addressing (and Redressing) the Silence: New Scholarship in Sexuality and American Art” at the National Portrait Gallery: This symposium, held in conjunction with Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture, will feature lectures by 11 American art historians, including Jonathan D. Katz, co-curator of the exhibition. The papers will deal with issues of race, sexuality and gender within the last century of American portraiture. It looks like the Smithsonian is not shying away from the ongoing debate over its highly criticized decision to remove David Wojnarowicz’s video “A Fire in My Belly”: the final talk, given by Jennifer Doyle, is titled “Hold It Against Me: Difficulty, Emotion, and David Wojnarowicz.” The event is free but requires online registration. Jan. 29 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m in the McEvoy Auditorium.

Joan Mitchell: Portrait of an Abstract Painter at the Corcoran Gallery: The museum’s website describes this film, directed by Marion Cajori, as “a powerful and intimate depiction of one of the most dynamic artists of the 20th century.” Tickets are $12 and can be purchased online. Screenings at the Corcoran frequently sell out, so don’t wait until last minute. Thursday, Jan. 27 at 7 p.m.

Short list: Bound at the Hamiltonian Gallery; Cordy Ryman – Windowboxing at Conner Contemporary; Palladio and His Legacy (closing soon) at the National Building Museum.

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