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Your Weekly Art Lens by Beth Shook

Sculpture Terrace at the Kreeger Museum. Photo by Beth Shook.

“The Dynamics of the DC Art Scene” at the Kreeger Museum: While the Kreeger’s location on Foxhall Road is definitely a hike for anyone without a car, the eclectic-yet-modern building, designed by Philip Johnson in 1963, is a hidden gem that is worth at least one visit. In conjunction with the ongoing exhibition In Unison: 20 Washington, DC Artists, this panel discussion will focus on the inner workings of the city’s art scene today. Panelists will include local collectors, Director of the Smithsonian Museum of African Art Johnnetta Cole, Kreeger Museum Director Judy A. Greenberg and Jack Rasmussen, Director and Curator at the Katzen Arts Center. Call 202-338-3552 for reservations. Tickets are $20 and include a wine and cheese reception. Feb. 24 from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Metrobus: D6 (or take a scenic walk through Glover Park).

Blinky Palermo: Retrospective 1964-1977 at the Hirshhorn Museum: This retrospective marks the first survey of German abstract painter Blinky Palermo in the United States. Known primarily for geometric compositions of solid, bold colors, Palermo also experimented with a variety of mediums, most notably strips of colored fabric that reflect an interest in 1960s design. These early “Cloth Pictures” will be among the approximately 60 works on view from every phase of Palermo’s brief career (the artist died at 33 as a result of drug and alcohol abuse). Works are on tour from the Dia Art Foundation in New York. Curator Lynne Cooke will lead a tour this Thursday from 7 to 8 p.m. On view Feb. 24 to May 15. Metro: L’Enfant Plaza or Smithsonian.

Continues after the jump.

Laying Tracks and Bordering on Painting at Civilian Art Projects: Two new and promising solo shows open Saturday at CAP. Corcoran alum Jason Falchook and Baltimore-based Seth Adelsberger approach painting through photography and found objects, respectively, without ever fully incorporating paint as a medium. The composition and texture of Falchook’s photographs of puddles, fluorescent lights and other snippets of city life render them nearly abstract. Adelsberger, on the other hand, plays with viewers’ expectations for a painting: canvas stretcher bars are recast as art objects, while frame-shaped canvases splattered with acrylic paint are mounted on the wall with no works to frame. Opening reception on Feb. 26 from 7 to 9 p.m. On view Feb. 26 to April 9. Metro: Mt. Vernon Square.

Gauguin: Maker of Myth at the National Gallery of Art: Another big exhibition opens at the National Gallery this weekend, and this one is perhaps more of a crowd-pleaser than 50 views of 18th-century Venice. Organized with Tate Modern, London, Maker of Myth will include nearly 120 works by Paul Gauguin, including oil paintings, pastels, prints and drawings. The show will focus on the artist’s mythological iconography, much of which he co-opted from Maori culture during his stay in French Polynesia. It is sure to include vibrant examples of Gauguin’s innovative use of color and his typically modernist fascination with “the primitive.” On view Feb. 27 to June 5. Metro: Archives-Navy Memorial.

Close to Home: Photographers and Their Families at the Smithsonian American Art Museum: The 30 or so photographs in this exhibition illuminate quiet dramas of family life – scenarios that could only be captured this sensitively by someone experiencing them. Several of the works, all by contemporary photographers, deal with the gradual shift of roles between parent and child, such as Virginia Beahan’s intimate portraits of her mother who suffers from dementia and now requires her care. Also of note are Elaine O’Neil’s 10 double portraits of herself and her preteen daughter over several years, in which she captures a whole spectrum of moments in the relationship between a mother and a daughter. On view now until July 24. Metro: Gallery Place-Chinatown.

Short list: “Color Painting’s Pedigree” at the Corcoran Gallery; New Gallery Artists Group Show at Long View Gallery; Dynasty Handbag at The Fridge Gallery.

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