Close at Hand

October 6 – November 10, 2017, Commission on the Arts and Humanities Gallery, Washington, DC

October 6 – November 10, 2017

Participating Artists: Carla Edwards, Roxana Geffen, Hedieh Javanshir Ilchi, and Amber Robles-Gordon

DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities Gallery
200 I Street SE, Washington, DC 20003

Opening Reception: Friday October 6, 6pm-8pm
Artist Talk:
Friday, October 27, 6pm-8pm

Close at Hand brings together artists who draw on the art historical legacy of modernist abstraction, while incorporating found objects, unexpected materials, and outside traditions into their practice. For several of the artists, their handling of material–the pouring of paint, draping of fabric, and use of large blocks of color–owes a debt to the Washington Color School. The artists utilize these techniques in work that engages with the social and political formations that shape our daily lives. By incorporating found materials from daily life into their work, the artists draw on the symbolic resonance of those objects. In this way, the artists eschew the apolitical perspective often associated (incorrectly, as many art historians have argued) with abstraction, while retaining the complexity, ambivalence, and strangeness that abstraction can allow.

This exhibition is the first to be supported through a new grant and exhibit space opportunity for District-based curators from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities (CAH). Curators were invited to submit proposals as part of an open call; applications were reviewed by a CAH advisory review panel, with the final selection made by the CAH Board of Commissioners. This new annual initiative seeks to support local curators in the development of innovative exhibition proposals that have robust educational, cultural, and/or conceptual components.

above image: Carla Edwards, Pixel, 2013, American flags, nylon dye, and bleach, 51″x 51”

Download the catalog