Arts & Entertainment, Gallery Beat

Cool Fall Shows – Applequist & Mays

Gallery Beat

By F. Lennox Campello

Cool Fall Shows – Applequist & Mays

Guess where I am heading as I write this article? As soon as I am finished, a packed van full of artwork and yours truly is driving to New York City, masks on hand and my vaccine card in pocket to participate in the Fall edition of the Affordable Art Fair in Chelsea.

EunSun, Charcoal on repurposed cardboard and paper. By Courtney Applequist

I’m always preaching art fairs and how galleries, and art spaces, and art non-profits should participate in these fairs to expand the exposure (and sales) of their member artists. I am looking at you Art League!

Will report next month.

There are some very cool shows coming to the DMV this October, none more interesting (and I’ll explain why later) than Courtney Applequist’s solo show, which runs through October 30 at Foundry Gallery in the District.

Titled “Moment of Interrogation”, the show is a fascinating example of a highly talented artist, armed with formidable technical skills, who severs her visual connections with earlier work and embarks on a new visual journey.

Although this is no surprise to those who follow the work and life trajectory of great visual art names such as Gerhardt Richter, and earlier the great and terrible Pablo Picasso, it is nonetheless always a pleasant attack to the visual senses when you first “re-learn” the artwork of an artist whose work you know… or think that you know.

Kysha Study, Charcoal on paper by Courtney Applequist

Applequist most recent visual arts project was “done in a period of admiration, reciprocity and humanity in response to the culmination of events of 2020-21.”  In a radical departure from her previous painting focus, the new work includes wall-size drawings on repurposed cardboard, paper sculpture and augmented reality video integration.

“For the past eight months, I have been working on a collaborative social art project, Taxonomy of Breathing, that investigates our current societal moment through the lens of breath”, Applequist notes. “Police brutality, smoke and wildfire, COVID attacking the lungs — breath connects them all; and in following the thread of breath through spiritual and healing practices, we discovered a platform of connection across cultural boundaries to listen and to heal. “

Angela, Mixed Media by Courtney Applequist

The exhibition manifests these points through large portrait drawings, some elegantly disassembled into multiple cut-outs which deliver that frightening sense of urgency which is so well-known to asthma sufferers.

This show is definitely not only a success story for this artist, but also a remarkable signpost for our current times.

Inward/Outward, Oil on Board by Courtney Applequist

There’s also a very cool show (titled “Rich Soil”) by Kristine Mays at The Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens, and in conjunction with that show, DC’s Zenith Gallery will be exhibiting Kristine Mays’ new works at the gallery.  Working with hard rigid wire, Kristine Mays has captured humanity — revealing strength, perseverance, and resilience. This exhibition “carries themes of multiple identities, love, community, survival, life and pain, and explores the reality of how we see ourselves and others.”

Rich Soile by Mays on exhibit at Hillwood

Mays uses hundreds of pieces of wire to create intricate sculptures that capture the human form to reflect upon what is inward. She says: “I create the outer shell, the exterior of a human being, but provoke you to see what’s within. Memories and the way we have loved one another far outweigh our status or possessions — and yet sometimes a simple dress or a body in motion may trigger a memory from the past, allowing us to visit that which has imprinted our lives.”

Legacy, painted steel and wire, by Mays

Weight of the World: New works by Kristine Mays is at Zenith Gallery through October 16, 2021, and “RICH SOIL Kristine Mays” is at Hillwood Museum & Gardens (4155 Linnean Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008) through January 9, 2022. The Hillwood installation is an outdoor work.

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