Sarah Sargent

Artist, screenwriter, designer, and style icon Beatrix Ost has exhibitions at two galleries: “Illuminations & Illusions” at Second Street Gallery through January 10, and ”Beatrix Ost: Archaeology of the Omnivore—Paintings from the Garden Soil” at Chroma Projects through November 30. IMAGES courtesy of artist

Change agents: Beatrix Ost retrospective warns of a dystopian future

Walking into Beatrix Ost’s “Illuminations & Illusions,” now on view at Second Street Gallery, I was immediately reminded of Hieronymus Bosch’s famous triptych “The Garden of Earthly Delights.” It wasn’t one particular painting that suggested this, but rather the cumulative effect of all the work. Like Bosch, Ost creates complicated, often fantastical tableaux of people, […]

In Lisa Ryan's "Island Issue" and "Won't Obey," magazine cuttings of color, texture and shape form thought-provoking images. Courtesy of the artist

Lisa Ryan’s striking collages deserve a close-up

“I see like an artist and think like a designer,” says Lisa Ryan about her stylish collages, on view in “Please Don’t Ask It Can’t Be Explained” at Studio IX. Unlike most collage artists, Ryan focuses on formal considerations, rather than narrative. Her work is fresh with an almost total lack of the whimsy that is […]

In work such as “The Book” and “There Once Was a Boy Hanging from a Tree,” Lisa Beane draws on a dark past and brutal, present-day realities for her “Karma” exhibition. Courtesy of the artist

Lisa Beane uses “Karma” to address atrocities

Nine years ago I reviewed an exhibition at the Fralin Art Museum featuring the work of William Christenberry. Included in the show was his “Klan Room Tableau,” a peculiar installation of dolls dressed in KKK robes. According to Christenberry, the highly personal work was his means of exposing and exorcising the hatred and violence of […]

Robert Polidori’s aim is to capture in a photograph of rooms with many coats of different colored flaking paint the quality of a painting. Courtesy of the artist

New show at Neal Guma lures with hyper-reality

According to Neal Guma, what unites the four photographers in his current show is an approach to photography that is painterly. While Ljubodrag Andric and Robert Polidori often seek out subjects that can look like paintings and play with our perception of them, Markus Brunetti and John Chiara use photography as a painter might paint, […]

Holly Andres is known for using multiple images to tell a story, such as  in "The Fallen Fawn" series. Photo courtesy Neal Guma

Neal Guma gallery assembles a striking group show

With just five photographs on view, Neal Guma has assembled a richly satisfying show featuring some of the most interesting photographers working today at his new, eponymously named gallery on Third Street. While different in terms of style, approach and subject matter, the work is linked by a sense of mystery, foreboding and even danger. […]

Sonya Clark’s “Encrusted” considers Abraham Lincoln’s role in black history through a sugar-coated $5 bill. Courtesy of the artist

Sonya Clark marks slavery history at Second Street Gallery

Sonya Clark’s “Bitter, Sweet and Tender,” currently on view at Second Street Gallery, features sculpture, textiles and photography Clark has created, found or had fabricated. These objects limn a potent narrative encompassing Clark’s personal history and the troubled history of the U.S. and Caribbean centered on the use of people as commodities, examined through the […]

Conrad Tipungwuti’s “Kulama Ceremony” pays tribute to a celebration of life that involves three days of body painting, dancing, and the consumption of yams.
Image courtesy of Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection

Kluge-Ruhe presents new works in renovated galleries

After an extensive renovation, the Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection has unveiled two new exhibitions in its redesigned galleries. “Art and Country,” on view for the next year, provides a crystallization of Aboriginal art through the framing of basic questions. The exhibition’s design will remain while the work will be rotated out yearly so that treasures […]

Joel Sartore’s “Photo Ark,” featuring endangered wildlife, is this year’s “TREES” exhibition on the Downtown Mall. Photo credit: Joel Sartore

LOOKbetween and “TREES” fill in for photo fest downtime

It’s that time of year again when dazzling photographs of exotic wildlife hang from the willow oaks running along the Downtown Mall. Dubbed “TREES,” the exhibition of large, double-sided images is the most visible and popular aspect of LOOK3, the nonprofit organization that celebrates the vision of extraordinary photographers, ignites critical conversations about the subjects […]

Earl Gordon’s 1999 self-portrait collage is an example of his radiating, fragmented use of mixed media.

Earl Gordon’s mixed media collages are open to scrutiny

Art History Remix, now on view at the Jefferson School African American Heritage Center, presents 20 collages by Earl Gordon that are rich in meaning and contain lively dialogues between Western and African art, contemporary and traditional approaches, and drawn motifs and collage. Gordon’s work provides an interesting contemporary counterpoint to the Joseph Cornell show […]

Trisha Orr’s “Celestial Navigation” is one of the paintings she made to explore the relationship of body and soul during an illness. Photo: courtesy of the artist

Artist Trisha Orr paints herself out of a corner

Trisha Orr’s complex, tour de forces of fabric, objects, and flowers have earned high critical praise for many years. They are beautifully rendered, dispassionate works, and they reveal very little about the artist except that she is technically gifted and admires beauty. Growing up in a demanding family and going to art school in the […]

Jasper Johns’ “Pinion,” edition 13/36, 1966, is part of an exhibition of print work from the artist better known for his bronze Ballantine Ale cans.

Jasper Johns’ print works bring order to chaos

Now in his eighties, America’s greatest living artist, Jasper Johns, is still recognized as the vanguard who ignored convention to create a new, galvanizing style that brilliantly reflected the spirit and mores of its time. Johns’ far-reaching influence can be discerned in Pop Art, minimalism, and conceptual art movements and it continues to resound in […]