Architects' Drawings - Washington Post In The Galleries

Architects’ Drawings On view through July 30 at Cross MacKenzie Gallery, 1675 Wisconsin Ave. NW. ­202-337-7970.

Landscapes feature in some of the renderings in Cross MacKenzie Gallery’s current show, but they’re secondary to the man-made. These are “Architects’ Drawings,” after all, and the more than 30 contributors include such noted landmark makers as Richard Meier, Michael Graves and Frank Gehry.

The pictures are not all sketches for planned structures. Some of the most appealing are fastidious studies of venerable buildings in St. Petersburg (by Rob Krier) and Italy (by Dhiru Thadani, who curated the show with Mark McInturff). The other work includes Gehry’s near-abstract print of piled-up squiggles, James Smither’s watercolor of a seaside village and Ben Van Dusen’s urban hives, ideal dwellings for big-eyed anime characters. There’s even a cartoon about Washington’s World War II Memorial by Roger Lewis, who writes “Shaping the City” essays for The Washington Post.

A personal note is sounded by a drawing of a proposed project by Eason Cross, the late father of gallery proprietor Rebecca Cross. The design was never built, but the idea survives as a edifice of lines.

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Book Hill Galleries Open for Spring Art Walk, May 13, 2016

Cross MacKenzie Gallery
1675 Wisconsin Ave. NW
Paintings by Rafael Torres Correa

In partnership with the Cultural Service of the Embassy of France, Cross MacKenzie Gallery will host an exhibition of paintings by the Cuban-born French national Rafael Torres Correa. Originally from Havana, this international artist has widely exhibited his work in Mexico, Spain and France and with Cross MacKenzie in 2014.

Correa creates lyrical universes in his large abstract canvases. His paintings evoke memories — symbolic and emotional—and conjure imagined experiences of water and floating islands with their shifting imagery and fluid execution, using washes, drips, dabs and splashes of paint. These landscapes are transitory territories and shifting metaphors, a state that parallels the artist’s own migrations and cultural identity.

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Rafael Torres Correa & Virginia Pates - Washington Post In the Galleries

After a stint in Washington, Cuban-born French artist Rafael Torres Correa is heading home. As a farewell gesture, he and Cross MacKenzie Gallery are presenting “Paysage Expose, Paysage Figurant.” The show’s large abstractions contrast wet and dry, soft and hard. Correa paints atop tile or brick surfaces, and allows their rectangular shapes to imprint on the mottled, free-form compositions. His mostly blue pictures suggest oceans and atolls; others have rich mineral tones of rust, ivory and platinum.

Two of the paintings resemble red brick walls, and all of them have areas that evoke the surfaces of metal and ceramics. Playing on that affinity, Torres has painted a series of individual tiles. These elegant squares stand alone but also look as though they’re ready to be assembled into a larger whole.

Cross MacKenzie always has pottery on display and, in addition to Torres’s work, is now showing Virginia Pates’s porcelain vessels. From one angle, these are in the rustic, intentionally imperfect style known in Japanese as “wabi.” Yet they contain surprises, both visible and not. Pates sometimes incorporates a bit of earth from a specific location, such as James Madison’s Montpelier, that provides the piece’s title. Underneath, the bowls and vases have elaborately scalloped bases, and the inside may be glazed with a vivid, gem-like green or blue. Pates’s creations have as many personalities as they have facets.

Rafael Torres Correa: Paysage Expose, Paysage Figurant and Virginia Pates: Ceramics On view through June 1 at Cross MacKenzie Gallery, 1675 Wisconsin Ave. NW. 202-337-7970.

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