In the galleries: by Mark Jenkins, July 15, Washington Post

Ladies First

Two of Carol Barsha’s large florals are in Gallery Neptune & Brown’s “Ladies First,” and their red blooms provide much of the color in the eight-woman show. There also are vivid abstractions by Cianne Fragione, rendered with nearly as many as materials as hues. But most of the artists are more concerned with lines, whether executed with ink, pencil or bronze.

Janis Goodman’s intricate drawings include one with an off-center flurry of cross-hatching, suggesting a tornado or a dense thicket, and several that depict reflected light on gentle tides. The latter pictures complement detailed yet stark abstractions by Linn Meyers, each of which punctuates a similarly rippling expanse with a perfect circle. Stretched across two sheets of paper, Beverly Ress’s pale “Pink Wing” seems as much a minimalist exercise as an ornithological study. (One of Barsha’s nests would have fit well with this grouping.)

The only sculptures are by Raya Bodnarchuk, who contributed small bronzes of standing human figures, as well as a seated, streamlined and smiling cat that is one of the array’s crowd-pleasers. Yet Taz Ichikawa’s drawings have a sculptural quality, whether they employ shadows and modeling to simulate 3-D qualities or, as in “Inspiration,” contrast such techniques with unadorned pencil swoops. The piece illustrates the ability and the desire to expand a single stroke into a full work of art.


Ladies First On view through July 16 at Gallery Neptune & Brown, 1530 14th St. NW. 202-986-1200.