"Spring Thaw" To Saturday, May 24, at Project 4

Christine Gray’s paintings are comprised of the stuff of children’s summer art-camp sculptures: plastic Easter eggs, martini olive swords, yarn, pipe cleaners, and archery arrows. Call it “Still Life: A.C. Moore.” In her Project 4 exhibit “Spring Thaw,” each oil painting has been given the same treatment as a baroque bowl of fruit, but the elaborate dioramas that she bases the paintings on are far more whimsical and surprising. The picture that emerges from these bits of plastic and wire looks environmental, rather than synthetic—Pet Net, a painting of a collection of lucky rabbits’ feet strung from a climbing-wall carabiner echoes the form of a bushel of bananas. Gray is at her best when painting the pure geometry of her tenuous toothpick-and-pipe-cleaner structures, so delicate that they look as though a breeze in the gallery will send them tumbling. The exhibition is on view from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesdays through Fridays and noon to 6 p.m. Saturdays, to Saturday, May 24, at Project 4, 903 U St. NW. Free. (202) 232-4340.

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