Trevor Young’s style of painting doesn’t seem to have changed a lot since I first encountered it a couple years ago, but that’s fine—his work is just as compelling now as it was then. Young has a soft spot for depopulated, alienating spaces, often related to the transportation system—highway flyovers, airport waiting rooms, deserted tarmacs. His obvious antecedents are Ed Ruscha (both share an attraction to bold, stylized gas stations) and Edward Hopper (for their islands of artificial light within the gloom), but one also detects the muscular smoke clouds of George Bellows and the inscrutable color fields of Mark Rothko. Most impressively, Young’s paintings—some big, many petite—pull off the neat trick of straddling the worlds of realism and abstraction, as in his depiction of a well-lit institutional vestibule at night (which deconstructs into a series of slightly tilted rectangles) and the creamy white zip of distant lights that divides an indigo sky from a black ground. These are scenes so anonymous that no one notices. Thankfully, Trevor Young does.
“TREVOR YOUNG: PREMIUM” IS ON VIEW 1 TO 6 P.M WEDNESDAY AND SATURDAY AND 5 TO 8 P.M. FRIDAY TO MAY 15 AT CIVILIAN ART PROJECTS, 1019 7TH ST. NW. FREE. (202) 607-3804.