Syzygy at American University Museum Saturday, June 14

Astronomically speaking, syzygy occurs when three celestial bodies—like Earth, the sun, and the moon—align. Artist William Newman comments on a more grounded alignment in “Syzygy,” his exhibition of paintings, photos, and sculptures now on view at the American University Museum. By mixing quickly captured photographs with photorealistic works that can take months to create, Newman, who regularly includes natural themes in his work, comments on the fleeting nature of beauty: A tree that grows for hundreds of years can be destroyed in mere minutes, after all. And while the longtime Corcoran professor focuses his attention on the natural world in this exhibition, he still brings together seemingly disparate objects in his creations. “Orange on the Grand Canyon” combines a photo of the colorful citrus with a painting of the peaks and valleys seen in the Arizona national park. Because while the natural world looks beautiful, it doesn’t always make sense. The exhibition is on view Tuesdays through Sundays 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., to August 17, at the American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center, 4400 Massachusetts Ave. NW. Free. (202) 885-1300.

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