Arts Desk

Reviewed: “Tribute 1” at Irvine Contemporary

It helps to be intricate if you want to stand out in the Irvine Contemporary exhibit “Tribute 1,” a group retrospective of nine of the gallery’s standbys in advance of its August departure from its 14th Street NW digs. Teo Gonzalez painstakingly creates grids from multiple layers of acrylic and gold on panels, using a dizzying array of dots that always manage—somehow—to remain separated from their neighbors. Shawne Major creates amorphous wall sculptures from a frenzy of multicolored plastic gewgaws, while a Brooklyn-based artist who goes by the name [dNASAb] creates birdlike hanging sculptures using LEDs and fiber-optics. Robert Mellor uses acrylic on canvas to create fastidiously prepared, rubbery surfaced images of vegetation, while James Marshall (Dalek) offers highly detailed, fancifully colored, geometrical abstractions. But the showstoppers are the collaborations between Nicholas Kahn and Richard Selesnick—distinctly horizontal photomontages, some in black and white, some in color, that feature showy, usually absurdist faux-historical narratives that are set in locations as varied as outer space and an iceberg, almost like Jerry Uelsmann on steroids. Whereas intricacy defines most of the other artists in the exhibit, the works of Kahn and Selesnick are defined by their giddy—and welcome—audaciousness.

The exhibit is on view 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays at Irvine Contemporary, 1412 14th St NW. (202) 332-8767.

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