Reviewed: “Pattern: Three Generations of Shape and Color” at Carroll Square Gallery
If you visit “Pattern: Three Generations of Shape and Color” at the Carroll Square Gallery, you might want to bring a pair of sunglasses. The three-artist exhibit includes works that span from 1967 to the present, but all of them share the bold, bright and at times overpowering colors of geometrical abstraction and op art. The oldest work is an angular array of stripes from the late Washington color field painter Thomas Downing. Its scale is large, but in comparison to the later works of Linling Lu and Tom Green, the colors seem less vibrant. Five of Lu’s works are 46”-diameter circles of eye-popping, concentric rings of varying dimensions, in neon hues that seem carefully selected to make your eyes think the rings are hovering in space. Green, meanwhile, uses slightly less jarring colors—he offers one work each with carefully textured backgrounds of green, blue, and orange—but their most notable feature is row after row of glyphs. The glyphs look something like a cross between Sanskrit lettering and Egyptian hieroglyphics, and it’s not obvious whether they’re actually from a real language or simply an elaborate fake. But the spatial coherence of the characters is so impeccable that you cease to care what the answer to that question is.
Through Aug. 26 at Carroll Square Gallery, 975 F Street NW. Open during regular business hours. (202) 624-8643.