Reviewed: “Local Color” at Gallery Plan B
When most people visualize Washington, D.C., marble monuments come to mind. But in Gallery Plan B’s exhibit “Local Color”—a nine-artist show of paintings and photographs, all set in D.C.—the surprise icon is…Wonder Bread. Charlie Gaynor presents a bracing image of the façade of the old Wonder Bread factory at 641 S St. NW in Shaw, while Michael D. Crossett offers a whole series of screenprints that feature as a central motif the famously unrefined bread’s trucks and logo. An odd choice of a unifying theme, perhaps, but reflective of the nine artists’ view of the District as a sum of its ordinariness rather than its grandeur. For instance, Joey Manlapaz offers bright, crisp, photorealistic paintings starring the humble sidewalk newspaper box, while Chad Andrews offers a series of four anonymous street scenes that offset the pitch-black gloom of night with luscious pink and turquoise highlights. Then there are the oil paintings by Ron Donoughe that feature stately Victorian homes and row houses, undercut by just a tinge of anxiety. It’s a vibe cribbed straight from Edward Hopper – but if you’re going to crib a vibe, you could do a whole lot worse.