Reviewed: “Reverb & Echo” at Studio Gallery
The devastating Haitian earthquake of Jan. 12, 2010—which struck almost two years ago—has inspired many artists. Last fall, Wyatt Gallery offered photographic meditations on life amid temporary housing in the exhibit "Tent Life: Haiti," while the Watergate Gallery is currently showing Haitian paintings from a damaged arts venue in Port-au-Prince. At Studio Gallery, mixed-media artist Jenna Crowder and photographer Keith Lane have collaborated on “Reverb & Echo: A Haitian Landscape,” which pairs their work. In Lane’s show last fall—“iwishyouwerehere,” an experiment in cellphone photography at Hillyer Art Space—the limits of his technology sometimes overshadowed his inspiration. But that’s no problem in this new exhibit: Both the images in “Reverb & Echo” and those in an accompanying show of some of Lane's unrelated photographic works offer first-rate printing and crystal-clear grain. He also displays a keen eye for form and color. In Haiti, Lane documented a quickly receding, out-of-focus row of lunches at a school (above); a lone, backlit figure trapped in a sea of darkness (below); a moody, lush mountainscape; and a large cross bedecked with flapping ribbons on a brilliantly sunny day. By contrast, Crowder’s works of gouache and gold leaf on fine paper are understated, each quietly echoing an aspect of Haitian architecture or culture. Taken as a whole, their works celebrate the life that remains in Haiti, not just the sorrow.
The exhibit is on view 1 to 7 p.m. Wednesday to Friday and 1 to 6 p.m. Saturday to Jan. 28 at Studio Gallery, 2108 R St. NW. (202) 232-8734.