Arts Desk

Reviewed: “Twisted” at Cross-MacKenzie Gallery

There’s nothing kinky about “Twisted,” the new show of painting and sculpture at Cross-MacKenzie Gallery. The title is meant literally, encompassing all manner of art whose elements are intertwined and meandering. Brett Price offers a ceramic bowl crafted from an agglomeration of coiled, earthworm-like shapes; Lynn Horton painstakingly hand-draws looping, penciled swooshes on a monumental, 12-foot-wide section of gouache; John Brown prints photographs of gnarled tree branches on watercolor paper. Ellen Wagener takes a literal approach, contributing small, black pastel works depicting tornadoes (“twisters,” get it?) as they rage through the plains. The exhibit’s two standouts, though, are a pair of sculptors: Laurel Lukaszewski and Charles Anthony. Lukaszewski pieces together individual ceramic squiggles, each a couple inches in length, to create larger forms that range from small, doorknob-sized, wall-mounted spheres to an impressive, six-foot-tall hanging work (below) that gently tapers to points at the top and bottom; each of her pieces fits seemingly anarchic parts into an unexpectedly coherent whole. Anthony, for his part, fashions sections of found tree branches into mirror frames (top) that are at once elaborate, rustic, and maybe a little unsettling. (One can imagine the queen in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs asking them, "Who's the fairest one of all?”) What’s most impressive about Anthony’s works is the rigorous symmetry of its natural components. How painstaking must it have been for him to find comparable pairs of branches that could be set as mirror images?

The exhibition is on view to May 16 at Cross-MacKenzie Gallery, 2026 R St. NW. (202) 333-7079.

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