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Although COVID-19 forced it to close its physical space, D.C.’s Touchstone Gallery is temporarily thriving as an online-only operation.
Its dynamic virtual exhibitions of contemporary art are several degrees above the standard, offering fully navigable views of the artworks using technology with close-up, rotational, and move-around capabilities.
Touchstone is currently presenting two virtual solo artist shows that have been informed by the pandemic. Taking a direct approach is Brotman’s Pillow Book: Pages from a Pandemic, which features small paintings, fleeting thoughts, and dreams from the artist last spring — all notated in the empty guestbooks of two Touchstone shows canceled by COVID-19.
The exhibition’s title nods to the Japanese collection of inner thoughts and feelings about everyday life created over a thousand years ago.
A more indirect approach can be found in Anna Katalkina’s Bon Appétit! Pop Art Through Old Masters’ Painting Techniques. The series builds from the old colloquialism “you are what you eat” while also accounting for today’s emphasis on the look and presentation of food, especially in the digital realm.
The resulting works incorporate the depiction of plastic food toys and marketing slogans with classic painting technique. Or as Katalkina puts it in a release, “The slow-paced, craft-full, multi-glazing process and the tactility of oil paint stands opposed to nameless, countless pixels streaming our way.”
On display through April 10. Visit www.touchstonegallery.com.
View some of the artworks below:
Anna Katalkina: Toy Burger
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