Written By: Mark Jenkins for the Washington Post
To mark its fifth anniversary, Hamiltonian Gallery has assembled 11 works by 10 alumni of its fellowship program. The selection tends, unsurprisingly, toward the minimal and the conceptual. The show’s title, “Vantage Points,” probably doesn’t refer to so old-fashioned an artistic form as the landscape. Yet more than half the pieces are connected to that tradition, if untraditionally.
Joyce Yu-Jean Lee insinuates herself, standing and a little fidgety, into a pixilated video of a Chinese classical nature scene. In paint, ink and pencil, Jessica van Brakle depicts a steep staircase, framed by black leaves in the foreground. Magnolia Laurie’s hazy oil painting suggests yet doesn’t quite represent a vista. Mike Dax Iacovone traces the U.S.-Canada border with maps, video and colored yarn. Even Jonathan Monaghan’s two CGI prints include landscapes of a sort, although the world they show is that of computer games.
Most of the pieces are stark and muted, and sometimes involve chance. Selin Balci paints by growing microbes on boards, a random process that’s presented very tidily. Leah Hartman Frankel’s “Grayscale” arrays small found objects, mostly toys and miniatures, in a tonal progression from black to white. Michael Enn Sirvet’s sculpture is a column of white-coated aluminum, Swiss-cheesed with holes. Elena Volkova uses pencil to lightly texture paper that’s creased into squares. The chaos here is studiously contained.