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Group show: 5-year <RETRO (over)

5 December 2003 until 31 January 2004
  <i>5-year <RETRO</i>
 
  CONNERSMITH.

CONNERSMITH.
1358-60 Florida Avenue, NE
Washington, DC 20002
USA (city map)

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tel +1 202 - 588 87 50
www.connersmith.us.com


As the gallery looks forward to new events of the coming year, we reflect on the cultivation of our program in a revolving two month exhibition: 5-year . Selecting works that highlight exhibitions of the past five years afforded us an opportunity to review valuable experiences which shaped our exhibition philosophy and strengthened our program.

5-year <RETRO reveals salient patterns in the gallery's growth. Since opening in 1999, we have steadily adjusted our focus from editioned works by established masters such as Andy Warhol, Robert Indiana, and Robert Longo, toward critically rigorous exhibitions of new work by internationally-known mid-career artists, such as Maria Friburg, Leo Villareal and Muriel Hasbun, and emerging Washington-based artists such as Mary Woodall. In this process, we have increasingly promoted new video and digital media and embraced challenging themes such as Damien Hirst's Last Supper, David Levinthal's Blackface, and McCallum & Tarry's Civic Endurance.

Exhibition catalogues, essays and artist interviews accompanying 5-year <RETRO reflect that our program is informed by disciplinary analysis which situates the art we exhibit within appropriate critical and historical contexts. Whether examining the relation between murder and popular American culture in Mark Bennett's drawings, elucidating the codification of colonialism in Tracey Moffatt's photographs, characterizing the complex relation of Kenny Hunter's works to traditional monumental sculpture, or examining John Kirchner's video as new American landscape, we consistently strive to provide clear explanations of how the art we exhibit participates in the changing profile of contemporary art.

5-year <RETRO marks a time of great moment in the collective revitalization of the D.C. arts community. The full import of this artistic revival crystallizes in the historical legacy of art in our city, which, as this summary exhibition demonstrates, is a hallmark of the gallery's identity. Featuring works of Color painters Morris Louis, Gene Davis, Howard Mehring, and Thomas Downing, we preserve Washington's history as a nascent locus of artistic activity and define a meaningful milieu for Washington artists today.

The gallery's emerging direction is indicated in 5-year <RETRO through works by new additions to the gallery's artist roster including Avish Khebredzadeh, Eric Sandberg and Dean Kessmann. Future projects are also anticipated by Chul-Hyun Ahn and Sabeen Raja, recent Maryland Institute College of Arts MFA graduates whose relationships with the gallery were forged through our annual Academy exhibition which celebrates the impressive academic tradition in our area.

As we assess our past five years, we would like to thank the many supporters who have helped us learn and grow in our Dupont Circle gallery space. With this exhibition we renew our commitment to presenting exhibitions which stimulate artistic exchange, heighten the awareness of the history of art in Washington, and strengthen its place in the global artistic community.

Gallery receptions for 5-year <RETRO will be held Friday, December 5th from 6-8pm and Friday, January 2nd, 2004 from 6-8pm.

For further information contact Karyn Miller at 202-588-8750 or via email : km@connercontemporary.com.

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