architectural art at national gallery

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There's something about the anonymous mid-century buildings of California that draws me in. So when I read about the National Gallery of Art exhibit "Lewis Baltz: Prototypes/Ronde de Nuit" I marked it down as a must-go. I went last weekend and was blown away by Baltz's black and white Prototypes series of photos, done in the late 1960's and early 70's. In his hands, parts of the most banal, nondescript buildings become painterly compositions, defined by shadow and sunlight and flattened into abstraction. Works by Donald Judd, Sol LeWitt, and Richard Serra (all of whom have influenced Baltz) are also part of the exhibit, plus a large 12-panel Baltz mural called Ronde de Nuit. The show, which originated at and was organized by the Art Institute of Chicago, will appear at the National Gallery here in Washington, D.C., through July 31, 2011.--m.d.



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