Explore Washington D.C.

The D.C. Eight

Washington artists Joe White and Renee Butler spend winters in the pearlescent rooms of a Miami Beach apartment overlooking the sea. The art they make, in that city and here, takes on the palette and luminosity of their second home. Her “X Boxes,” minimalist works that incorporate broken glass from a storm-shattered window, and his painting “Warm Green Railing” (pictured), a “portrait” of a Deco-era architectural element, hang now in an impressive group show at Addison/Ripley Fine Art in Georgetown.

Impressive because the lineup reads like a Who’s Who of D.C.’s established, blue-chip artists: White and Butler plus Andrea Way, W.C. Richardson, Robin Rose, Joan Belmar, Maggie Michael, the late Tom Green ... all masters of, among other things, the abstract. The eight have distinctive styles yet work within rigorous, self-imposed, almost Zen-like parameters, which explains their selection by curator Carol Brown Goldberg, herself a painter of visually complex systems.

“Sigil,” the show’s title, derives from a term for “signature” works, yet it also refers to magic wrought by angels and demons. Certainly these artists, with their earned wisdom, pure motives and good spirit, operate on the side of the angels.

Jean Lawlor Cohen