By Jessica Dawson
Special to The Washington Post
Thursday, June 7, 2001; Page C05
"By Jessica Dawson, reprinted with permission from the Washington Post"
New York artist David FeBland continues to paint manic Manhattan streetscapes that remind us why we love New York and hate it, too. His latest show, "Nutville," at Fraser Gallery, is a good-natured look at the city's freaks painted in frenetic brush strokes appropriate to their chaotic subject.
Corporate types make up the principal population of Nutville, along with a supporting cast of street sweepers behind surgical masks and mothers pushing strollers. "Surge on a Rothko Landscape" depicts a clot of strivers like a gaggle of marathon runners, with suits on cell phones leading the pack. One woman with a ball and chain strapped to her ankle is, rather miraculously, out ahead, too.
FeBland's Ashcan School-meets-surrealism means that most everything, it seems, is slightly off. Colors are hyper-saturated, figures elongated and stretched taffy-thin. "New York Midgets" turns proportion on its head -- figures vary from a few inches high to 20 times that size; tiny yellow cabs zoom around like spaceships. FeBland's vision is a singular one, and so is the city he captures.
David FeBland at Fraser Gallery, 1054 31st St. NW, noon-3 p.m. Tuesday-Friday; noon- 6 p.m. Saturday, 202-298-6450, to June 13.
© 2001 The Washington Post Company