- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 6, 2004

When American sculptor Dan Flavin placed a single yellow fluorescent light diagonally on a wall in 1963, and then multiplied its color and scale, he found he had invented the sensuous and spiritual art currently seen in the National Gallery of Art’s Dan Flavin: A Retrospective. Artists from the 16th-century Italian painter Caravaggio to the later French impressionists to Washington’s own 1970s Color School have sought to expand the optical effects of light but few were as successful as Mr. Flavin. The artist, who died in 1996, saw that fluorescent light tubes of different lengths and colors could create rooms filled with mixtures of colors—reds and greens, yellows and cool and warm whites, blues and pinks—for light-filled environments quivering with brilliant hues such as purples, violets, reds, and turquoises. East Building of the National Gallery of Art, Fourth and Constitution avenues NW. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sundays through Jan. 9. Free. 202/737-4215 or www.nga.gov.

Joanna Shaw-Eagle

The third edition of a free film series devoted to new and vintage Italian movies, Washington, Italia, begins a six-day engagement at Loews Georgetown on Tuesday. The sponsoring organizations include the Italian Ministry of Culture, Cinecitta, the National Italian American Foundation and the Naples Chamber of Commerce. The showings encompass tributes to director Michelangelo Antonioni, whose L’Avventura and Red Desert are among the revivals, and the late actor Massimo Troisi, best known for his valedictory role as the title character of “Il Postino” in 1994. Five of his movies, not counting “Il Postino,” will be shown during the festival.

The new titles include two of the leading Italian contenders as the official entry for 2004 Academy Award consideration in best foreign language film category: Sergio Castellitto’s Don’t Move and Gianni Amelio’s The House Keys. Giancarlo Giannini and F. Murray Abraham are expected to be participants during the festival. Mr. Abraham is a principal cast member of My Father ? Rua Alguem 5555, which deals with the search for Dr. Josef Mengele, portrayed by Charlton Heston, in what seems likely to be his concluding role after 54 years as a leading film actor. Both advance tickets and same-day admissions are available at the theater, 3111 K St. NW. For detailed information consult the Web site, www.washingtonitalia.com.

Gary Arnold

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