Washington, DC

Julee Holcombe

Conner Contemporary Art

Bill Viola, Cindy Sherman, and Hiroshi Sugimoto, among others, have successfully refreshed the genre of Old Master portraiture via distinct contemporary approaches that retain the haunting, timeless quality of their historical inspiration. Julee Holcombe’s “Homo Bulla” (Man Is a Bubble), her debut solo show at Conner Contemporary Art, ventured fearlessly into this realm with seven portrait photographs that range from utterly intoxicating to largely resistible. In this bifurcated show, three group portraits stood out for their confidence and authority; the others seemed experimental, tenuous, or simply incomplete.

Holcombe’s updated dadaist technique involves shooting hundreds of digital photographs, then using a computer to montage them into seamless compositions. It’s an approach that risks visual chaos, but she succeeds by employing a controlled optical dissonance. A complicated process

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