Washington Post review of Beauty of Inflections, by Mark Jenkins / by Susan Hostetler

Susan Hostetler and Julia Bloom

A grand swoop of life-size, varicolored birds covers most of the largest uninterrupted wall of the high-ceilinged Athenaeum, where “The Beauty of Inflections” is on display. The birds, made primarily of clay, are the work of District-based artist Susan Hostetler. They flock alongside painted-stick sculptures by Julia Bloom, also of the District, whose constructions suggest nests and baskets but are too airy to be either.

The space defined by birds and branches is central to the effect. Bloom’s and Hostetler’s pieces are generally mounted close to the white walls, so they throw shadows in shifting patterns. Both artists explore the same motifs in [two]-dimensional works on paper or Mylar. The grids and the birds remain compelling when rendered loosely in, respectively, charcoal or gouache and graphite. Bloom’s and Hostetler’s celebrations of nature are also explorations of abstract form.

July 22, 2016