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In the galleries: Natural order, and natural disorder, at VisArts at Rockville

 September 21

The sculptures in Jon Rajkovich’s “Falling Interrupted” are assembled partly of man-made substances, yet the pieces at VisArts at Rockville’s Gibbs Street Gallery take their cues from preexisting objects. And because both the artificial and organic materials come mostly from trees, Rajkovich’s vividly colored, highly manipulated constructions can be seen as homages to nature. Found wood commands manufactured wood.

Jon Rajkovich’s “Wishbone,” on view at VisArts at Rockville. (Jon Rajkovich/VisArts at Rockville)

This is most evident in the show’s centerpiece, “Wishbone.” It consists of seven large, linked wooden outlines, each forked like the object for which the whole series is named. Six of the frames are empty, but inside one nestles the branch that determined the shape for all of them. Rather than celebrate nature’s prettiness, Rajkovich extols its genius for producing distinctive forms.

Two of the other sculptures include sections of twisting vine, painted unnatural hues and mounted atop backdrops of synthetic-looking planks. (The sculptor’s materials include plywood and fiberboard.) A third piece is similar, but the length of wood at its center is made rather than found.

The sculptor, who teaches at George Mason University, likes smooth surfaces, cartoon-bright hues and clean, machine-cut curves. But he also savors natural wood grain and bumpy, unplanned contours. While showcasing his wood-shop skills, Rajkovich submits to a higher authority.

Upstairs in Common Ground Gallery, Jeff Einhorn reveals that he has a big head. But it’s getting smaller every second in “A Portrait of the Artist as a Giant Deflating Head.”

A ruler on the wall indicates that the Philadelphia artist’s massive photographic likeness, printed on ballooning Lycra, started at nine feet. Such now-crisp details as individual hairs and pores will lose their definition as the air goes out of Einhorn’s creation. The goal, he says, is to show “the fundamental disorder of things.”

Or course, Lycra is more durable than a lot of stuff that decays and dies in this disordered universe. So the head can always get pumped up again, just like any oversize ego.

Jon Rajkovich: Falling Interrupted and Jeff Einhorn: A Portrait of the Artist as a Giant Deflating Head On view through Oct. 8at VisArts at Rockville, 155 Gibbs St., Rockville. 301-315-8200.visartscenter.org.