Tag Archives: DC

Orchids: A Moment

IMG_9989.jpgThe Hirshhorn Museum of Art had an interesting exhibition on view last month. Surprisingly it was not an art exhibition. Instead it was a showcase of orchids. The Smithsonian Gardens Orchid Collection contains over 8,000 different types of orchids, a selection of which were exhibited. A grid wall display contained niches to hold the orchid vases and tv screens displayed time-lapse videos of orchids blooming.

IMG_9994.jpg

IMG_9992

IMG_9990

 

Man with a Briefcase

IMG_9810.jpgMan with a Briefcase // Jonathan Borofsky // COR-TEN steel // 1979-1988

A colossal statue of a 27 foot tall man sporting a hat and carrying a briefcase is located outside the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington D.C. This figure resembles the classic image of a typical salesman, walking door to door. This subject is a reoccurring theme by Borofsky, seen in other large scale statues in cities such as Forth Worth, TX and Minneapolis, MN. This particular statue is a newly acquired work by SAAM.

Our View From Here

IMG_0085Our View From Here // Linn Meyer

Swirling on the second floor of the Hirshhorn Museum is the site-specific drawing “Our View from Here” by Linn Meyer.  For this piece Meyer drew directly onto the wall of the gallery, creating a total of 400 linear feet. As visitors walk around the gallery their perspective of the work changes, the drawing spirals and twirls around the circular gallery space. Interested in seeing Meyer’s drawing process? Check out this time-lapse of her working: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bYPwZv2Ul0M

IMG_0086Our View From Here // Linn Meyer

House I

IMG_9839.jpgHouse I // Roy Lichtenstein // fabricated & painted aluminum // 1996, fabricated 1998 // 115 x 176 x 52 in

In the sculpture garden at the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. is a brightly colored house, “House I.” Well, a façade of a house. Created by Roy Lichtenstein and painted in primary colors (yellow, red and blue) and white, this house resembles his famous comic book style paintings. “House I” appears to be slanted, about to be blown down in the slightest gust of wind. This illusion plays with visitor’s perspective in a playful and engaging manner.

Belief + Doubt

IMG_0009.jpgBelief + Doubt // Barbara Kruger // vinyl // 2012

Perhaps one of the most photographed works at the Hirshhorn Museum in D.C. is Barbara Kruger’s “Belief + Doubt.” Sprawling across the floor, walls and escalators on the museum’s bottom level are white block vinyl letters of phrases. My favorite phrase is located on the wall above a doorway and is by Malcolm X: “Give your brain as much attention as you do your hair and you’ll be a thousand times better off.” The title is inspired by the text on the back wall: “Belief + Doubt = Sanity.” This site specific installation encourages viewers to explore belief and doubt in their everyday life through Kruger’s carefully chosen words, questions and sentences.

IMG_9998.jpgBelief + Doubt // Barbara Kruger // vinyl // 2012

IMG_0005

Belief + Doubt // Barbara Kruger // vinyl // 2012

IMG_0002

Belief + Doubt // Barbara Kruger // vinyl // 2012

Smithsonian American Art Museum

IMG_9862.jpgElectronic Superhighway: Continental U.S., Alaska, Hawaii // Nam June Paik // forty-nine-channel closed-circuit video installation, neon, steel & electronic components

Located in the heart of our nation’s capital is an art museum dedicated to acquiring and exhibiting American art. Known as SAAM, the Smithsonian American Art Museum has an extensive collection of works including early America, the 19th and 20th centuries and portraiture, to name a few. Here are a few that caught my eye.

IMG_9884.jpgSnails Space with Vari-Lites, “Painting as Performance” // David Hockney // oil & acrylic on canvas with Vari Lights // 1995-1996

IMG_9860

Drag-on // Karin Davie // oil on canvas // 1999

IMG_9859

Sculpture Group Symbolizing World’s Communication in the Atomic Age // Harry Bertoia // brazed & welded brass & bronze // 1959

IMG_9855

Nenuphar // Alexander Calder // sheet steel // 1968

IMG_9889

William Jefferson Clinton (Forty-second president) // Chuck Close // oil on canvas // 2006

IMG_9908

Tableau Noir // Alexander Calder // painted steel // 1970 // 140 x 145 x 140 in

The Abstract Flag

IMG_9816Upon entering the American History Museum in Washington D.C. you are confronted with a 40 foot long flag. Known as “The Abstract Flag,” this piece hangs on the wall directly outside the room in which The Star Spangled Banner flag is displayed. The location of the work serves to inspire future endeavors. Consisting of 960 pixels of mirrored polycarbonate, “The Abstract Flag’s” metallic surface reflects light in a fashion to resemble movement, or the flag waving.

Kusama Infinity Mirrors

IMG_0117.jpg

Known for her obsession with polka dots and her infinity rooms, Yayoi Kusama has become one of the most influential and prominent artists in today’s art world. Currently there is a retrospective of her work in the Hirshhorn Museum, which includes works such as Infinity Mirror Room – Phalli’s Field and her iconic pumpkin pieces such as the sculpture Pumpkin. Not going to be in DC? Don’t worry. The show will be traveling to five other museums in the US and Canada: The Seattle Art Museum, The Broad, Art Gallery of Ontario, Cleveland Museum of Art and the High Museum of Art.

IMG_0095.jpgPumpkin // Yayoi Kunama // fiber-reinforced plastic // 2016

IMG_0050

IMG_0014

IMG_0048

A Tiffany Treasure

IMG_0513 2

One of the nice surprises for visitors to the American capital is the ability to view Washington DC through beautiful Tiffany glass. Louis Comfort Tiffany, the son of the famed jeweler, left his mark at the American Red Cross National Headquarters with his stained glass additions to the Board of Governors Hall. This three panel work harks back to the mission of the Red Cross, to help the sick and injured. The image above is the central panel depicting a cluster of knights with spears and one carrying the flag of the Red Cross.

Be sure to look for Tiffany’s artistry in glass if you ever have the chance!