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Found 11 results

  1. Outliers and American Vanguard Art "Some 300 works explore three distinct periods in American history when mainstream and outlier artists intersected, ushering in new paradigms based on inclusion, integration, and assimilation. The exhibition aligns work by such diverse artists as Charles Sheeler, Christina Ramberg, and Matt Mullican with both historic folk art and works by self-taught artists ranging from Horace Pippin to Janet Sobel and Joseph Yoakum. It also examines a recent influx of radically expressive work made on the margins that redefined the boundaries of the mainstream art world, while challenging the very categories of “outsider” and “self-taught.” Historicizing the shifting identity and role of this distinctly American version of modernism’s “other,” the exhibition probes assumptions about creativity, artistic practice, and the role of the artist in contemporary culture."
  2. Getting to this a little late, but if you are looking for FREE cultural events in DC this weekend, this week long immersive Māori program at Natural History looks pretty cool. Daily performances of the Kapa Haka at 1:00pm and 3:30pm. Other programing includes the carving of a 20 foot waka canoe and Tā moko – the art of Māori tattoo, along with 70 traditional Māori art pieces. A friend of mine took her kids and they loved it.
  3. I have been remiss in not posting about this lovely exhibit at the Freer Sackler. The Art of the Qur'an is a quiet exhibit, and although I've seen a handful of advertisements, it deserves wider publicity. The exhibit features over 50 Qur'ans dating from the early eighth to the seventeenth century and tells the story of "how the Qur’an was transformed from an orally transmitted message into a fixed text, transcribed and illuminated by some of the most skilled artists of the Islamic world" This is a show where reading the wall text is important as they guide you through the various changes that have occurred to Qur'ans over the ages, such as the introduction of medallions and arabesques, to indicate emphasis of text. At the end of the show the Qur'an has been transformed into works of art, used by rulers as political currency. This is a show to set aside some time and slowly immerse yourself in the history of the Qur'an and the history of Islam. NY Times review
  4. Bruce Conner's assessment of his own work, painted on the wall at the entrance of the "Bruce Connor: It's All True" exhibit.
  5. From the Phillips' website: "More than 75 years ago, a young artist named Jacob Lawrence (1917–2000) set to work on an ambitious 60-panel series portraying the Great Migration, the movement between the World Wars of over a million African Americans from the rural South to the industrial North in search of a better life. The mass exodus prompted by wartime shortages and oppressive conditions for blacks in the South, was the largest population shift of African Americans since the time of slavery...The Phillips Collection presents all 60 panels of The Migration Series, reuniting the Phillips’s odd-numbered panels with the Museum of Modern Art’s even-numbered panels from their split acquisition in 1942."
  6. Opening this week, "She Who Tells a Story - Women Photographers from Iran and the Arab World" is a timely exhibition featuring "more than 80 photographs challenging stereotypes surrounding the people, landscapes, and cultures of Iran and the Arab world." Artists include Shirin Neshat (who just had a large solo exhibit at the Hirshhorn), Lalla Essaydi (and her triptych Bullets Revisited #3), and featuring works from Boushra Almutawakel's The Hijab Series. The Washington Post calls it a "landmark exhibit": "Female Photographers Tell Important Stories in Landmark Exhibition" by Roger Catlin on washingtonpost.com
  7. Power and Pathos: Bronze Sculpture of the Hellenistic World is an interesting show at the National Gallery of Art (thru March 20, 2016) featuring 50 bronze sculptures from the Hellenistic Period (approx. 4th century BC to 1st century BC). These sculptures are extremely rare, many of the bronze works from this period have not survived, most have been melted down, destroyed when a ruler went out of favor, lost at sea during transport, or buried during volcano eruptions. The Hellenistic artist Lysippos, the official sculptor of Alexander the Great, is said to have produced over 1,500 works, none of which have survived. Some of the busts are a little repetitive, but the life sized pieces are worth the visit, now often disfigured and missing limbs, several pulled out of the Mediterranean and cracked and pitted with a lovely patina of decay (see the fabulous Victorious Youth "the Getty Bronze").
  8. Gustave Caillebotte was a second tier French Impressionist artist usually written off as the well-to-do financier and collector of his more famous impressionist friends' art work - and indeed he played an important role in underwriting and producing several impressionist exhibitions. During his lifetime he acquired more than 70 pieces of impressionist work and bequeathed his collection to the state, which became the cornerstone of impressionist art in French national museums. The National Gallery's show is part of a recent "rediscovery" of his work and features his two best known pieces - The Floor Scrapers and Paris Street; Rainy Day His paintings of Paris life are indeed quite lovely, his work of the French country life certainly not as iconic as other Impressionists, and his "food porn" paintings of shop windows downright dreadful. All-in-all The Painter's Eye is a compact show and certainly worth visiting to see The Floor Scrapers and Paris Street.
  9. I stopped in at the National Gallery West Building this past weekend, and on the top floor, near the east side of the building, they have a *lot* of paintings from the Corcoran Gallery crammed into about three rooms - many of these works I've never seen before, and this exhibit is worth a visit if you're already at the National Gallery. (Note: The East Building is open, but the galleries are all shut off during renovations, and the only works of art on display are the heavy-duty installations such as Scott Burton's Rock Settees - unless you want to see the building itself, it's currently not worth a visit.) Herschel's recent post about Abraham Lincoln prompts me to post this, as one of the paintings in the Corcoran exhibit is a portrait of Abraham Lincoln, painted in 1860, by George Healy. Standing there, a mere foot away from the portrait, you realize that this is what the man actually looked like. Of note: It is the last painting of Lincoln without a beard.
  10. "Andrew Wyeth: Looking Out, Looking In" now at the National Gallery until November 30, 2014. Call this show a retrospective of Wyeth's love of windows centered around his work Wind from the Sea. So, yes be prepared for room after room of moody atmospheric paintings of windows. What you are really looking for are the little moments - the gnarled wood of a window frame, the lines of leafless branches, the rough surface of stone, the winter light. It's a beautiful show...just a lot of windows.
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