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Wednesday, July 3, 2002

Below is the abbreviated list of forthcoming exhibitions through spring 2003 at the Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. Please contact the Public Affairs office for press preview dates, slides/photos/digital images and further information on catalogs, curators/authors, organizing institutions, itineraries, sponsors and related programs. In most cases, a detailed exhibition summary or news release with a full complement of images is available to members of the press by contacting Sidney Lawrence or Kristen Hileman (by phone (202) 357-1618 or by fax (202) 786-2682).

“Metropolis in the Machine Age”
Feb. 28 – Sept. 2, 2002
This collection-based show of over 30 of the Hirshhorn’s works from the 1910s through 1930s, plus objects and documentation from other Smithsonian sources, explores avant-garde art inspired by the modern city. Gleaming skyscrapers, powerful workers, and the dynamism of city life were celebrated on both sides of the Atlantic as the symbols of a utopian, “machine-tooled” future by photographers, sculptors, and painters who often employed a streamlined geometric style. Among the objects included are Berenice Abbott’s photos of New York, Saul Baizerman’s sculptures of city workers, Robert Delaunay’s abstracted painting of the Eiffel Tower, Louis Lozowick’s prismatic cityscapes, and a reconstruction of Vladimir Tatlin’s “Monument to the Third International.” Second floor. (Valerie Fletcher and Judith Zilczer, cocurators)

“Open City: Street Photographs since 1950”
June 20 – Sept. 8, 2002
Enlarged from its spring 2001 premiere at the Museum of Modern Art, Oxford, this exhibition charts the street as a theater of human activity, beginning with the raw, edgy imagery of the 1950s and 1960s and ending with contemporary approaches influenced by advertising, fashion and cinema. The show includes over 130 photographs by 19 international artists–Nobuyoshi Araki, Philip-Lorca diCorcia, Terence Donovan, William Eggleston, Robert Frank, Lee Friedlander, Nigel Henderson, Nikki S. Lee, Susan Meiselas, Daido Moriyama, Catherine Opie, Allan Sekula, Raghubir Singh, Beat Streuli, Thomas Struth, Wolfgang Tillmans, Jeff Wall and Garry Winogrand. After a second stop in England, the show traveled to Bilbão, Spain, before this final venue in Washington. Second floor. (Kerry Brougher of the Hirshhorn and Russell Ferguson of the UCLA Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, cocurators; 205-page illustrated catalog).

“Directions–Ron Mueck”
July 18 – Oct. 27, 2002
Four hyper-realistic mixed-media figures are featured in this first solo museum show for London-based Australian sculptor Ron Mueck (b. 1958). The show’s centerpiece is the Hirshhorn’s monumental “Untitled (Big Man),” 2000. Lifelike but never lifesize, Mueck’s imagery is powerful–a tiny newborn is caught in concentration, a colossal mask sleeps, a half-life-size old woman lies curled up under a blanket as if on her deathbed. Directions Gallery, third floor. (Sidney Lawrence, curator; brochure)

“Zero to Infinity: Arte Povera, 1962-1972”
Oct. 24, 2002 – Jan. 20, 2003
This show features over 140 sculptures and large-scale installations by 14 artists who were part of a loose-knit Italian movement known as Arte Povera (literally, “poor art”). During the 1960s, Arte Povera propelled Italy to the center of the international art scene with its focus on the experimental nature of art as a true avant-garde practice. Coinciding with the end an economic boom in Italy, as well as with student and workers’ strikes, Arte Povera evolved as a rejection of painting and consumer culture. Coal, wood, wool, glass, plaster, and other “poor” materials appear in diverse works by Giovanni Anselmo, Alighiero Boetti, Pier Paolo Calzolari, Luciano Fabro, Piero Gilardi, Jannis Kounellis, Mario Merz, Marisa Merz, Giulio Paolini, Pino Pascali, Giuseppe Penone, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Emilio Prini and Gilberto Zorio. Co-organized by the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, and the Tate Modern, London, this is the first trans-Atlantic show on Arte Povera since the exhibition organized by Germano Celant at New York’s P.S. 1 in 1985. The Hirshhorn is the final stop on a 2001-2002 tour that includes the Tate Modern, the Walker, and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. Second floor. (Richard Flood of the Walker and Frances Morris of the Tate Modern, cocurators; 376-page illustrated catalog.)

“Directions–Cecily Brown”
Nov. 14, 2002 – Mar. 2, 2003
Born in London and based in New York, painter Cecily Brown (b. 1969) recasts erotically charged scenes in her large format, gestural, sensuous abstract paintings. This first solo museum show for Brown will feature seven works, including the never before exhibited “Dog Day Afternoon,” 1999, in which the artist’s body markings are part of the composition, and “Bacchanal,” 2001, exemplifying Brown’s more recent investigations into landscape painting. Embracing the venerable tradition of oil painting, the artist re-directs and subverts pictorial and thematic strategies invented by Willem de Kooning, Yves Klein and other painters of past generations. Brown creates a provocative tension between the bold formal qualities of her canvases and the intimate figurative content hidden beneath their abstract layers. Directions Gallery, third floor. (Judith Zilczer, curator; brochure)

“Gerhard Richter: Forty Years of Painting”
Feb. 27 – May 18, 2003
This forty-year survey, organized by The Museum of Modern Art, New York, is the most comprehensive exhibition of the paintings of the highly influential German artist Gerhard Richter (b. 1932) ever seen in North America. The show of some 150 canvases, representing Richter’s entire career, includes landscapes, portraits and other photo-based paintings executed in his realistic yet blurred signature style, as well as gestural abstractions. The subjects of the artist’s representational work have ranged from newspaper headlines and mundane household objects to subtly romantic re-interpretations of “old master”-like images through powerful military and political images. Richter’s mastery of many genres and subtle commentary on the mass media’s influence is singular in contemporary painting. The show comes to the Hirshhorn after stops in Chicago and San Francisco. Second floor. (Robert Storr of The Museum of Modern Art, New York, curator; catalog)

Permanent Collection (title forthcoming)
mid-June 2003 – mid-Janury 2004
The Hirshhorn celebrates its thirtieth year as a collecting institution with this installation, conceived by Director Ned Rifkin and assembled and installed by a curatorial team headed by Kerry Brougher, Chief Curator. Since opening in 1974 with 19th and 20th century art donated to the Nation by philanthropist Joseph H. Hirshhorn (1899-1981), the Hirshhorn has actively built its collection to fulfill its role as a national museum of modern and contemporary art. The six-month project marks the first time since the museum’s inauguration in October 1974 that the entire complex–galleries, garden, and plaza–will be devoted strictly to works from the permanent collection. Changing installations and ongoing education programs will accompany the show.

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