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Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden Announces Exhibitions and Special Projects through 2010

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Media only:     Gabriel Riera   (202) 633-4765; rierag@si.edu
Public only:     (202) 633-1000; www.hirshhorn.si.edu 

Located in the nation’s capital, the Hirshhorn shares the works of international modern and contemporary artists with an audience of more than 750,000 visitors each year. The coming year is marked by an unprecedented look at the defining role that cinema plays in contemporary culture and how artists have increasingly recognized and responded to this phenomenon. Opening early in 2008 is “The Cinema Effect: Illusion, Reality and the Moving Image,” a major exhibition organized by the Hirshhorn that will be on view from Feb. through Sept. Presented as two consecutive exhibitions titled “Dreams” and “Realisms,” the unusual structure of the “Cinema Effect” represents a departure from the museum’s typical approach to programming and a commitment to exploring this topical subject in depth. Along with the museum’s Black Box space for new media and its regular film programs, 2008 stands out as a significant year for the Hirshhorn and its presentation of film and video.

In addition, during the last months of 2007, the Hirshhorn will offer presentations that range from a newly commissioned sculpture installation by Dan Graham for the Sculpture Garden to an exploration of modern painting with “Morris Louis Now: An American Master Revisited.” Also on view will be “Currents: Recent Acquisitions,” a major showcase of contemporary works brought into the collection since 2004. Further ahead are monographic exhibitions focusing on the works of Louise Bourgeois, Yves Klein, Guillermo Kuitca and Anne Truitt.

“Black Box: Mircea Cantor”
Sept. 17–Dec. 9, 2007
Soon after the Romanian borders opened in the early 1990s, Mircea Cantor (Romanian, born 1977) hitchhiked across Europe, a journey that shaped his philosophy of life and his approach to making art. Cantor’s screening at the Hirshhorn includes “Deeparture” (2005), a suspenseful film that documents the interaction between a wolf and a deer within the unusual setting of a small gallery space. Cantor’s work is a disturbingly silent examination of ideas about nature and dominance played out in a time-distorting loop. The Hirshhorn’s Black Box presents recent film and video works by a diverse range of emerging and established international artists. This presentation is organized by associate curator Kelly Gordon. Films run continuously during museum hours.

“Morris Louis Now: An American Master Revisited”
Sept. 20–Jan. 6, 2008
(Media Preview: Sept. 19, 10 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.)
In a startling burst of creativity from 1954 to 1962, Morris Louis produced more than 600 canvases that represented an important new direction in painting. His innovative method of “staining” unprimed canvas with thinned acrylic pigments continues to inspire contemporary artists. The exhibition is accompanied by two related gallery installations. One gallery offers insights into the Hirshhorn’s groundbreaking conservation techniques developed to preserve and restore poured-paint canvases by various artists. A gallery on the third floor features Color Field paintings from the Hirshhorn’s collection by Helen Frankenthaler, Kenneth Noland and Jules Olitski. The exhibition is organized by the High Museum of Art in Atlanta. The Hirshhorn’s presentation is coordinated by Senior Curator Valerie Fletcher. This exhibition is supported by Marcella Louis Brenner and by Harriet and Elliott Goldstein. The presentation at the Hirshhorn is made possible through the generous support of the Hirshhorn’s Board of Trustees and National Benefactors and donors to the Hirshhorn Exhibition Fund and Annual Circle.

“Currents: Recent Acquisitions”
Oct. 18–March 16, 2008
On view in the Hirshhorn’s lower-level galleries this fall are a number of important recent acquisitions, including a selection of works acquired through the Contemporary Acquisitions Council (CAC), a membership group that brings works by emerging artists into the museum’s collection. During its inaugural year, the group helped the museum acquire 22 new works in a range of media by artists from DC, London, Dublin, New York City, Toronto, Mexico City and elsewhere. Also on view will be other recent additions to the collection such as Lee Friedlander’s “The Hirshhorn Museum Sculpture Garden” (1978), a suite of 52 gelatin silver prints taken of the building and garden soon after the museum opened. The selection of acquisitions for this exhibition reflects the great diversity of works being acquired by the Hirshhorn, ranging from conceptual photography to sculpture. This exhibition is organized by Curator Anne Ellegood.

Dan Graham: “For Gordon Bunshaft”
Fall 2007
The Hirshhorn has commissioned a new piece for the Sculpture Garden by conceptual artist Dan Graham. “For Gordon Bunshaft” (2007) is a site-specific work placed near the reflecting pool and consists of a triangular pavilion with two-way mirrors and an open wooden lattice. The two-way mirrors allow visitors standing both inside and outside to see themselves and each other as well as the surrounding landscape. Graham has described these structures of mirror and wood as hybrids: one side derived from traditional Japanese architecture, while the other two allude to modern corporate architecture. Graham has long been recognized as one of the key figures in the evolution of conceptual art. This commission affirms the Hirshhorn’s emphasis on working with living artists and incorporating contemporary pieces into its noted Sculpture Garden. This is the first work by the artist to enter the collection.

“Black Box: Rivane Neuenschwander”
Dec. 17–April 20, 2008
Rivane Neuenschwander’s films include themes of chance and improvisation. The artist is best known for her photographic series and was a finalist for the Hugo Boss award in 2004. Neuenschwander was born in Brazil, where she currently lives and works. Included in the Black Box presentation is “Quarta-Feira de Cinzas/Epilogue” (2006), which is Portuguese for “Ash Wednesday.” The film is a collaboration with artist Cao Guimaraes and offers a mesmerizing close-up view of a community of ants hauling large, thin, colored flecks of confetti from Carnival celebrations.

“The Cinema Effect: Illusion, Reality, and the Moving Image”

Part I: “Dreams,” Feb. 14–May 11, 2008
(Media Preview: Feb. 13, 10 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.)

Part II: “Realisms,” June 19–Sept. 7, 2008
(Media Preview: June 18, 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.)

The cinema was the unrivaled art form of the 20th century. Film, as well as later incarnations like television and the internet, has penetrated to the culture’s core so that the very boundaries between “real life” and make-believe have become at least blurred, if not indecipherable. Artists have increasingly recognized and responded to this phenomenon.

“The Cinema Effect” is a two-part exhibition that focuses on the contemporary moving image and the ways in which these works of art adapt, challenge or reflect the influence of cinema. Both exhibitions include film and media installations by a range of international artists including Darren Almond, Paul Chan, Tacita Dean, Stan Douglas, Kota Ezawa, Omer Fast, Gary Hill, Runa Islam, Isaac Julien, Anthony McCall, Steve McQueen, Wolfgang Stachle, Tony Oursler, Kelly Richardson and Andy Warhol among others.

The first exhibition, “Dreams,” addresses film’s ability to transport us out of the ordinary and into a dream world. Using a series of installations, the exhibition moves through the different stages of consciousness and dreaming, from those moments between wakefulness and sleep to the darker recesses of the imagination and fantasy. “Dreams” is organized by Chief Curator Kerry Brougher and Associate Curator Kelly Gordon. At the heart of the second exhibition, “Realisms” is the irony that in our digital age, in which it becomes increasingly easy to capture real life in real time, the distinctions between fact and fiction have become complicated and difficult to decipher. “Realisms,” is organized by Curator Anne Ellegood and Assistant Curator Kristen Hileman.

“Directions—Amy Sillman”
March 13–July 6, 2008 (subject to change)
New York-based painter Amy Sillman produces works that are intimate, psychological and full of humor and pathos. At the same time, they are remarkably analytical and intellectual investigations into the forms and qualities of painting as a medium. Combining calligraphic, gestural areas with large bands of color that often serve as outlines, Sillman resists prescribed categories within painting and allows her works to remain ambiguous. In her most recent large-scale paintings, the spaces become increasingly sculptural as she builds bold, overlapping sections while continuously rearranging them. Fascinated by the act of coupling, Sillman has recently been creating a body of work that begins by observing couples that she knows, translating her “findings” into a range of visual interpretations. This exhibition is organized by Curator Anne Ellegood.

“Louise Bourgeois”
Feb. 26–May 17, 2009
The Hirshhorn Museum presents the first major survey since 1995 of the work of the French-born artist Louise Bourgeois (born 1911). Bourgeois has worked in dialogue with most of the major international avant-garde artistic movements of the 20th century, from Surrealism to Conceptual art, but has always remained uniquely apart, powerfully inventive and often at the forefront of contemporary practice. Engaging in a wide variety of both modern and traditional techniques, Bourgeois has explored her themes in a great variety of styles from abstraction to the realism of the readymade. The exhibition is organized by the Tate Modern.

“Anne Truitt”
June 25–Sept. 13, 2009
The first major exhibition of Truitt’s work since 1974, “Anne Truitt” is a full survey of the sculpture and two-dimensional works made during the artist’s 40-year career. A variety of three-dimensional works will be on view, including some suggestive of vernacular architectural forms from the artist’s native Eastern Shore in which she explored the effects of scale and proportion. The retrospective also presents the column sculptures that became the hallmark of Truitt’s profoundly focused practice. In many ways acting as a painter as well as a sculptor, the artist wrapped color around the corners of these sculptures, creating visually poetic relationships between the structural plane and the color plane. In the early 1960’s, she was inspired to create reduced geometric forms after seeing works by Ad Reinhardt and Barnett Newman. Ultimately, Truitt pursued an independent course in her art making, breaking away from the Color Field artists often associated with Washington, D.C., as well as the movement now known as Minimalism. Truitt was born in Baltimore, Maryland, but lived in Washington for most of her adult life and has been largely under-recognized for her contribution to post-1960 art. The exhibition is organized by Assistant Curator Kristen Hileman and will be accompanied by the first complete monograph on the artist.

“Guillermo Kuitca: Paintings and Works on Paper, 1982–2008”
June–September 2010
The first comprehensive retrospective of Guillermo Kuitca’s art to travel in the United States in fifteen years is being co-organized by the Albright-Knox Art Gallery with the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden and the Miami Art Museum. Examining over two decades of the artist’s painting and including approximately 45 canvases and 20 works on paper made between 1982 and 2008, “Guillermo Kuitca” opens in Miami in October 2009 and travels to the Albright-Knox in February 2010. The Hirshhorn will present the exhibition from June through Sept. 2010. The exhibition is initiated by Hirshhorn Director Olga Viso and curated by Albright-Knox Senior Curator Doug Dreishpoon.

“Yves Klein”
Feb. 11-May 23, 2010
The first American retrospective in nearly 30 years of this highly influential French artist’s career, “Yves Klein” will examine the artist’s life and work from the mid-1950’s to his untimely death in 1962. Artist, composer, judo master, Rosicrucian, proto-conceptualist, and performance artist, Klein was a multi-faceted talent who believed in the transformative power of art. In his series, including the “Monochromes,” “Anthropometries,” “Cosmogonies,” “Air Architecture,” “Fire Paintings,” “Sponge Reliefs” and “Actions,” Klein sought to place the immaterial at the heart of his work. This exhibition is co-organized by the Hirshhorn Museum and The Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. The exhibition is co-curated by Hirshhorn Deputy Director and Chief Curator Kerry Brougher and Walker Deputy Director and Chief Curator Philippe Vergne.

About the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, the Smithsonian’s museum of international modern and contemporary art, has approximately 11,500 paintings, sculptures, mixed media installations and works on paper in its collection. The Hirshhorn maintains an active and diverse exhibition program and offers an array of free public programs that explore the art and artists of our time. The museum, located at Independence Avenue and Seventh Street, S.W., is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (closed Dec. 25), and admission is free. Visit www.hirshhorn.si.edu for more information or to download Hirshhorn Podcasts on the collection and exhibitions as well as talks with artists and curators.

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