Hirshhorn Plaza

Saturday, September 30, 2006

“Ways of Seeing: John Baldessari Explores the Collection”
Through Spring 2007

The Hirshhorn Museum has invited American artist John Baldessari to be the first artist to organize an installation using works drawn from the museum’s holdings, offering the public new perspectives on the Hirshhorn’s renowned collection of modern and contemporary art. For “Ways of Seeing,” Baldessari selected a wide range of works—from the height of modernism to contemporary pieces—some of which have not been on view for decades. Included in the installation are paintings by Milton Avery, Philip Guston and Thomas Eakins, photography (also by Eakins) and sculpture by Emily Kaufman. In addition to the artist’s installation of the collection, four early works by Baldessari, recently given to the Hirshhorn, are on view along with additional key early works by the artist from other collections. The Hirshhorn developed “Ways of Seeing,” an on-going project that invites noted visual artists, authors and filmmakers to create installations from the Hirshhorn’s collection, as part of its commitment to bringing the voices and vision of artists forward. The project is organized by Assistant Curator Kristen Hileman and is supported by the Hirshhorn’s Board of Trustees and members of the Hirshhorn’s Annual Circle.

Black Box: Jesper Just 
August 23–December 10
The Hirshhorn’s Black Box presents recent film and video works by a diverse range of emerging international artists. Danish artist Jesper Just (b. 1974), who currently lives and works in Copenhagen, creates short films distinguished by their quirky scenarios and meticulous production techniques. His vignettes focus on universal juxtapositions, including age versus youth and macho camaraderie versus suppressed sexuality, which question traditional male stereotypes and roles. Danish actor Johannes Lilleøre plays the central character in these dark, vivid dreamscapes about shifts in power and loss of control. Included are “No Man is an Island II” (2004) and “Something to Love” (2005). The artist will present additional films and talk about his work as part of our Meet the Artist series on November 8. This presentation is organized by associate curator Kelly Gordon. Films run continuously during regular Museum hours.

“The Uncertainty of Objects and Ideas: Recent Sculpture” 
Oct. 26–Jan. 7, 2007
“The Uncertainty of Objects and Ideas” features the work of nine international contemporary artists: Andrea Cohen, Björn Dahlem, Isa Genzken, Mark Handforth, Rachel Harrison, Evan Holloway, Charles Long, Mindy Shapero and Franz West. These freestanding, self-contained objects result from labor-intensive processes in which materials are carefully combined and articulated—often deliberately incorporating the handmade with mass-produced consumer goods. Four galleries will also be installed with “Collection in Context,” by three artists—Rachel Harrison, Evan Holloway, and Charles Long—(as well as exhibition curator Anne Ellegood) who have selected works from the Hirshhorn’s collection. These groupings provide visitors with insight into the artists’ individual creative influences and working methods. The accompanying catalogue published by the Hirshhorn Museum includes essays by Johanna Burton and Anne Ellegood. The exhibition is made possible by the Hirshhorn’s Board of Trustees with additional support from Barbara and Aaron Levine, The Audrey and Sydney Irmas Charitable Foundation, the Peter Norton Family Foundation, and the Museum’s National Benefactors.

“Directions—Mark Handforth”
Fall 2006–Summer 2007
As part of the Hirshhorn’s “Directions” series, artist Mark Handforth (British, b. Hong Kong, 1969) will create a site-specific, large-scale painted aluminum star just outside the entrance to the museum that both engages and inspires contemplation. Is this a supernatural star fallen from the cosmos? Is it a large corporate or civic sign that has toppled off the back of a flatbed truck and landed in front of the museum? Whatever meanings visitors attribute, the uncertain quality of this piece offers an appropriate starting point to the “Uncertainty” exhibition that encourages viewers to consider sculpture as both object and idea, even before entering the museum’s front door. Additional sculptures by the artist are on view in “The Uncertainty of Objects and Ideas: Recent Sculpture” on view on the second floor of the Hirshhorn from Oct. 26–Jan. 7, 2007. This project is organized by Associate Curator Anne Ellegood. The Hirshhorn’s “Directions” has brought the work of leading and emerging international artists to Washington since 1987. Support for the series is provided by Trellis Fund and Ray A. Graham III.

Black Box: Magnus Wallin 
Dec. 15–May 20, 2007
Magnus Wallin (b. 1965), who lives and works in Malmo, Sweden, began his career as a performance and installation artist creating visceral, intense situations. He is best known for his short animations that have the quality of modern myths. Wallin employs the aesthetics of video games, challenging his characters with obstacles while placing the viewers in situations in which they are not in control of the outcome. The artist attributes his scenarios to his own dreams and nightmares. After building models and detailed storyboards, Wallin further develops the scenarios with a team of animators. Wallin’s “Exercise Parade” (2001) and “Anatomic Flop” (2003) will be on view. The Hirshhorn’s Black Box presents recent film and video works by a diverse range of emerging international artists. This presentation is organized by Associate Curator Kelly Gordon. Films run continuously during regular museum hours.

“Refract, Reflect, Project: Light Works from the Hirshhorn Collection”
Feb. 15–April 1, 2007
Throughout the history of art, light has been linked to fundamental questions of vision and perception. “Refract, Reflect, Project: Light Works from the Hirshhorn Collection” highlights objects from the collection in which light—as substance and subject—is central. Encompassing important practices and movements from the 20th century to the present, these works include examples of Bauhaus, Minimalist, kinetic, immersive environment and conceptual art. Among the artists featured are Josef Albers, Thomas Wilfred, Joseph Kosuth, Dan Flavin, James Turrell and Olafur Eliasson. This presentation is organized by Associate Curator Anne Ellegood.

“Directions—Pae White and Virgil Marti”
March 9–July 29, 2007
As part of the Hirshhorn’s “Directions” series, artists Pae White and Virgil Marti will combine their individual creative practices to collaborate on a site-specific installation in the museum’s lobby. White’s installations are often exhibited in unexpected public spaces or in areas not typically devoted to the display of art. Marti is a master printer who is known for inserting elements of interior design, such as fabric and wallpaper, into fine art contexts. Together their work addresses how the transformation of a space changes its context. The exhibition is organized by Programs Manager Milena Kalinovska. The Hirshhorn’s “Directions” has brought the work of leading and emerging international artists to Washington since 1987. Support for the series is provided by Trellis Fund and Ray A. Graham III.

“Wolfgang Tillmans”
May 10–Aug. 12, 2007 (Armand Hammer Museum of Art, Los Angeles, Sept. 17–Jan. 7, 2007)
German-born artist Wolfgang Tillmans is internationally recognized for his photography that captures often overlooked subjects and moments in everyday life. The exhibition at the Hirshhorn, co-organized by The Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago (MCA) and the Armand Hammer Museum of Art and Cultural Center in Los Angeles, is the first major solo exhibition of this artist to tour in the United States. Tillmans’s work concentrates on deceptively casual views of friends and acquaintances caught at their most unguardedly “human” moments. He presents his photographs in distinctive installations in which variously sized photographs are affixed to the walls in deliberate, yet seemingly random, arrangements in order to create a variety of physical and emotional relationships with the viewer based on placement and scale. Tillmans’s installation at the Hirshhorn features approximately 300 photographs. The exhibition is co-curated by Dominic Molon, associate curator, MCA, and Russell Ferguson, deputy director of exhibitions and chief curator, Hammer Museum. The presentation at the Hirshhorn is organized by Assistant Curator Kristen Hileman.

“The Cinema Effect” 
Part I: “Dreams,” Sept. 20, 2007–Jan. 6, 2008
Part II: “Realisms,” Feb. 14–May 11, 2008

Film and video technology (as well as television and the internet) and their vocabularies have permeated contemporary culture so that the very boundaries between “real life” and make-believe are often indistinct—sometimes to the point of being indecipherable. “The Cinema Effect” is a two-part exhibition that will focus on contemporary works of art and the ways in which they adapt, challenge or reflect the influence of cinema and its blurring of definitions of fact and fiction. The exhibition will include film and media installations by a range of international artists including Omar Fast, Gary Hill, Isaac Julien and Steve McQueen, each who have works recently acquired by the Hirshhorn. The exhibition also includes works in other media to demonstrate the pervasiveness of cinema’s effect on contemporary culture. “Dreams” explores the experience intrinsic to film viewing—the transition from waking to dream-like state—as well as its darker, voyeuristic implications and is organized by Chief Curator Kerry Brougher and Associate Curator Kelly Gordon. “Realisms,” organized by Associate Curator Anne Ellegood and Assistant Curator Kristen Hileman, focuses on the question of reality verses illusion that is inherent to film and is a defining issue for our culture and for many artists.

About the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, the Smithsonian’s museum of international modern and contemporary art, has some 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 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.

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