Hirshhorn Plaza

A major loan exhibition of 136 works by 62 artists cast a sidelong glance at George Orwell’s 1984 as the world entered that titular year. It explored artists’ visionary conceptions – both optimistic and pessimistic – of the 20th century. Paintings, sculptures, architectural projects, works on paper, and a video piece revealed the shift from utopian confidence in an ideal society, as embodied by Futurism, Purism, Bauhaus, de Stijl, and other artistic movements, to the apprehensive disillusionment of the postwar years, as seen in the works of Ben Shahn, Jacob Landau, and others.