Artist Nicolas Party will join the Hirshhorn to share insights into the making of Draw the Curtain, his largest work to date.
Commissioned by the Hirshhorn to wrap the full 360-degree exterior of our building while its façade undergoes critical repairs, Draw the Curtain is composed of original pastel works digitally collaged and printed onto industrial scrim. The site-specific public artwork samples a rich selection of curtain images from across art history and combines them with the artist’s signature portraits. For the first time, the vibrant colors and rich texture of Party’s well-known pastels have been transposed into an entirely new medium.
Draw the Curtain has transformed the Hirshhorn’s façade into a unified canvas that stands out against the landscape of predominantly neo-classical buildings on the National Mall. Party’s magnetic imagery encourages visitors and passersby to “peek” behind the curtain, exploring the meaning of this historic, symbolic space. Through this work, Party addresses themes of dupery and illusion, inviting us to question what lies behind the façades of the buildings in our nation’s capital.
Party first worked with the Hirshhorn in 2017 to create a site-specific painting on our curved gallery walls—a 400-ft mural of dawn and dusk titled sunrise, sunset, inspired in part by the words of Barack Obama.