July 6, 2012 to January 6, 2013
Dark Matters brings together works from the Hirshhorn’s collection that draw upon the associations and implications of darkness. Darkness is a lack, the absence of light. It evokes notions of mortality, silence, solitude, and loss. Violence may also lurk in the dark, and we dread the unexpected encounter in an unlit space. But darkness can equally symbolize the wiping clean of the slate, a renewal. As darkness absorbs light, it absorbs our gaze, engendering feelings of timelessness and infinity.
Not limited to a particular movement or generation, Dark Matters includes painting, sculpture, photography, and video. Several of the works take emptiness or blankness as their subject. Others challenge the limits of visual perception, inviting close attention to shadowy images that emerge and dissipate. The meanings of darkness are many, and throughout this exhibition, seeing in the dark involves questioning what you see.