This program is online only via YouTube and the Hirshhorn website. 

To celebrate his newest and largest project to date, artist Nicolas Party joined Hirshhorn curator Anne Reeve to let you behind the “curtain” and into his creative mind. His monumental outdoor installation Draw the Curtain debuted on the National Mall Sept. 18.

Commissioned by the Hirshhorn to wrap 360 degrees around our building exterior while its façade undergoes critical repairs, Draw the Curtain is an original pastel work 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. The vibrant colors and rich texture of Party’s well-known pastels will, for the first time, be transposed to an entirely new medium.

Draw the Curtain will transform 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.

This program is presented with generous support from the Embassy of Switzerland.