Hirshhorn Plaza

Thursday, July 26, 2012
Barbara Kruger: Belief+Doubt
Barbara Kruger, Belief+Doubt, 2012. © Barbara Kruger. Photo: Cathy Carver.

Images Reveal Dramatic Transformation of the Hirshhorn’s Lower Level
Internationally renowned artist Barbara Kruger has transformed the lower-level lobby of the Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum. With bold graphics and towering text in a high-contrast color scheme of red, white and black, “Belief+Doubt” (2012) immerses visitors in a hall of language. Commissioned as a long-term installation, the site-specific work explores themes of power, money and faith, challenging viewers to resist the temptations of ideological certainty. The full installation will extend into the new museum bookstore and opens Aug. 20, when construction of the store is complete. However, visitors have been able to enjoy a sneak preview of “Belief+Doubt” since the last week of June, when crews began applying printed vinyl to the walls, floor and escalator sides of the space.

Documentation of the installation of Kruger’s work is now available. “What before was an area that people passed through to get someplace else has become a riveting, magnetic work of art,” said Assistant Curator Melissa Ho. “Kruger’s design brilliantly occupies and manipulates the space. Even if you know the lower level and have been working with Kruger’s plans for months, nothing prepares you for seeing the work realized.”

A variety of still photographs is ready for publication today. A time-lapse sequence will be posted on the Hirshhorn website in the near future.

“The reinvigoration of public space can transform a museum and charge circulation areas with meaning,” said J. Tomilson Hill, chairman of the Hirshhorn’s Board of Trustees. “The Hirshhorn’s Barbara Kruger exhibition reimagines the museum’s lower-level lobby as a content-rich space activated by an artist’s voice and vision. I am delighted that the museum is curating its public spaces as rigorously as its galleries, infusing them with rich visual and educational content and making them sites for deeper engagement with the issues that drive contemporary art and life.”

“Barbara Kruger: Belief+Doubt” is organized by the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden and coordinated by Ho. The materials for this project have been donated by 3M.

About the Hirshhorn
The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, the Smithsonian Institution’s museum of international modern and contemporary art, has nearly 12,000 paintings, sculptures, photographs, mixed-media installations, works on paper and new media works in its collection. The Hirshhorn presents varied exhibitions and offers an array of public programs that explore modern and contemporary art. Located at Independence Avenue and Seventh Street S.W., the museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (except Dec. 25). Admission to the galleries and special programs is free. For more information about exhibitions and events, please visit hirshhorn.si.edu. Follow the Hirshhorn on Facebook at facebook.com/hirshhorn and on Twitter at twitter.com/hirshhorn. To request accessibility services, please contact Kristy Maruca at marucak@si.edu or (202) 633-2796, preferably two weeks in advance.


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