The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden announced plans in March, 2019 to move forward with a renovation and redesign of its Sculpture Garden for the first time since the 1980s. The Museum will be working to develop a new concept for the garden with architect/artist Hiroshi Sugimoto, who successfully renovated the Museum's lobby. See the article at the end of this column regarding Sugimoto's redesign of the lobby. The museum's sunken garden, which is adjacent to the National Mall, is barely visible to Mall and museum visitors. Sugimoto’s early concept calls for "an enhanced entrance facing the National Mall, directly engaging the more than 35 million people who pass through each year. " The new garden design envisions spaces for large-scale contemporary works and performances, as well as intimate spaces for the museum’s modern masterpieces." The initial concept would include reopening the underground passage which was designed by architect Gordon Bunshaft (1909-1990), who designed the Hirshhorn, to connect the garden to the museum plaza. The passage has been closed for 30 years. Dan Sallick, Hirshhorn board chair, commented that “The project would create a ‘front door’ for the Hirshhorn on the National Mall.” Melissa Chiu, director of the Hirshhorn, commented that “As both an artist and an architect, Hiroshi Sugimoto brings a unique perspective to his designs and a deep understanding and respect for Gordon Bunshaft’s original vision for the garden.”
The Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden is exhibiting Enrico David: Gradations of Slow Release, thru September 2.The exhibition is the largest museum survey in the U.S. of the artist's works. The contemporary Italian artist, who is based in London, “employs a variety of media—including sculpture, painting, installation, and works on paper—to develop a dynamic and unique vision of the human form and the ever-shifting sense of being that rests therein. The exhibition is organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, and curated by Michael Darling.
The Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden will present the museum’s first-ever Interactive Exhibitionby contemporary Thai Artist Rirkrit Tiravanija, May 17-July 24.The exhibition - titled Rirkrit Tiravanija: Who’s Afraid of Red, Yellow, and Green - will transform the Hirshhorn’s galleries into a communal dining space in which visitors will be served curry and will be invited to share a meal together. The installation will include a large-scale mural, drawn on the walls over the course of the exhibition. The mural references protests against Thai government policies. The exhibition will also include a series of documentary shorts curated exclusively for the Hirshhorn by Thailand’s leading independent filmmaker and Palme d’Or prize-winner Apichatpong Weerasethakul - in collaboration with the artist. Hirshhorn Director Melissa Chiu has commented that “Tiravanija’s thoughtful practice offers new perspectives on the ways in which art and creativity are used to interpret political and social issues of our time.” The exhibition was organized by Mark Beasley, the museum’s Robert and Arlene Kogod Secretarial Scholar, Curator of Media and Performance Art.
Image below: Rirkrit Tiravanija in Who’s Afraid of Red, Yellow, and Green?, 2010 at 100 Tonson Gallery, Bangkok.Image courtesy of 100 Tonson Gallery, Bangkok.
The Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden has extended the display of Charline von Heyl: Snake Eyes, thru April 21. The exhibition is the largest US museum survey of the pioneering artist to date. More than thirty large-scale paintings reveal the artist’s considerable influence in the field of contemporary art. The exhibition was organized in collaboration with the Deichtorhallen Hamburg, and highlights the artist’s groundbreaking artistic output since 2005, including recent works that point to new developments in her constantly- evolving practice. The exhibition was curated by Hirshhorn Senior Curator Evelyn C. Hankins and Dr. Professor Dirk Luckow, general director at the Deichtorhallen, with curatorial assistance from Sandy Guttman.
Image below: Installation view of Charline von Heyl: Snake Eyes at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, 2018. Left to right: Moky, 2013; Carlotta, 2013; Yellow Guitar, 2010. Courtesy of Charline von Heyl. Photo: Cathy Carver
The Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden is exhibiting Pulseby Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, thru April 28.Pulse is the Hirshhorn's largest interactive technology exhibition to date. Three major installations from Lozano-Hemmer's Pulse series have been brought together for the artist's DC debut. The Mexican Canadian artist is known for “straddling the line between art, technology, and design.Pulse fills the outer ring of the Museum's Second Level with “immersive environments that use heart-rate sensors to create kinetic and audiovisual experiences from visitors' own biometric data. Over the course of six months, Pulse will animate the vital signs of hundreds of thousands of participants.”
Image below:Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Pulse Index, 2010 in Time Lapse, Site Santa Fe, Santa Fe, New Mexico, United States, 2012. Photo: Kate Russel.
The Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden has extended the exhibition of contemporary artist Mark Bradford’s Pickett’s Charge thru 2021. The Los Angeles-based artist’s monumental new commission was inspired by artist Paul Philippoteaux’s nineteenth-century cyclorama in Gettysburg National Military Park, Pennsylvania. The cyclorama depicts the final charge of the Battle of Gettysburg, which historians cite as “the critical turning point of the Civil War and, consequently, of American history. Working with a combination of colored paper and reproductions of the original, Bradford collages and transforms the historic Gettysburg imagery into a series of eight powerful, abstract paintings.” The exhibition is curated by Evelyn Hankins.
Image below: Mark Bradford in his Los Angeles studio with details of Pickett's Charge, 2017. Courtesy of the artist and Hauser & Wirth. Photo: Agata Gravante.
The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden commissioned acclaimed Japanese artist Hiroshi Sugimoto to transform the museum's lobby, and the new lobby opened in February. The redesign of the space was the first in the museum's 42-year history. The redesign coincides with the opening of a Dolcezza Coffee & Gelato venue in the lobby's east end. The venue is the museum's first permanent food and beverage offering and the only locally-owned café at the Smithsonian. The new initiatives are “part of a larger plan to transform the overall museum experience, designed to encourage creativity and foster greater connections between visitors and the artists of the time.”
Images below: Two renderings of the Hirshhorn's lobby designed by artist Hiroshi Sugimoto.