Monday, December 5, 2011

Hirshhorn Museum

The Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, DC, is an example of  "Brutalist" architecture built around a circular courtyard enlivened by it's fountain. Brutal from the outside but the interiors are superb. John told me that the screen made the fountain look like a Gerhard Richter painting.
Let's visit. Here a museum guard appears to be following Alexander Calder's splendid Critter with a Mobile Top.
 The permanent collection of the Hirshhorn includes Francis Bacon's Triptych, 1967.
John looks bedazzled by Dan Flavin's Untitled, 1974 which was part of  one of the special exhibitions on view when we were there. For instance they had 3/4 of the circular space of one floor dedicated to showing the entire 28 consecutive Andy Warhol silkscreen paintings, in the Shadows series. No pictures allowed unfortunately.
John and I really liked this large room on the second floor with seating and conference tables and a great view of the Mall and the National Gallery of Art. The room is flanked by two great Sol Lewitt Wall Drawings. I took this view of the room with Wall Drawing #356 BB, captioned "Cube without a Cube".
John took this shot from the other end of the room. The title contains the instructions for making the piece: Wall Drawing #1113: On a wall, a triangle within a rectangle, each with broken bands of color. 2003. Acrylic.
Sol Lewitt, like Warhol, often conceived pieces for assistants to execute. We often find the result emblematic and attractive.
Like the National Gallery Sculpture Garden on the other side of the Mall, the Hirshhorn's sunken sculpture garden has a delightful surreal rabbit by Barry Flanagan. This one is The Drummer (1989-1990).
John strides in the opposite direction from Auguste Rodin's Walking Man (1900) as we re-enter the Mall. We love this outdoor collection.
My favourite memory from our visit to the wonderful Hirshhorn Museum is of coming upon this pair of visitors who looked to me like they'd possibly posed for Henry Moore's King and Queen (1952-1953).

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