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Hirshhorn Museum Announces 2006-2007 Exhibitions and Special Projects

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Media only:

Gabriel Einsohn (202) 633-2822 or einsohng@si.edu

Public only:

(202) 633-1000 or http://hirshhorn.si.edu

“Hiroshi Sugimoto”
Feb. 16-May 14, 2006
The Hirshhorn Museum presents “Hiroshi Sugimoto,” the first career survey of one of Japan’s most important contemporary artists. Sugimoto (b. 1948, Tokyo) is known for his starkly minimal images of seascapes, movie theaters and architecture as well as his richly detailed photographs of natural history dioramas, wax portraits and Buddhist sculptures. These celebrated series explore such essential concepts as time, space, culture and perception-even the nature of reality itself. This retrospective of his 30-year career, featuring approximately 120 photographs from 1976 to present, is co-organized by the Hirshhorn and the Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, and co-curated by Hirshhorn Director of Art and Programs and Chief Curator Kerry Brougher and Mori Director David Elliott. The presentation at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden is made possible in part by the Holenia Trust in memory of Joseph H. Hirshhorn, the Hirshhorn’s Board of Trustees, and contributions from Hirshhorn patrons. Pictured: Hiroshi Sugimoto’s “Avalon Theater, Catalina Island,” 1993, private collection. Courtesy of the artist.

“Directions-Oliver Herring”
April 29, 2006
New York-based artist Oliver Herring (b. 1964, Germany) explores human interaction on an intimate level, examining how relationships between individuals develop and deepen and how a sense of community grows. Using very simple materials (paper, pens, tables, chairs, ladders, a “boom box”), Herring will create “Task” on the Hirshhorn Plaza. This day-long project brings together a micro-society of people from the Washington, D.C.-metro area, and encourages them to make art together in a highly visible public setting. The artist, who does not take part in the performance himself, informs the performers of a set of simple instructions and provides them with several tasks that involve their fellow performers and/or the props on the stage. Over the course of the eight-hour event, the performers add tasks to the pool, perpetuating an art piece in which personal interactions, dramas and comedies unfold. The performance will be followed by an evening reception and discussion with the artist and participants. This project is part of the museum’s “Directions” series, which has brought the works of leading and emerging international artists to Washington since 1987. “Directions-Oliver Herring” is made possible in part by Ray Graham III, Trellis Fund and the Department of Fine Arts and Art History, George Washington University. The project is organized by assistant curator Kristen Hileman. Pictured: Documentation photograph of Herring’s “Task” at the Great Eastern Temple, London, 2002. 

“Directions-Jim Lambie”
May 13, 2006-Fall 2006
Beginning in May 2006, Scottish artist Jim Lambie (b. 1964, Glasgow) will transform the Hirshhorn Museum’s lobby into a lively, colorful and immersive environment that will include one of Lambie’s signature taped floor pieces from his “Zobop” series. Though this is the first time Lambie’s work will be on view in Washington, D.C., he is recognized internationally for his dynamic sculpture and installation works that use everyday items -electrical tape, handbags, mattresses, turntables, doors and mirrors. Space and surface inform Lambie’s eclectic body of work. For the Hirshhorn, Lambie will create a site-specific installation that covers the Museum’s lobby floor in vinyl tape, placed meticulously edge-to-edge in simple, concentric geometric patterns, like an oversized hallucinatory optical paintings upon which visitors are invited to walk. In addition to Lambie’s floor piece, several of the artist’s three-dimensional sculptures will also be on view. The Hirshhorn’s exhibition is organized by associate curator Anne Ellegood. This project is part of the museum’s “Directions” series, which has brought the work of leading and emerging international artists to Washington since 1987. This project is made possible in part by Ray Graham III and the Trellis Fund. Pictured: Jim Lambie’s installation “Thirteenth Floor Elevator” at the Dallas Museum of Art, 2005. 

“Black Box: Francis Alÿs”
April 17, 2006-Fall 2006
The second installation in the Hirshhorn’s new Black Box space features Francis Alÿs (b. 1959, Belgium), an artist who has lived and worked in Mexico City since 1990. Alÿs, who considers urban settings his “open-air studio,” often focuses on observing and manipulating aspects of everyday life. The featured film comes from his recently completed five-year series of projects set in London, which delve into the daily rituals and habits of the metropolis. “Guards,” 2004-2005, follows 64 individual Cold Stream Guards as they move through downtown London, like all other city workers, becoming a collective. The film will be on view in the museum’s Black Box through fall 2006. Support for the Black Box program is provided by Lawrence A. Cohen/Ringler Associates. Pictured: Still from Francis Alÿs’s “Guards,” 2004-2005. Courtesy of the artist. 

“Anselm Kiefer: Heaven and Earth”
June 22, 2006-Sept. 10, 2006
(On view at Musee d’Art Contemporain de Montreal, Feb. 12-May 7, 2006 and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Oct. 12, 2006-Jan 14, 2007) 

Anselm Kiefer (b. 1945, Germany) is widely recognized as one of the most significant artists of our time, and this exhibition is the first American survey of Kiefer’s work in almost 20 years. Featuring more than 40 large paintings, books and sculptures created between 1969 and the present, the selection emphasizes the layers of meaning in the artist’s work, specifically his career-long meditation on the relationship between heaven and earth. Kiefer’s images intertwine a complex range of sources, including alchemical treatises; Nordic, Greek, Egyptian and early Christian mythology; and mystical Jewish texts, often relating these subjects to modern history. Kiefer’s work includes evocative mixes of materials, such as paint, dried plants, clay, ash and lead. Moving beyond his early examination of German culture, Kiefer paints immense landscapes ranging from lush to barren, creating panoramas of stars as he explores the workings and mysteries of the cosmos. The exhibition is organized by Michael Auping, chief curator of The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, whose association with Kiefer dates back almost two decades. The presentation at the Hirshhorn is coordinated by curator Valerie Fletcher. “Anselm Kiefer: Heaven and Earth” is made possible by the global financial services firm UBS. Pictured: Kiefer’s “The Book,” 1979-1985, from the Hirshhorn’s collection.

“John Baldessari” (working title)
July 2006-TBA
In July 2006, the Hirshhorn launches a new initiative, in which artists create installations using works from the museum’s collection. American-born artist John Baldessari (b. 1931, California) is the first artist who will participate in this project that offers the public new insights and perspectives on the Hirshhorn’s significant collection. In 2005, the Hirshhorn received a major gift of four early works, given by The Glenstone Foundation in honor of the Hirshhorn’s former director, Ned Rifkin. Working closely with the artist, The Glenstone Foundation and Hirshhorn chief curator Kerry Brougher chose works from an important early period in the artist’s career during which he questioned the role of art and became a primary force in establishing what would later be termed “conceptual” art. The works selected are from the artist’s personal collection and had never been made available before. These works of art, the first by Baldessari to enter the Hirshhorn collection, will be on view along with his installation for the Hirshhorn. This special project is organized by assistant curator Kristen Hileman. 

“The Uncertainty of Objects and Ideas: Contemporary Sculpture” (working title)
Oct. 26, 2006-Jan. 7, 2007 (subject to change)
Presenting recent works by ten international contemporary artists of different generations, who use a wide range of materials, this exhibition features sculptures that investigate the translation of ideas and observations into physical forms. Combining the hand-made with industrial and mass-produced consumer objects, the artists use materials more conventionally associated with sculpture-clay, plaster, steel, wood, papier-mâché and glass-as well as natural and synthetic “found” objects such as tree trunks and branches, water, food, Styrofoam swimming noodles, plastic flowers, umbrellas, toys, candles and even air freshener. The exhibition will shed light on sculpture as a medium that can challenge and expand ways of seeing objects or understanding ideas. Artists included in the exhibition are Andrea Cohen, Bjorn Dahlem, Mark Handforth, Rachel Harrison, Evan Holloway, Charles Long, Mindy Shapero and Franz West; additional artists are under consideration. The exhibition is organized by the Hirshhorn’s associate curator Anne Ellegood. Pictured: Charles Long’s “Winterwork,” 2004. Courtesy Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York.

“Wolfgang Tillmans”
Feb. 2007- early May
(The Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, May 20-Aug.20, 2006 and the Armand Hammer Museum of Art and Cultural Center, Los Angeles, Sept.-Nov. 2006) 

Wolfgang Tillmans (b. 1968, Germany) is internationally recognized for his photography that captures often overlooked subjects and moments in everyday life. The exhibition at the Hirshhorn, co-organized by The Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (MCA) and the Armand Hammer Museum of Art and Cultural Center, Los Angeles, is the first major solo exhibition of this artist in the United States. Tillmans’s work concentrates on deceptively casual views of friends and acquaintances caught at their most unguardedly “human” moments. He presents his photographs in highly distinctive installations, in which variously sized photographs are affixed to the walls in deliberate (yet seemingly random) arrangements, in order to create a variety of physical and emotional relationships with the viewer based on placement and scale. Tillmans’s presentation at the Hirshhorn will feature installations consisting of approximately 300 photographs drawn from his entire career. The exhibition is organized by the MCA’s Pamela Alper associate curator, Dominic Molon and the Hammer’s deputy director of programs and chief curator Russell Ferguson. Pictured: Wolfgang Tillmans’s “Smokin’ Jo,” 1995 (detail). Courtesy Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York. 

About the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, the Smithsonian’s museum of international modern and contemporary art, has some 11,500 paintings, sculptures, mixed media installations and works on paper in its collection. The Hirshhorn maintains an active and diverse exhibition program and offers an array of free public programs that explore the art of our time. The museum, located at Independence Avenue and Seventh Street S.W., is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (closed Dec. 25), and admission is free.
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