Spring Visual Arts Preview

National Portrait Gallery

Face Value: Portraiture in the Age of Abstraction

April 18, 2014 – January 11, 2015

Portraiture in the 20th century was a difficult terrain for artists to traverse. It was a time when many members of the artistic community agreed that abstraction was the new artistic language and figurative work had little more to offer the world in terms of progress and innovation. “Face Value” is a group exhibit of artists who helped reinvent portraiture for their era and demonstrated the enduring value of exploring the face and figure. Pulling a collection of work from the mid-1940s through the 1970s, the exhibit features artists such as Elaine de Kooning, Robert Rauschenburg, Chuck Close, Jamie Wyeth, Andy Warhol and more, highlighting those who pushed the boundaries of portrait traditions, invigorated and challenged by new modes of abstraction and the roiling currents of their time.

American Art Museum

Ralph Fasanella: Lest We Forget

May 2 – August 3, 2014

Ralph Fasanella’s parents were among three million Italians who immigrated to America in the early 20th century, searching for a better life for their families. Growing up in the working class neighborhoods of New York City, Fasanella (1914 – 1997) worked as a truck driver, union organizer, gas station owner and ice delivery man before turning to painting in the 1940s. Though untrained as an artist, he developed a style that reflected his working class and immigrant roots, celebrating the common man and tackling complex issues of postwar America in colorful and infectiously exuberant paintings of urban life. “Lest We Forget” celebrates the 100th birthday of this quintessential American artist, bringing together paintings spanning his 52-year career. Don’t miss this one!

The Kreeger Museum

K@20: Kreeger Museum 20th Anniversary Exhibition

February 20 – July 31, 2014

As a longtime champion of local and regional artists, it is fitting that the Kreeger’s 20th anniversary exhibition should highlight Washington area artists. “K@20” features 14 artists from all walks of life who have played a large part in shaping this city’s unique and remarkable arts scene. Showcasing a broad spectrum of mediums, subject matter, and styles by renowned artists such as Sam Gilliam, Gene Davis, Jeff Spaulding, Yuriko Yamaguchi, Tom Green, Ledelle Moe and Michael Platt, the selection of artworks offers a fresh perspective on the collective strength of Washington’s art community.

Freer and Sackler Galleries

Bountiful Waters: Aquatic Life in Japanese Art

March 8 – September 14, 2014

If there is one thing that Japan is known for in America, it is its sushi and seafood culture that is second to none in the world. Indeed, since prehistoric times, the waters that surround the islands of the small and powerful nation have informed its culture and sustained its inhabitants. Flowing from mountain ranges to form rivers and lakes and feeding into the ocean, the plants and animals that live in and around the waters continue to be a major source of a revenue and a primary dietary source for its population. “Bountiful Waters” features a selection of prints, paintings, illustrated books and ceramics that depict Japanese appreciation for the beauty and variety of fish and other species. The highlight will be the public debut of the “large fish” series of twenty woodblock prints by renowned Japanese artist Hiroshige (1797 – 1858).

The Phillips Collection

Made in the USA: American Masters from the Phillips Collection

March 1 – August 31, 2014

The Phillips Collection’s private collection of American masterworks is finally coming home, after a years-long worldwide tour. The exhibit tells the story of American art from the late 19th century, when it was entirely dismissed by the prominent European art communities, through post-war American art in the 1950s and 60s, when it came into its own as a significant international force of artistic progress and innovation. The exhibit will be a landmark artistic experience, featuring over 200 works by over 100 artists, and taking up most of the museum’s gallery space. Artists range from early American progressives such as Arthur Dove and John Marin, to Mark Rothko, Edward Hopper, Stuart Davis and Richard Deibenkorn. Don’t miss it.

Art Museum of the Americas

Territories and Subjectivities: Contemporary Art from Argentina

March 27 – Summer 2014

Identities of boundaries and belonging are formed through cultural affiliation and familiarity, and so in many ways the idea of territory is quite subjective. For instance, most of us born in the United States will proudly bond with any fellow citizen over this mutual belonging, while a native Texan and Oregonian might have bitterly conflicting ideas of politics and cultural history. “Territories and Subjectivities” will examine the very notion of territory as something that we define for ourselves, not as an inherent condition of the world. Featuring contemporary artists from each of Argentina’s 23 provinces, this exhibit will present a panorama of modern-day Argentinian identity, revealing interweaving and conflicting notions of cultural ownership and identity within a single country that reflects the juxtaposition between any nation’s singularity and clashes of regional identity.

National Sporting Library and Museum

Foxcroft School: The Art of Women and the Sporting Life

March 15 – August 24, 2014

In conjunction with Foxcroft School’s Centennial Celebration, “Foxcroft School” is an exhibition focusing on women as sporting enthusiasts, sporting artists and sporting art collectors. The exhibition is comprised of loans from alumnae of the prestigious Middleburg college-preparatory school for girls and their relatives. Approximately thirty paintings and sculptures will provide a picture of the collecting interests of these remarkable women and their role in 20th century sporting life and art.

Corcoran Gallery of Art

Jennifer Steinkamp and Jimmy Johnson: Loop

March 15 – April 20, 2014

Drawing on the architecture of the Corcoran’s rotunda, “Loop” is a site-specific visual and music installation created by media artist Jennifer Steinkamp and electronic composer Jimmy Johnson. Originally commissioned in 2000 for the Corcoran’s 46th Biennial Exhibition, the artists use a high functioning graphics computer to create electronic visual patterns that enhance the space with rows of undulating multicolored digital rope and projections. Music plays along with the moving images. It will be an immersive and completely unique exhibit.

National Gallery of Art

Andrew Wyeth: Looking Out, Looking In

May 4 – November 30, 2014

While no artist could be farther from the abstract, post-modern and pop art movements that define American art in the 20th century, Andrew Wyeth (1917 – 2009) is one of our era’s great painters, who created a quiet shift in the tectonic plates of the American landscape. A painter of formal virtuosity and stamina like almost no other of his lifetime, he used both Renaissance traditions (like egg tempera) and new world techniques to create some of the most indelible images of our time, largely centered around farms and quiet landscapes of his hometown in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania. “Looking Out, Looking In” will present an exhibit of over 50 of Wyeth’s paintings, drawings and tempera paintings focused around the artist’s frequent use of windows as symbol, subject matter, framing device and inspiration.

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