Fall Arts Preview: Visual Arts


New Nature
Oct. 12 to Jan. 13
A first-of-its-kind digital art space, Artechouse, 1238 Maryland Ave. SW, opened in June of 2017. “New Nature” — the first large-scale solo exhibition for technologist and digital artist Mateusz “Marpi” Marcinowski — explores the organic world through an immersive, interactive audiovisual experience, incorporating computer learning (A.I.), responsive technology and music. Driven by sensory movements, the multi-user artworks create real- time generative patterns, forming a virtual terrarium of insects, plants, creatures, landscapes and planets.

“The Muse: History,” c. 1865. Camille Corot. Courtesy Metropolitan Museum of Art.


Corot: Women
Sept. 9 to Dec. 31
Rarely seen outside his studio during his lifetime, the figure paintings of French landscape master Camille Corot made an impact on such artists as Cézanne, Picasso and Braque. The 45 paintings in “Corot: Women” at the National Gallery, created between the mid-1830s and the early 1870s, are largely divided into three major subjects: costumed single figures, nudes and allegorical studio scenes. Dressed in rustic Italian costume or stretched nude on a grassy plain, Corot’s women read, dream and gaze directly at the viewer, conveying a sense of their inner lives. The artist’s sophisticated use of color and deft, delicate touch applied to the female form resulted in pictures of quiet majesty.

“Betty Selvage and Faith Speights,” 2012. Dawoud Bey. Courtesy NGA.


Dawoud Bey: The Birmingham Project

Sept. 12 to March 24

For more than 40 years, photographer Dawoud Bey (b. 1953) has portrayed American youth and marginalized communities with an unusual degree of sensitivity and complexity.His series “The Birmingham Project” is a monument to the victims of the church bombing in Birmingham, Alabama, on Sept. 15, 1963. Coinciding with the tragedy’s 55th anniversary, the exhibition focuses on Bey’s representation of the past through the lens of the present.Each of Bey’s diptychs pairs two life-size portraits, one showing a young girl the same age as one of the victims and the other a woman 50 years older — the child’s age, had it not been for the bombing. Alongside these photographs is a split-screen projection that juxtaposes a recreation of the drive to the 16th Street Baptist Church with slow pans that move through such everyday spaces as a beauty parlor and a lunch counter.


Nordic Impressions

Oct. 13 to Jan. 13

Spanning nearly 200 years, “Nordic Impressions” presents works by 53 artists from Denmark, Iceland, Finland, Norway and Sweden, as well as the islands of Åland, Faroe and Greenland. From idealized paintings of the untouched landscape to melancholic portraits in quiet interiors and mesmerizing video works, this art focuses on themes that have long held a special place in Nordic culture: light and darkness, inner life and exterior space, the coalescence of nature and folklore and women’s rights and social liberalism. While celebrating the diversity of Nordic art, the exhibition demonstrates how Nordic artists have inspired each other across national boundaries while honoring deeply rooted traditions.

Japan Modern

Sept. 29 to Jan. 21
Celebrating a major recent acquisition, “Japan Modern: Photography from the Gloria Katz and Willard Huyck Collection” features a selection of works by groundbreaking 20th- century photographers. Whether capturing evocative landscapes or the gritty realities of postwar Japan, this presentation focuses on Japanese artists’ search for a sense of place in a rapidly changing country. Dating from the 1920s to the 1980s, the images — ranging in style from powerful social documentary to the intensely personal — highlight destinations both rural and urban.

“Landline Bend Triptych,” 2017. Sean Scully. Photo by Robert Bean. Courtesy Hirshhorn. © Sean Scully.


Sean Scully: Landline

Sept. 13 to Feb. 3

A major highlight of the 56th Venice Biennale, Sean Scully’s acclaimed “Landline” series makes its U.S. debut at the Hirshhorn Museum. Featuring never-before-seen artworks from the series, the exhibition of watercolors, oil paintings and sculptures shows the Dublin-born artist’s transition away from his earlier hard-edged minimalism to his current, more expressive style.“I think of land, sea, sky,” says Scully, 73. “And they always make a massive connection. I try to paint this, this sense of the elemental coming together of land and sea, sky and land … stacked in horizon lines endlessly beginning and ending.”


Between Worlds: The Art of Bill Traylor

Sept. 28 to March 17

Bill Traylor (c. 1853–1949) is regarded today as one of the most important American artists of the 20th century. Born into slavery in Alabama, he was an eyewitness to the Civil War, Emancipation, Reconstruction, Jim Crow segregation, the Great Migration and the rise of African American urban culture in the South. Starting around 1939, when he was in his late 80s, living on the streets of Montgomery, Traylor made the radical steps of taking up pencil and paintbrush. When he died in 1949, he left behind more than 1,000 works of art: distillations of tales and memories and vibrantly colored abstractions.


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