DC -- Hirshhorn Museum -- Exhibit: Nicolas Party: Draw the Curtain:
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Description of Pictures: Nicolas Party: Draw the Curtain
September 18, 2021 Through Spring 2022
The exterior of the Hirshhorn’s iconic cylindrical building will be the site of internationally renowned Swiss artist Nicolas Party’s newest artwork. Draw the Curtain (2021) will wrap 360 degrees around the temporary scaffolding that encases the Museum building and will span a circumference of 829 feet, becoming the artist’s largest work to date. An original pastel painting digitally collaged and printed onto scrim, the site-specific commission will transform the Hirshhorn’s fašade into a monumental canvas that stands out against the landscape of predominantly neo-classical buildings on the National Mall. The work will be on view through spring 2022 while the building’s envelope undergoes critical repairs.
Draw the Curtain will comprise several anonymous faces partially hidden by draped curtains, gazing directly at the viewer no matter where they are viewing from around the building. Known for his unique visual language that simultaneously celebrates and challenges conventions of representational painting, Party steeps this work in art historical technique and symbolism. The featured portraits, painted in black and white, are based on classical sculpture, while the curtains, painted in shades of green, blue, yellow and red, are sampled mostly from 17th-century Dutch paintings. Painted in the tradition of “trompe l’oeil,” the work addresses themes of dupery and illusion and conjures a scenographic set. It invites passersby to peek backstage behind the “curtain” on the National Mall and examine both the collections housed within the Smithsonian and the contents of the distinctive government buildings dotting the surrounding landscape. Draw the Curtain reminds the viewer of the opacity of these spaces, while inviting them to consider what lies behind the fašades of the buildings in the nation’s capital.
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Copyrights: All pictures were taken by amateur photographer Bruce Guthrie (me!) who retains copyright on them. Free for non-commercial use with attribution. See the [Creative Commons] definition of what this means. "Photos (c) Bruce Guthrie" is fine for attribution. (Commercial use folks can of course contact me.) Feel free to use in publications and pages with attribution but you don't have permission to sell the photos themselves. A free copy of any printed publication using any photographs is requested. Descriptive text, if any, is from a mixture of sources, quite frequently from signs at the location or from official web sites; copyrights, if any, are retained by their original owners.
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2021 photos: This year was filled with hope. Yes, the COVID-19 pandemic is still with us but it was hoped that restoring sanity to the White House. the rapid vaccine role-out, and a government that finally cared would put things back to normal again. But the force was strong in the evil anti-vaxxer movement and the virus variants made quick use of that so we're still dealing with this crap.
Trips this year:
after getting fully vaccinated, I made a trip down to Asheville, NC in May to visit my dad and his wife Dixie,
in mid-July, I made a quick trip up to Stockbridge, MA to see the Norman Rockwell Museum again as well as Daniel Chester French's place @ Chesterwood.
Partially Reviewed: Rough draft. I've gone through these pictures once, removing the worst ones, some duplication, etc. I usually take sequences of 4 or 5 pictures at a time and there are lots of near duplicates. I'll be doing a final review later which will cull the pictures down some. To be honest though, I'm way behind on doing final reviews.