Friday, December 02, 2005

New acquisitions at the Hirshhorn

Hirshhorn Museum Acquires 15 Contemporary Works of Art

The Hirshhorn Museum has acquired a number of important works of art by established and emerging contemporary artists, including Olafur Eliasson, Lynda Benglis, Lorna Simpson, Thomas Demand, Janet Cardiff and more. Working in variedmedia and representing a diverse mix of creative minds from around the world, these artists express provocative ideas and pose questions about contemporary society. The majority of these works were gifts from board members and other supporters.

Some of my favorites, of those I've seen so far are...

...Olafur Eliasson's “Round Rainbow” (2005), which combines a spotlight mounted on a tripod and a circle of acrylic glass. This device transforms a gallery into a dynamic canvas bathed in rainbows of light and shadow. In a work that is scientific in one respect and sensual in another, the installation brings a phenomenon usually experienced in nature into the museum, encouraging people to interact with their environment in new ways.

And also this very fun piece which was installed briefly in the Lerner Room and I hope will return soon...
Janet Cardiff's “Feedback” (2004) is an interactive sound piece that plays a Jimi Hendrix rendition of “The Star Spangled Banner” when the visitor steps on a wah-wah pedal.
"Feedback" is *really* loud. Shockingly loud. And while the Lerner room was a temporary location (the piece will probably occupy its own room, as far as I understand) it was ironically appropriate, with a view of the Capital and the National Archives as you blast "The Star Spangled Banner" loud enough to frighten unwary museum-goers.

(Image of installation at Delta Axis)

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