Sunday, September 20, 2015

A Selection of Hirshhorn Pieces

Where: Hirshhorn Museum

When: through April 17, 2016

The third floor of the Hirshhorn has re-opened after being closed for renovation, and to mark the occasion, a number of items from the museum's permanent collection are on display.  Many of them are forgettable and ridiculous, but I'll focus on a couple of things I actually liked.

First, and this is the reason I recommend seeing this show, they have a Yinka Shonibare piece.  It's from his "Age of Enlightenment" series; this is of Antoine Lavoisier.  Shonibare has given the chemist a disability he did not possess in life, so he's presented seated in a wheelchair.  In addition to clothing Lavoisier in the Dutch wax cloth which is a trademark of his, Shonibare has covered the chair in it as well.  Great colors on both the mannequin and the chair.  It's always fantastic to see one of Shonibare's pieces, especially when you can get close up and really look at all the terrific details.

I also had a chance to see "Display Stand with Madonnas" by Katharina Fritsch, which I'd seen before in another Hirshhorn permanent collection display some years ago.  This is what I call "Yellow Virgin Marys" because it's a big display stand with lots of yellow statutes of the Virgin Mary.  You don't see that every day.

Verdict: Typical Hirshhorn, whether you like that or not.  Go for the Shonibare, but feel free to move quickly through the rest.

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