Exhibitions: New, Ongoing, and Closing

-Kristen Korfitzen

There’s been a lot of exhibition activity in the DC area lately! In case you’ve missed something, here’s a roundup of newly opened, ongoing, and closing exhibits that shouldn’t be missed!

Pump Me Up: D.C. Subculture of the 1980s

Opens February 23rd, Corcoran Gallery of Art

Pump Me Up: D.C. Subculture of the 1980s is the first exhibition to explore the thriving underground of Washington, D.C., during the 1980s, giving visual form to the raucous energy of graffiti, Go-Go music, and a world-renowned punk and hardcore scene.

The exhibition explores the visual culture of the “other D.C.,” demonstrating its place in the history of street art as well as that of America’s capital city. In the midst of notorious problems with drugs and corruption, D.C. gave birth to an infectious visual culture captured in the exhibition through posters, graffiti, graphic art, archival photographs, and ephemera. Pump Me Up tells a local history from a local point of view, while providing a framework for the contemporary surge of interest in street art and underground graphics.

Angels, Demons, and Savages: Pollock, Ossorio, Dubuffet

February 9 – May 12, 2013, The Phillips Collection

The Phillips Collection dives into American abstract expressionism to reveal a little-known but captivating story that focuses on the relationship among three of the movement’s seminal players: American painter Jackson Pollock (1912–1956), American artist and patron Alfonso Ossorio (1916–1990), and French painter Jean Dubuffet (1901–1985). Featuring 55 paintings and works on paper from 1945 to 1958, the exhibition illuminates a key moment in postwar art. It reunites a number of works by Pollock and Dubuffet from Ossorio’s collection for the first time since they were dispersed after his death in 1990.

Pre-Raphaelites: Victorian Art and Design, 1848-1900

February 17–May 19, 2013, The National Gallery of Art

The first major survey of the art of the Pre-Raphaelites to be shown in the United States features some 130 paintings, sculptures, works on paper, and decorative art objects. The young members of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, formed in 1848, shook the art world of mid-19th-century Britain by rejecting traditional approaches to painting. Combining scientific precision, an innovative approach to subject matter, and brilliant, clear colors, Pre-Raphaelitism was Britain’s first avant-garde art movement.

Ai Weiwei: According to What?

Closes February 24, Hirshhorn

This exhibition demonstrates Ai Weiwei’s broad artistic practice and includes sculpture, photography, audio, video, and site-specific installations. Many of his works employ simple forms and methods that evoke and play with notions of conceptual and Minimal art, while others manipulate traditional furniture, ancient pottery, and daily objects in ways that question cultural values and political authority. More recent works address his ongoing investigation into the aftermath of the 2008 Sichuan earthquake as well as his detention and continual surveillance by Chinese authorities. In each piece, Ai emphasizes the value and place of the individual within society.

Nam June Paik: Global Visionary

December 13, 2012 – August 11, 2013, Smithsonian American Art Museum

The artwork and ideas of the Korean-born artist Nam June Paik were a major influence on late twentieth-century art and continue to inspire a new generation of artists. Nam June Paik: Global Visionary offers an unprecedented view into the artist’s creative method by featuring key artworks that convey Paik’s extraordinary accomplishments as a major international artist as well as material drawn from the Nam June Paik Archive, which was acquired by the Smithsonian American Art Museum from the artist’s estate in 2009.

Roads of Arabia

Closes February 24, Arthur M. Sackler Gallery

Roads of Arabia features objects excavated from several sites throughout the Arabian Peninsula, tracing the impact of ancient trade and routes and pilgrimage roads stretching from Yemen in the south to Iraq, Syria and Mediterranean cultures in the north.

Something we missed? Let us know in the comments!

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