Oct 202011

Selections from the Hirshhorn Museum,

Sometimes I like to get out the watercolors and without much thought or preparation — paint! I know this doesn’t make me an artist, but it gives me enjoyment and more often than not, I like what I’ve created. Similarly, I’m not an expert in art or art history, but I love visiting museums and galleries to bask in the creativity of others. At the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington DC, I found several works that grabbed my attention.

Joseph Kosuth

Four Colors Four Words

I had not previously seen any of Kosuth’s work, but this neon piece prompted me to find out more about him. I came across this statement by Kosuth — “The art I call conceptual is such because it is based on an inquiry into the nature of art. Thus, it is . . . a working out, a thinking out, of all the implications of all aspects of the concept ‘art’.” He certainly got me thinking.

Anish Kapoor

At the Hub of Things, Anish Kapoor

I’m quite familiar with Kapoor and consider Cloud Gate (“The Bean”) in Chicago’s Millennium Park one of my favorite works of public art. I thought this statement of Kapoor’s was very interesting about the use of blue pigment in this and other pieces. “What is important about these works is not that they are made out of pigment. The curious thing is that they appear to be made out of pigment. … It said that what you see is what you get, and I think that art is exactly the opposite. What you see is not what you get!” I think I understand that.

Manuel Neri

Penance, Neri

This painted bronze piece was my introduction to Manuel Neri. He’s known primarily for his life-sized sculptures that are often painted and have much texture. Because of this, his sculptures are often described as “painterly”. I like it.

Andy Warhol


The Shadows exhibition will be running at the Hirshhorn through January 15, 2012. I’ve seen a lot of Warhol’s work over the years in various museums and of course, in the media. Shadows is quite different. It consists of a series of 102 silkscreen canvases depicting distorted photographs of shadows in his studio. They are installed side by side along the gallery’s curved walls. Photographs were not allowed inside the exhibit, so I just have this one showing a partial view from outside. Click here to see more: Shadows

Do any of these works capture your attention?

For more information: Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden

You might also like this post about another exhibit at the Hirshhorn: Round Rainbow by Olafur Eliasson

This is my submission to this weekโ€™s Budget Travelers Sandbox Travel Photo Thursday series. Be sure to check out other photo and story entries on their website.


  45 Responses to “Four Artists Four Photos at the Hirshhorn Museum”

  1. I really like the photo of the sculpture by Manuel Neri. Really cool!

  2. I’m not an art connoisseur by any means, but I find these very interesting, especially the work of Andy Warhol – I followed the link and saw the full-size image of the Shadows exhibition.

  3. I am not the biggest art fan but am trying to learn more about it. I find art tells a story of the time it was produced. Great shots!

    • Thanks, Debbie. I think that art does tell stories — about time, place, people, concepts, etc — or sometimes they just get us to think.

  4. We love the Hirshorn. On our last visit, there was a video of this elaborate and oddly dark Rube Goldberg “machine.” We were completely entranced.

    Modern art is so funย โ€“ there is something so satisfying about having your perceptions challenged in unique ways. I especially like it when modern art has a sense of humor. I would say that first piece has a sense of humor. The literalness is kind of funny.

    Andy Warhol always makes me think of the play “The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe.” Lilly Tomlin has this brilliant monologue:

    My space chums say they’re learning so much about us.
    They said to me, “Trudy, the human mind is so-o-o strange.”
    We think so different.
    They find it hard to grasp some things that come easy to us,
    because they simply don’t have our frame of reference.

    I show’em this can of Campbell’s tomato soup.
    I say,
    “This is soup”.
    Then I show’em a picture of Andy Warhol’s painting
    of a can of Campbell’s tomato soup. I say,
    “This is art.”

    “This is soup.”

    “And this is art.”

    Then I shuffle the two behind my back.

    Now what is this?

    this is soup and this is art!

    I dread having to explain tartar sauce!

  5. Ooh, I do like contemporary art. All these look fab. Perhaps the first one stands out, though. Very 1960s in a cool way.

  6. Contemporary art I appreciate, sometimes. What you have displayed is very striking and thought provoking and I guess that makes it great art…when it provokes a reaction.

  7. Nice post! Warhol is pretty much my idol, I can’t get enough of his stuff. And I’ve never seen any other work by the guy who did the Bean. Interesting!

  8. I love Penance #3 and the mix of paint & sculpture.

    I don’t know much about art but I do appreciate it, would love more great art in my home, thoroughly enjoy a trip to art galleries (The Picasso Gallery in Barcelona in 10 days) and I admire the fact that you’re happy to dabble. That’s the only way you’ll get better and learn.
    Nice post Cathy.

    • Thanks, Leigh. Penance No. 3 seems to be a popular choice! As much as I appreciate art, I can’t say that I’ve got any great art in my home. Would be nice though…..

  9. I do like to visit museums, but to be frank, I’m not that keen on the ones which showcase modern art…often, I just don’t get it!

  10. Very nice shots, Cathy. I am a big fan of modern art too.

  11. Interesting article, thank you ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. I didn’t know that you painted, you should show us your work sometime. I really like “At the Hub of Things” and just clicked on “Cloud Gate” which is amazing. I like the simplicity, yet bold statement this art makes.

    • I shouldn’t have built up any expectations about my own work — it’s more just for fun, but I just might take a chance and show you some of it later.

  13. The Manuel Neri one really catches my eye. Like you said, it’s the texture and the colours that do it for me. When are we going to see some of your artwork on your blog, then? ๐Ÿ˜‰

  14. I would call the work by Warhol and Neri art but not the other two. The first two are examples of why I don’t like modern art. Just do anything you want and call it art.

  15. I really should go to more museums! The sculpture is very cool.

  16. Cool round up Cathy. The sculpture is particularly interesting as is the Shadows exhibition by Andy Warhol – I’m sure that was so cool to see mounted all over the wall in real life!

  17. Even though I love creating and viewing art, I have never been a big fan of art museums. Most of the time I just don’t understand the art in museums.

    • I think that sometimes it’s good just forget about trying to figure out the meaning or purpose of a piece of art, and just enjoy looking at it!

  18. Love the first one.

  19. I loved the tour of the art gallery. I enjoy being challenged by the contemporary/modern artists, and I also love the classics 14th to 19th century as well!! “Four Colours, Four Words” made me smile!

  20. Very nice shots, Cathy. I am a big fan of modern art too. Thanks for sharing. | ๐Ÿ˜›

  21. Beautiful Pictures!

  22. This is a beautiful showcase of art. The sculpture and other forms of art featured here are really done creatively. Bravo to the artists! It’s an inspiration.

  23. I love how you snuck that shot of the Andy Warhol exhibit……being a photographer, I am always tempted to shoot in a museum….it’s sooooo hard to hold back!!! (Although, I respect the reasons why, of course).

  24. […] by Giacomo Balla. I previously posted about other interesting installations in Round Rainbow and Four Artists, Four Photos. Boccioni by Giacomo […]

  25. […] Also about art in Washington DC: Round Rainbow and Four Artists Four Photos […]

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