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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

News from Hirshhorn

I was so many times at Hirshhorn; on any given Sunday I was spending there one or two hours in the afternoon: the Black Box in the basement, with the amazing videos of Kimsooja, and Ori Gersht, and Van der Verwe; and paintings by Chuck Close and Jasper Johns on the walls there, in the basement's lobby; and the Hyper-Realist exhibitions; on the first floor the small art bookstore, with albums and DVDs; on the second floor exhibitions of Conceptual Art or challenging contemporary short movies; and the sculptures of all the masters of the vanguard; and the third floor with rooms devoted to Clyfford Still, and Calder, and de Kooning, Frank Stella and Ellsworth Kelly; the room where Jasper Johns, Claes Oldenburg, Robert Indiana and Andy Warhol were together; and the Sculpture Garden, in front of the museum, with Rodin, Bourdelle, Moore - Brancusi is just a little bit in the museum, he has a place of honor at the National Gallery.

Gordon Bunshaft created the building of the museum, with a great Sci-Fi allure: a building that is perhaps distant, while fascinating, giving the impression of an inter-planetary station. A building that can send you to the atmosphere in the movies of Antonioni, of a petrified world, or to the novels of Lem, or Clarke, or the Strugatkys, the gate to leave the Earth for ever, to start your cosmic adventure: Antonioni or Clarke, death or renewal, depending on your mood.

Now the director of the museum, Richard Koshalek, decided to add a huge conference hall to this building. Diller Scofidio & Renfro (known for their interdisciplinary approach, mixing architecture, installation art, video and electronic art) designed a huge inflatable hall with a bulge at the top. Nicolai Ouroussoff has a review in today's NY Times. I took the two images from there.

And now, Hirshhorn became the true gate toward Cosmos.

(Hirshhorn Museum)



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