Author Archives: Michael O’Sullivan

Art beyond the Beltway: Museums worth leaving the Mall for

As the new art season gets underway in museums from Richmond to Boston, Washingtonians who are willing to travel will find that a wealth of modernist painting beckons from beyond the Beltway. Among the highlights on view now are such New York exhibitions as “Balthus: Cats and Girls — Paintings and Provocations”(through Jan. 12 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art); “Chagall: Love, War and Exile”(through Feb. 2 at the Jewish Museum)

; “Magritte: The Mystery of the Ordinary, 1926-1938” (through Jan. 12 at the Museum of Modern Art, or MOMA); and “Robert Motherwell: Early Collages” (through Jan. 5 at the Guggenheim).

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Last chance to see Jeanne Silverthorne’s ‘Vanitas!’

DON’T MISS

This weekend is your last chance to see Jeanne Silverthorne’s “Vanitas!” at the Phillips Collection. Part of the museum’s “Intersections” series of contemporary art shows that respond in some way to the museum or its holdings, the exhibition pairs Silverthorne’s witty rubber sculptures with modernist still life paintings from the collection. Several of Silverthorne’s floral sculptures are infested with rubber flies, a reminder that all beauty eventually decays.

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Gallery opening of the week: ‘Summer Solos’

GALLERY OPENING OF THE WEEK

Julia Bloom and William Alburger both repurpose found wood, albeit in different ways. On Thursday from 6 to 8 p.m., the Greater Reston Arts Center will host a reception for “Summer Solos,” an artistic twofer featuring Bloom’s latticelike abstractions of sticks and twigs and Alburger’s functional wall cupboards, made from salvaged barn boards and other recycled wood. At 6:30 p.m., the artists will talk about their work.

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Final weekend for two shows at Art Museum of the Americas

DON’T MISS

The Art Museum of the Americas is one of the city’s hidden treasures. It may be off the beaten track, but it’s often worth a side trip if you’re visiting other downtown museums.

This weekend marks the closing of a pair of exhibitions. “On Common Ground: Dominican Republic and Haiti” features 10 emerging artists from Hispaniola, the island shared by the Dominican Republic and Haiti. The artists’ work illuminates the differences and similarities between each country’s residents.

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Last chance to see ‘Pre-Raphaelites’

DON’T MISS

Originally shown at London’s Tate Britain, “Pre-Raphaelites: Victorian Art and Design, 1848-1900” is the first major U.S. survey of an art movement that rocked the mid-19th-century English cultural establishment by rejecting traditional painting techniques, styles and subject matter. The large and lavish show, which mixes colorful paintings with sculpture, works on paper and decorative objects, closes this weekend at the West Building of the National Gallery of Art.

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Gallery event of the week: ‘Mixtopias’

On Friday from 7 to 9 p.m., Rockville’s VisArts will host a reception for two thematically linked exhibitions. Upstairs in the Kaplan Gallery, you’ll find “Mixtopias,” a group show organized around the theme of hybrid identities (both cultural and personal). Curated by artist Fletcher Mackey, it will include work by Mequitta Ahuja — whose art is now featured at the National Portrait Gallery — as well as by Hoesy Corona, Hayoon Jay Lee, Joyce Yu-Jean Lee, Katherine Tzu-Lan Mann, Carolina Mayorga and Jennifer Tam.

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Central American ceramics at the National Museum of the American Indian

On Friday, the National Museum of the American Indian opens an exhibition showcasing the museum’s extensive collection of Central American ceramics. Also among the 160 objects in “Ceramica de los Ancestros: Central America’s Past Revealed” are works in gold, jade, shell and stone, from 1000 B.C. to the present.

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