• Mark Rothko

    National Gallery of Art
    Sixth Street and Constitution Avenue, NW
    May 3–August 16, 1998

    The National Gallery’s Mark Rothko retrospective, based in part on its own outstanding holdings of the artist’s work, will include 115 paintings and works on paper ranging from the ’30s until the artist’s death in 1970. Curated by the National’s Jeffrey Weiss, the show traces Rothko’s development from his early figurative expressionism through his mythographical explorations of the ’40s and the floating zones of deep color that characterize his mature style—work that made him one of the most celebrated and influential forces in the midcentury triumph of American painting. The catalogue includes interviews with contemporary artists influenced by the painter. May 3–Aug. 16; travels to Whitney Museum of American Art, Sept. 10–Nov. 29, and Musêe d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, winter 1998–99.

  • 45th Biennial Exhibition: The Corcoran Collects

    Corcoran Gallery of Art
    500 17th Street, NW
    July 17–September 28, 1998

    Instead of the usual focus on recent trends, this biennial attempts a critical examination of the impact previous installments, devoted solely to painting, have had on the Corcoran’s collecting and presentation of contemporary art since the series began in 1907. Organized by the institution’s own Linda Simmons (for the period 1907–67) and Terrie Sultan (1969–present), the exhibition will include over 130 of the more than 200 works acquired directly from biennials, by artists ranging from Thomas Eakins and Mary Cassatt to Joan Mitchell, Robert Mangold, Lydia Dona, and Jessica Stockholder. It’s possible, says Sultan, that this retrospective will spark a new approach to successive editions of the biennial.