• “Marvelous Objects: Surrealist Sculpture from Paris to New York”

    Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
    Independence Avenue at Seventh Street, SW
    October 29, 2015–February 15, 2016

    Curated by Valerie Fletcher

    This comprehensive survey will include more than one hundred works of Surrealist sculpture by some twenty artists based throughout Europe and the US in addition to an unanticipated selection of Man Ray’s rayographs, shots of “La Poupée” by Hans Bellmer, and transgendering photographs by Claude Cahun. So extensive an overview necessarily includes automatic, biomorphic works such as Jean Arp’s Shirt Front and Fork, 1922, and Henry Moore’s Stringed Figure, No. 1, 1937, as well as parallel efforts by Noguchi and Calder. This biomorphism counters Surrealism’s equally marked strain of free association as revealed by Dalí’s Lobster Telephone, 1936, even as David Smith’s Saw Head and Chain Head, both 1933, illuminate the germ of an incubating Abstract Expressionism. Last, inviolate mutism is emblematic in Duchamp’s found objects. Small wonder that Surrealism’s iconoclastic and poetic sprawl retains its appeal.

  • “The Serial Impulse at Gemini G.E.L.”

    National Gallery of Art
    Sixth Street and Constitution Avenue, NW
    October 4, 2015–January 31, 2016

    Curated by Adam Greenhalgh

    Since its founding in 1966, the Los Angeles print studio Gemini G.E.L. has enabled a vast and illustrious roster of artists to innovate their practices through interactions with master printmakers. On the eve of Gemini’s fiftieth anniversary, the National Gallery offers the unique opportunity to view seventeen series in their entirety—encompassing some 130 works made between 1967 and 2014—and will feature artists associated with the 1960s prints-and-multiples boom, such as Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, and Claes Oldenburg alongside California locals John Baldessari, Ed Ruscha, Bruce Nauman, and Vija Celmins. With an impressive range of techniques and materials represented (lithograph, screen print, etching, drypoint, aquatint, mezzotint, and photogravure), this exhibition will argue for renewed scholarly attention to “multiple originals,” not as superfluous to an artist’s core practice but as a crucial mode of working through formal and technical problems—one with the potential for major breakthroughs.