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Amy Sillman, H, 2007, oil on canvas, 45 x 39".

Amy Sillman

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden

Amy Sillman, H, 2007, oil on canvas, 45 x 39".

EVERYONE HAS AT SOME TIME perched upon the lonelier, more acute angle of a love triangle. Childhood is the most brutal and famous introduction to the condition of the third wheel, when one discovers one is not a parent’s first and only love. The adolescent crush, which usually seeks the shortest route, is often directed at a sibling’s main squeeze. Less foundational, but just as traumatic, are those chaste threesomes in which a single adult might innocently accompany a couple to lunch, the loner doing her best to ignore the echoing vacancy on her side of the booth.

Amy Sillman has condensed the most gruesome and gleeful moments of such experiences into drawings and paintings she exhibited at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden this summer. (The show was co-organized by the Hirshhorn’s Anne Ellegood and Ian Barry of the Tang Teaching Museum.) Positioning herself as perpetual

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