Fine Arts: New Year’s Promises
2014 is a promising year for the fine arts in Washington, with exhibitions of European master Edgar Degas and American master Andrew Wyeth on the horizon, both at the National Gallery of Art. A show of 16thcentury Japanese tea jars at the Sackler will open a unique window of history onto our longtime adoration of this popular and ritualistic drink. But while we wait for spring to usher in the first major exhibitions of the year, there is a great deal to keep die-hard devotees of museums and galleries happy through the winter. Here are a few things to see in the coming months:
A New Era at the Textile Museum The new year marks an exciting chapter for the Textile Museum, which begins its move to a new museum space on the George Washington University campus. Though the old S Street location is no longer open for regular visiting hours, as the nearly 20,000-piece collection is being made travel-ready, programs will continue to be offered at multiple venues during the transition. One upcoming event is a curator-led tour of “Workt by Hand: Hidden Labor and Historical Quilts” at the National Museum of Women in the Arts on Friday, Jan. 24. Quilts have long been burdened by conflicting interpretations - revered as nostalgic emblems of the past, dismissed as women's work, yet hailed as examples of American ingenuity. This exhibition, which showcases 35 18th- through 20th-century quilts from the Brooklyn Museum, examines quilts through the lens of contemporary feminist theory, revealing the medium's shifting cultural status. Tickets are $20 for members, $25 for nonmembers. To register, call 202-667-0441, ext. 64.
The first in a series of free Rug and Textile Appreciation Mornings begins on Saturday, Jan. 25. History professor Katrin Schultheiss will discuss the complexity of gender roles in textile production in the 19th century, when certain fabrics were deemed worthy of male craftsmanship and others were regarded as “simple” enough for women to produce. Reservations are not required.
New Editions at Adamson Gallery Opening with a public reception on Saturday, Jan. 18, 6-8 p.m., Adamson Gallery will show new editions of master photographic prints from a number of internationally acclaimed artists, including Marc Babej, Chuck Close, Roberto Longo and Gary Simmons. Close's portrait series of Brad Pitt, for example, shows the iconic actor in a new and uncomfortably close perspective, exposing every nook, cranny, wrinkle and pockmark on his face. The result is a fascinating examination of the nature of exposure, privacy and identity, particularly for those who live their lives in the public eye. The exhibition runs through Mar. 29, by appointment. For more information, call 202-232-0707 or email Info@ AdamsonGallery.com.
The Shenandoah Comes to Susan Calloway Fine Arts Painter Ed Cooper reflects the subtleties of early morning and late afternoon light and color in his plein-air landscapes, capturing the interplay of sun and shade on trees, water and grass. With an opening reception on Friday, Jan. 17, 6-8 p.m., "Ed Cooper: New Landscapes," on view at Susan Calloway Fine Arts through Feb. 15, explores the regional Shenandoah and Chesapeake landscapes through the tip of Cooper's reliably breathtaking paintbrush. A wanderer, Cooper carries as constant companions a pochade box for quick oil sketches and an easel for more elaborate paintings. “While wandering I am constantly looking for scenes or objects that evoke an emotional response in me - something I just have to paint,” he says. For more information, visit www.CallowayArt.com.
Goodbye to Heiner Contemporary After three prolific years in Georgetown, Heiner Contemporary has moved to Farmington, Conn. While there will be no brick-and-mortar space for some time, the gallery will maintain an active online presence and continue to offer comprehensive art advisory services. In Connecticut, Heiner Contemporary will showcase work through pop-up exhibitions, participation in art fairs and via Artsy.net. Over the past few years, Heiner has brought an unforgettable body of contemporary artwork to Washington, and given Georgetown's Book Hill neighborhood a vibrant shot of life. We wish them prosperity and success in all future endeavors.