Pouring rain, a wrong turn, umbrella flipped, disintegrating map and I end up at the Hirshhorn Museum completely by mistake. What a gift! My modern-art-loving-heart was so happy! There is certainly something special about site-specific pieces too where the artist uses the space as an integral part of their work. There were lots of spectacular examples of this. I will share the ones that photographed well. One piece in particular really had to be experienced in person since you walked right into it and were surrounded by it. The lighting and the walls were just as much a part of the art as anything else.
So without further ado let me report on my very favorites:
Belief + Doubt by Barbara Kruger
I had a little fan moment when I realized I was seeing a Barbara Kruger piece. Flashed right back to my feminist Women In Art class in college. There is a special kind of excitement to realize "I know this artist. And this artist is still out there making art!" And people, with my background in graphic design I can totally appreciate the beauty of well-done typography. The title link to the museum's page includes a cool little time lapse video of the installation. Extra credit to curious minds who check out Smithsonian Magazine's 2012 interview with her about this piece in particular.
Our View From Here by Linn Meyers
One of the very interesting things about the Hirshhorn Museum is that the building is a giant ring. So this piece – which was drawn free-hand on the wall – has the inner ring to itself. So to see its entirety you must walk the full circle. I was so impressed by the fact it is simple marker line drawing. From a distance it looks dimensional, like rippled fabric.