Art and the City

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Pierre Bonnard, “The Open Window”, 1921, Oil on canvas, 46 1/2 x 37 3/4 in. The Phillips Col-lection, Washington, DC. Acquired 1930. © 2024 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

The Phillips Collection
“Bonnard’s Worlds”
March 2–June 2, 2024
www.phillipscollection.org/event/2024-03-02-bonnards-worlds

The Phillips Collection is set to unveil a captivating exploration into the life and works of re-nowned French artist Pierre Bonnard (1867–1947) with the upcoming exhibition titled “Bonnard’s Worlds.” This exhibition marks a significant moment as it is the first major showcase of Bonnard’s art in the nation’s capital in two decades. Curated in collaboration with the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas, “Bonnard’s Worlds” will feature 60 of the artist’s masterpieces, sourced from collections worldwide, including some rarely seen gems.

What sets “Bonnard’s Worlds” apart is its unique approach, eschewing chronological or geo-graphical constraints in favor of a thematic exploration rooted in intimacy. The exhibition delves into the various spheres that shaped Bonnard’s life and artistic vision, from the public domain to the most private recesses of his inner world.

Bonnard, a versatile artist who defied categorization, was a key figure in the Post-Impressionist movement and a close associate of Claude Monet and Henri Matisse. His paintings are characterized by vibrant colors and dynamic compositions that blur the boundaries between reality and imagination. “Bonnard’s Worlds” offers a comprehensive overview of his career, showcasing his evolution from decorative landscapes to more introspective portrayals of domestic life.

A particularly poignant aspect of the exhibition is Bonnard’s exploration of personal spaces, including intimate scenes featuring his longtime partner and muse, Marthe de Méligny Bonnard. Through his art, Bonnard invites viewers to glimpse into his private world, capturing moments of tenderness and contemplation.

The legacy of Bonnard’s work is deeply intertwined with The Phillips Collection, thanks to the visionary collecting practices of its founder, Duncan Phillips. The museum’s extensive holdings of Bonnard’s art reflect Phillips’s belief in the restorative power of art and his commitment to creating an intimate space for artistic exploration. 1600 21st Street, NW, Washington, DC. Open Tuesday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Reservations encouraged; members may walk-in. 202-387-2151

Kim Richards, “Into the Light”, 2022, oil on wood,
12 X 12 in

IA&A at Hillyer Elaine Qiu: “Every Place We’ve Been” Kim Richards: “Into the Wilderness” Alexandra Chiou: “Remember/Renew”
March 2-31
athillyer.org/upcoming-exhibitions/

Three distinct voices converge at IA&A at Hillyer’s March exhibitions which feature Elaine Qiu, Kim Richards, and Alexandra Chiou. Each artist delves deep into personal experiences and universal themes, offering viewers a profound journey through introspection and reflection.

Elaine Qiu’s “Every Place We’ve Been” invites viewers to confront the collective and personal upheavals of recent years. Through a collage of archival images and personal snapshots, Qiu explores the boundaries between history and memory, shedding light on the complexities of our shared human experience.

Clark Gable and Joan Crawford by George Hurrell, gelatin silver print, 1936. National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; acquired in part through the generosity of an anonymous donor.

Kim Richards’ “Into the Wilderness” serves as a beacon of hope in tumultuous times. With vi-brant paintings imbued with spiritual symbolism, Richards conveys the reassuring presence of divine guidance amid life’s challenges, offering solace and restoration to the weary.

In “Remember/Renew,” Alexandra Chiou finds healing in remembrance. Through intricate works on paper, Chiou captures the essence of cherished memories and the bittersweet journey of coming to terms with loss. Her art becomes a testament to the resilience of the human spirit and the transformative power of love and nostalgia.

Through their art, Qiu, Richards, and Chiou remind us of the beauty and complexity of the human experience, inviting us to pause, reflect, and find solace amid life’s uncertainties. 9 Hillyer Ct NW. Hours: Mon., closed. Tues., Wed., Thurs., Fri., 12 to 6 p.m. Sat., Sun., 12 to 5 p.m. 202-338-0680

National Museum of Women in the Arts
International Women’s Day
March 8 from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
nmwa.org/whats-on/signature-programs/international-womens-day/

National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA) celebrated International Women’s Day on Friday, March 8 with a day-long festival filled with both in-person and online experiences. From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., visitors immersed themselves in a variety of activities celebrating women artists and their contributions.

Alexandria Chiou, “This Path of Gold You Laid
for Me”, 2021, ink and cut paper, 35 x 35 in

In-person highlights included yoga sessions in the museum’s Great Hall, where participants found tranquility surrounded by inspiring artworks. Additionally, artist Bibi Abelle offered flash tattoos inspired by the museum’s collection, allowing visitors to commemorate their support for women artists in a unique way.

For those joining virtually, art historian, writer, and artist Ferren Gipson delivered a keynote address discussing the accomplishments of women artists featured in her latest book. The online event was moderated by Elizabeth Ajunwa, director of NMWA’s Betty Boyd Dettre Library and Research Center.

There weere also spotlight conversations featuring NMWA staff discussing featured artworks, as well as a gallery talk exploring disabled artists and disability activism within the museum’s collection.  1250 New York Ave. NW. 202-783-5000.

National Portrait Gallery
Star Power: Photographs From Hollywood’s
Golden Age by George Hurrell
March 1, 2024-January 5, 2025
npg.si.edu

The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery will present “Star Power: Photographs from Hollywood’s Golden Age by George Hurrell,” an exhibition showcasing images of film royalty from the 1930s and 1940s.

The exhibition features notable film icons such as Jean Harlow, Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, Greta Garbo, and James Wong Howe. Curated by senior curator of photographs Ann Shumard, the exhibition draws from the National Portrait Gallery’s collection, which includes 70 recently acquired Hurrell portraits.

On view from March 1 to Jan. 5, 2025, the exhibition presents over 20 vintage photographs portraying Golden Age Hollywood stars at the peak of their careers. Hurrell’s career began in 1930 at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), where he quickly became the principal portrait photographer. His keen eye for lighting, composition, and posing influenced the industry’s standards of glamour.

Establishing his own studio on Sunset Boulevard in 1933, Hurrell continued to photograph actors for MGM and other major studios. The exhibition offers a captivating glimpse into the allure of Hollywood’s bygone era. Eighth and G streets NW. Hours Open 7 days a week, 11:30 a.m.–7:00 p.m. Closed Dec. 25. 202-633-1000.

Phil Hutinet is the founding publisher of East City Art, DC’s visual art journal of record. For more information visit www.eastcityart.com