Four Artists Four Photos at the Hirshhorn Museum

Selections from the Hirshhorn Museum,

Sometimes I like to get out the watercolors and without much thought or preparation — paint! I know this doesn’t make me an artist, but it gives me enjoyment and more often than not, I like what I’ve created. Similarly, I’m not an expert in art or art history, but I love visiting museums and galleries to bask in the creativity of others. At the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington DC, I found several works that grabbed my attention.

Joseph Kosuth

Four Colors Four Words

I had not previously seen any of Kosuth’s work, but this neon piece prompted me to find out more about him. I came across this statement by Kosuth — “The art I call conceptual is such because it is based on an inquiry into the nature of art. Thus, it is . . . a working out, a thinking out, of all the implications of all aspects of the concept ‘art’.” He certainly got me thinking.

Anish Kapoor

At the Hub of Things, Anish Kapoor

I’m quite familiar with Kapoor and consider Cloud Gate (“The Bean”) in Chicago’s Millennium Park one of my favorite works of public art. I thought this statement of Kapoor’s was very interesting about the use of blue pigment in this and other pieces. “What is important about these works is not that they are made out of pigment. The curious thing is that they appear to be made out of pigment. … It said that what you see is what you get, and I think that art is exactly the opposite. What you see is not what you get!” I think I understand that.

Manuel Neri

Penance, Neri

This painted bronze piece was my introduction to Manuel Neri. He’s known primarily for his life-sized sculptures that are often painted and have much texture. Because of this, his sculptures are often described as “painterly”. I like it.

Andy Warhol


The Shadows exhibition will be running at the Hirshhorn through January 15, 2012. I’ve seen a lot of Warhol’s work over the years in various museums and of course, in the media. Shadows is quite different. It consists of a series of 102 silkscreen canvases depicting distorted photographs of shadows in his studio. They are installed side by side along the gallery’s curved walls. Photographs were not allowed inside the exhibit, so I just have this one showing a partial view from outside. Click here to see more: Shadows

Do any of these works capture your attention?

For more information: Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden

You might also like this post about another exhibit at the Hirshhorn: Round Rainbow by Olafur Eliasson

This is my submission to this week’s Budget Travelers Sandbox Travel Photo Thursday series. Be sure to check out other photo and story entries on their website.


Note: This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, I will earn a commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks!

45 thoughts on “Four Artists Four Photos at the Hirshhorn Museum

  1. Adrian B.

    I’m not an art connoisseur by any means, but I find these very interesting, especially the work of Andy Warhol – I followed the link and saw the full-size image of the Shadows exhibition.

    1. Cathy Post author

      Thanks, Debbie. I think that art does tell stories — about time, place, people, concepts, etc — or sometimes they just get us to think.

  2. Caanan @ No Vacation Required

    We love the Hirshorn. On our last visit, there was a video of this elaborate and oddly dark Rube Goldberg “machine.” We were completely entranced.

    Modern art is so fun – there is something so satisfying about having your perceptions challenged in unique ways. I especially like it when modern art has a sense of humor. I would say that first piece has a sense of humor. The literalness is kind of funny.

    Andy Warhol always makes me think of the play “The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe.” Lilly Tomlin has this brilliant monologue:

    My space chums say they’re learning so much about us.
    They said to me, “Trudy, the human mind is so-o-o strange.”
    We think so different.
    They find it hard to grasp some things that come easy to us,
    because they simply don’t have our frame of reference.

    I show’em this can of Campbell’s tomato soup.
    I say,
    “This is soup”.
    Then I show’em a picture of Andy Warhol’s painting
    of a can of Campbell’s tomato soup. I say,
    “This is art.”

    “This is soup.”

    “And this is art.”

    Then I shuffle the two behind my back.

    Now what is this?

    this is soup and this is art!

    I dread having to explain tartar sauce!

  3. Jim

    Contemporary art I appreciate, sometimes. What you have displayed is very striking and thought provoking and I guess that makes it great art…when it provokes a reaction.

  4. Leigh

    I love Penance #3 and the mix of paint & sculpture.

    I don’t know much about art but I do appreciate it, would love more great art in my home, thoroughly enjoy a trip to art galleries (The Picasso Gallery in Barcelona in 10 days) and I admire the fact that you’re happy to dabble. That’s the only way you’ll get better and learn.
    Nice post Cathy.

    1. Cathy Post author

      Thanks, Leigh. Penance No. 3 seems to be a popular choice! As much as I appreciate art, I can’t say that I’ve got any great art in my home. Would be nice though…..

  5. Laurel

    I didn’t know that you painted, you should show us your work sometime. I really like “At the Hub of Things” and just clicked on “Cloud Gate” which is amazing. I like the simplicity, yet bold statement this art makes.

    1. Cathy Post author

      I shouldn’t have built up any expectations about my own work — it’s more just for fun, but I just might take a chance and show you some of it later.

  6. Mark Wiens

    Cool round up Cathy. The sculpture is particularly interesting as is the Shadows exhibition by Andy Warhol – I’m sure that was so cool to see mounted all over the wall in real life!

    1. Cathy Post author

      I think that sometimes it’s good just forget about trying to figure out the meaning or purpose of a piece of art, and just enjoy looking at it!

  7. John in France

    I loved the tour of the art gallery. I enjoy being challenged by the contemporary/modern artists, and I also love the classics 14th to 19th century as well!! “Four Colours, Four Words” made me smile!

  8. Lola T.

    This is a beautiful showcase of art. The sculpture and other forms of art featured here are really done creatively. Bravo to the artists! It’s an inspiration.

  9. Desiree E.

    I love how you snuck that shot of the Andy Warhol exhibit……being a photographer, I am always tempted to shoot in a museum….it’s sooooo hard to hold back!!! (Although, I respect the reasons why, of course).

  10. Pingback: Capital Ideas Washington DC | Traveling with Sweeney

  11. Pingback: Quirky Artsy DC | Traveling with Sweeney

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.