Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden Acquires New Sculpture: “For Gordon Bunshaft” by Dan Graham

May 30, 2008
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The Hirshhorn Museum has installed a new work in its sculpture garden. Named for the Hirshhorn’s architect, “For Gordon Bunshaft” (2006) is a site-specific sculpture by artist Dan Graham, permanently on view starting May 30. One side of the triangular structure echoes the museum’s curve and is juxtaposed to another side consisting of a wooden lattice. The latter architectural element was inspired by Japanese screens and the grid-patterned work of artist Sol LeWitt, who is also represented in the museum’s collection.

Graham has been creating architectural pieces, which he calls pavilions, since the late 1970s. Evolving from his work in performance and video art, these works utilize two-way mirrors that blur the line between subject and object, with visitors “activating” the piece by standing inside or outside of it. The sculpture’s reflective and transparent surfaces ultimately result in a heightened state of self-awareness.

Graham has long been recognized as one of the key figures in the evolution of conceptual art. This project affirms the Hirshhorn’s commitment to working with living artists and incorporating contemporary pieces into its noted sculpture garden. “For Gordon Bunshaft” is the first work by the artist to enter the collection.

About the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden welcomes visitors at all levels of understanding to experience the transformative power of contemporary art. The museum collects, preserves and presents international modern and contemporary art in all media. By collaborating with artists on exhibitions, programs and special projects, the Hirshhorn provides an important national platform in Washington, D.C., for the vision and voices of artists. The museum is located on Independence Avenue at Seventh Street S.W. and is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (closed Dec. 25). Admission is free.

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