Howard

Blog Posts

Chakaia Booker: This is How I Roll

On Saturday afternoon, artist Chakaia Booker and curator E. Carmen Ramos spoke in the Renwick Gallery's Grand Salon about Booker's work, process, and Anonymous Donor her sculpture/installation in the current exhibition, WONDER.

Eye Wonder: Ten Years of Blogging at SAAM

Ten years ago, November 29, 2005 to be exact, SAAM launched Eye Level, the first museum blog at the Smithsonian. It's given us the ability to tell stories and show people the museum from the inside out.

Art Matters with Lawrence Weschler

As the final speaker in this year's Clarice Smith Lecture Series, noted scholar Lawrence Weschler presented a talk on race relations in the United States, using Ed Kienholz's Five Car Stud as the mirror in which this difficult history is reflected and refracted.

The Renwick Gallery Reopens in a Whole New Light

hough billed as a renovation, I like to think of the reopening of the Renwick Gallery as a reimagining as well. The newly spiffed up Renwick is in mint condition, ready for the next fifty years, or more. In addition to the physical updates that include preserving numerous historical elements with new state-of-the-art infrastructure, the gallery reopens on November 13 with it's inaugural exhibition in our new space, Wonder.

From Paris to Brooklyn: Crosscurrents Between Picasso and Smith

One word that comes to mind when visiting the newly opened exhibition, Crosscurrents: Modern Art from the Sam Rose and Julie Walters Collection, is liberation. It's not just one generation breaking from the one before, it's a sense that the modern twentieth century opened a world never before imagined.

Irving Penn Retrospective: Everything Clicks

"Irving Penn: Beyond Beauty" is the first museum retrospective of Penn's work in more than twenty years. It opens Friday, October 23 at the Smithsonian American Art Museum and runs until March 20, 2016.

Trevor Paglen: Surveillance in Life and Art

Artist Trevor Paglen spoke last week in the Clarice Smith Distinguished Lecture Series, and said his goal as an artist is to “help us see the historical moment we live in.” Paglen made a case that this is true for all art over time, no matter the time period, and showed examples from Turner to Rothko, leading up to present times.
Howard on September 17, 2015

Watch This: Write as Rain

Text Rain, the video work from 1999, by Romy Achituv and Camille Utterback is featured in the current exhibition, Watch This! Revelations in Media Art, which remains on view at SAAM through September 7.

Cloudy, with a Chance of Music

The best place to watch afternoon thunderstorms in D.C.? Hands down, it's the third floor of American Art, a special corner in the current exhibition, Watch This! Revelations in Media Art. Cloud Music, created between 1974-1979 by artists Robert Watts, David Berhman, and Bob Diamond is a weather-driven audio/visual installation that reads the sky like it's a musical score.

Watch This: Ghosts of New York

The ghosts, the commuters, the visitors, the stories...they all pass across the screen in Jim Campbell's Grand Central Station #2, a poetic meditation on movement and memory. On view in the exhibition, Watch This: Revelations in Media Art, Campbell's LED-based work features shadows that move across the floor of New York's Grand Central Station.

Close Encounters with Nam June Paik

Russell Connor was an abstract painter, happily minding his own business, when in Boston in 1969, he met media visionary, Nam June Paik. As Connor told us the other night at a program in honor of Paik's birthday.

Seeing Things (14): Christo at 80

This is the fourteenth in a series of personal observations about how people experience and explore museums. Take a look at Howard's other blog posts about seeing things. Today, celebrating Christo's 80th birthday and a look at his Running Fence.

Yasuo Kuniyoshi: Bearing the Weight

Opening today, the exhibition, The Artistic Journey of Yasuo Kuniyoshi, looks at the evolution of the artist's work, and is the first comprehensive exhibition about the artist in the U.S. since 1948. It remains on view through August 30, 2015.

Mingering Mike is in the House

Billed on his website as "the Soul Superstar You've Never Heard Of," Mingering Mike is an enigma, wrapped in faux vinyl, and carefully packaged in cardboard. The artist, who wishes to remain anonymous but for his sobriquet, is a DC native, who, caught up in the sounds and images of his hometown in the 1960s and 1970s, dreamed of joining the ranks of singer-songwriter Marvin Gaye who was transforming the soundscape of the city and the nation.

Take the Richard Estes Challenge

At the museum, some of us have become a bit obsessed not only with the paintings of Richard Estes, but in locating his signature (or name, really) in each of his paintings. Estes usually signs his work, but often in ways that make it nearly impossible to discover.