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Lesley Vance in Put It This Way

2 August—Fall 2023
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC, USA

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This exhibition unites almost a century of work by 49 women and nonbinary artists in a range of media drawn exclusively from the Hirshhorn’s permanent collection. One-quarter of the artworks have been made in the past decade by the likes of Loie Hollowell, Rachel Jones, Deana Lawson, Sondra Perry and Kiyan Williams. One-third have never been on view at the Hirshhorn. Recent acquisitions, including pieces by Dana Awartani, Zanele Muholi and Billie Zangewa, reflect the museum’s mission to acquire and highlight global voices.

Titled after a 1963 painting by American pop artist Rosalyn Drexler, whose work is featured in the first gallery, “Put It This Way” is organized by Hirshhorn Associate Curator Anne Reeve. The exhibition speaks to traditionally marginalized artists’ decisive and virtuosic achievements, and investigates a wide array of aesthetic, political and historical concerns. The full-floor presentation is intended to encourage conversations around the significance of gender in creating and perceiving an artwork, the effects of categorizing artists by gender as well as the museum’s role and responsibilities in stewarding the national collection of modern and contemporary art.