'A Man Writing a Letter' by Gabriel Metsu c. 1664–1666. Image courtesy the National Gallery of Art.
This month, a show opens at the National Portrait Gallery that required a little sleuthing. “Capital Portraits: Treasures From Washington Private Collections” runs through September 5, offering a glimpse at works that are rarely (if ever) seen by members of the public. Big names (Andy Warhol, Chuck Close, John Singer Sargent, Salvador Dalí) are on display, as well as smaller works of historical interest, such as a portrait of Alonzo J. Aden, one of the country’s first African-American art dealers. Free. See the National Portrait Gallery’s Web site for more details.
DC’s Kreeger Museum hosts an intriguing exhibition of drawings by American pop artist Tom Wesselmann April 8 through July 30. Wesselmann is primarily famous for his collages, but “Tom Wesselmann Draws” offers some insight into his artistic process, including his attempts to expand drawing beyond pencil and paper with his large-scale, sculptural studies. $10. Visit the Kreeger’s Web site for more information.
“Directions: Grazia Toderi” opens at the Hirshhorn Museum April 21. Toderi, an Italian artist based in Milan, creates large-scale video installations from satellite, military, and night-surveillance footage, altered to “visualize the infinite.” She compares her works, frequently recognized by the Venice Bienniale, to “frescoes of light.” Free. See the Hirshhorn’s Web site for more details.