Art in Washington in March: Museum Exhibitions, Gallery Shows, and Arty Events

Visit the Wolfgang Laib Wax Room, explore 1970s America, and see the glitter that bombed Newt Gingrich in town this month.

By: Sophie Gilbert

Museum Exhibitions

Now open at the Phillips Collection is the Laib Wax Room by German conceptual artist Wolfgang Laib. The permanent installation is the museum’s first since the Rothko Room was installed 53 years ago; constructed from beeswax, it aims to transport visitors to a more introspective, spiritual state of mind. We reported last week on how the museum was experimenting with crowdfunding to help raise donations for it.

While the Corcoran is exploring the 1980s this month in “Pump Me Up,” the National Archives turns its attention to the previous decade in “Searching for the Seventies: The DOCUMERICA Photography Project.” The show reveals images from the 1970s Federal Photography project titled “DOCUMERICA,” looking at life in inner cities, farms, and coal mining communities. March 8 through September 9.

The Sackler Gallery unveils the Cyrus Cylinder, a 2,500-year-old Persian clay cylinder discovered in 1879 in the ruins of Babylon in Mesopotamia. “The Cyrus Cylinder and Ancient Persia: A New Beginning,” opening March 9, looks at the history of the object and its legacy as a symbol of religious tolerance. Through April 28.

The National Portrait Gallery presents 48 works selected by a jury from more than 3,000 entries in the Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition. The winner, to be announced March 22, receives $25,000 and a commission to create a work for the museum. March 23 through February, 2014.

Seven years after the National Gallery first hoped to present “Albrecht Dürer: Master Drawings, Watercolors, and Prints from the Albertina,” the exhibit opens March 24 in the West Building, and is billed as the finest exhibition by the German artist ever to go on display in the US. Through June 9.

Opening at the National Museum of the American Indian March 29 is “Cerámica de los Ancestros: Central America’s Past Revealed,” an exhibition examining thousands of years of Central American art and artifacts and the insight they offer into diverse and complex civilizations. Through 2014.

Gallery Shows

The Kennedy Center has 12 different exhibitions related to Nordic Cool running through March 17. Don’t miss “New Nordic: Architecture and Identity,” a show exploring Nordic approaches to design and architecture from Denmark’s Louisiana Museum of Modern Art.

At Artisphere, local artist Carolina Mayorga presents “Infestation,” a multimedia work including a site-specific installation that plays on concepts of migration and habitation. Large vinyl ants occupy different parts of the space, moving gradually from room to room. Through March 24.

Open through April 7 at the Athenaeum is “Process: Photography,” a show compiling work by established and emerging local photographers such as Jim Darling, Frank Hallam Day, Andrew Zimmermann, and more.

The Workhouse Arts Center in Lorton displays “Ephemeral: Interpretations of the Cherry Blossom,” an exhibition of work in different media inspired by the annual festival. Through April 7.

The Goethe-Institut has an exhibition of new German photography by artists such as Henning Bode and Saskia Groneberg through April 12.

Open at Honfleur Gallery is “Sculpture Now 2013,” an exhibit of 27 works curated by Florcy Morisset with the Washington Sculptors Group. Through April 12.

The Gallery at Vivid Solutions has “Home,” an exhibition of photographs by artist Benjamin Rasmussen on display through April 12.

Off-Rhode Studio presents “Glitterbomb,” an exhibition of 50 different works from a private collection showcasing all things glitter, including fragments from the notorious glitterbombings of Michele Bachmann and Newt Gingrich during the 2012 presidential campaign. March 9 through 29.

Iva Gueorguieva: Reinvigorating Prints opens March 27 at George Washington University’s Brady Gallery, and reveals boundary-pushing monoprints and collages by the Bulgarian-born artist. Through May 3.

Art Events

This month’s Phillips After 5 is March 7, and has a Philippines theme in honor of artist Alfonso Ossorio.

The Atlas Intersections Festival continues through March 10 at the Atlas Performing Arts Center on H Street.

The National Cherry Blossom Festival kicks off March 20 and runs over three weeks, with a Japanese arts festival, a street parade, a fireworks event, and more.

On March 22, the Corcoran hosts Artini, a night of cocktails inspired by works in the gallery's collection.