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On Display in March: The Month In Art

Cloth, wire, silver, furniture, and glass in Washington museums

Painting by Rockwell Kent, courtesy the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

February may have had the splashy, big-name shows, but March has a number of interesting exhibits opening, too. The Hirshhorn Museum is hosting a retrospective of German abstract painter Blinky Palermo’s work from February 24 through May 15. The exhibit features Palermo’s monochromatic cloth pictures and wall paintings as well as his monumental installation “To the People of New York City.”

Alexander Calder is best known for his mobiles, but he also created portraits, including renderings of dancer Josephine Baker and artists Fernand Léger and Joan Miró. The whimsical wire structures make up “Calder’s Portraits: A New Language,” at the National Portrait Gallery March 11 through August 14.

“To Make a World: George Ault and 1940s America” opens March 11 at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, running through September 5. Ault’s realist landscapes, known for their almost ghostly qualities, are on display along with works by 22 of his contemporaries, including Andrew Wyeth and Edward Hopper.

Through May 22, the National Museum of Women in the Arts presents “Eye Wonder: Photography From the Bank of America Collection.” The 100-plus images, dating from 1865 to the present, include work by Dorothea Lange, Margaret Bourke-White, and Berenice Abbott. Admission is $10, students and seniors $8; free the first Sunday of every month.

The Renwick Gallery’s Craft Invitational returns March 25 through July 31. Titled “History in the Making,” the show brings together work by silversmith Ubaldo Vitali, ceramicist Cliff Lee, glass artist Judith Schaechter, and furniture maker Matthias Pliessnig, who combine centuries-old techniques with contemporary influences.

“Perspectives: Lu Chunsheng” opens at the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery March 19. This installment in the Perspectives series features a video installation by the contemporary Shanghai-based artist, known for his surreal explorations of alien landscapes.

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