Things to Do

March Art Preview

“The Art of Video Games,” unpublished National Geographic photographs, and a projection covering the Hirshhorn’s exterior go on display this month.

“The Art of Video Games,” opening March 16 at the American Art Museum, looks at the transformation of video-game graphics over four decades. Photograph copyright © the American Art Museum.


If you’re a Bank of America cardholder, entrance to the Phillips Collection and the National Museum of Women in the Arts is free this weekend, March 3 and 4, to celebrate National Women’s History Month. At the NMWA, scope out “Royalists to Romantics: Women Artists from the Louvre, Versailles, and Other French National Collections,” which includes artists such as Marguerite Gérard, Sophie Rude, and Anne Vallayer-Coster. And at the Phillips, “Snapshot: Painters and Photography, Bonnard to Vuillard” continues through May 6, while “French Drawings from the Aaronsohn Collection” is on display through April. For more information, click here.

“Beyond the Story: National Geographic Unpublished 2011” continues at National Geographic through May 28, offering the opportunity to see a selection of photographs that never made it into the magazine. The show includes images from 29 different feature stories, including photographs taken of volcanoes, Japan’s nuclear zone, and the Black Sea.

In the 1930s, New York Daily News photographer Harry Warnecke was one of the first to capture images in color by using a process called tricolor carbro to apply layers of color to prints. Warnecke went on to photograph notable figures from Lucille Ball to Jackie Robinson, and 24 of his portraits are currently on display at the National Portrait Gallery. “In Vibrant Color: Vintage Celebrity Portraits From the Harry Warnecke Studio” runs through September.

At the Hillwood Museum, “The Style That Ruled the Empires: Russia, Napoleon, and 1812” looks at how Russia’s defeat of Napoleon produced decorative arts inspired by national pride, including paintings, sculpture, and glassware. Through June 2. $15.

At the Hirshhorn is “Suprasensorial: Experiments in Light, Color, and Space,” which explores the Light and Space movement of the late 20th century. The exhibit features work by five influential Latin American artists: Carlos Cruz-DiezLucio FontanaJulio Le ParcHélio Oiticica, and Jesús Rafael Soto, whose work manipulates color, texture, and scale (read our review here). The show is accompanied by Doug Aitken’s 360-degree projection, “Song 1,” on the Hirshhorn’s exterior, which starts March 22. Both are through May 13.

Also at the National Geographic Museum is “Samurai: The Warrior Transformed,” which displays artifacts, drawings, and other items depicting the history of samurai in Japan. The show is accompanied by an exhibition of photographs by Eliza R. Scidmore, a writer and geographer who helped facilitate Japan’s gift of cherry trees to Washington in 1912. March 7 through September 3.

Singing nuns are par for the course these days, but pop artist nuns are another thing entirely. Opening at the National Museum of Women in the Arts March 9 is “R(ad)ical Love: Sister Mary Corita,” which presents 62 bold prints by the 1960s artist and member of the order of the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart. Corita emblazoned lyrics by the Beatles and Jefferson Airplane on her works, promoting messages of love and peace. Through July 15.

One of the year’s most anticipated exhibitions, “The Art of Video Games,” opens March 16 at the American Art Museum. The show looks at the 40-year transformation of video-game graphics, from Pac-Man and Donkey Kong to Flower and Super Mario Galaxy 2. Selected games were chosen by more than 3 million voters from a list of 240; the show opens in Washington before traveling to seven other museums nationwide. Through September 30.

It’s almost impossible to escape cherry blossom fever in March, and area museums are no exception. There are two interesting exhibitions opening this month: “Colorful Realm: Japanese Bird-and-Flower Paintings by Ito Jakuchu (1716–1800),” which runs March 30 through April 29 at the National Gallery; and “Hokusai: 36 Views of Mount Fuji,” which is at the Sackler Gallery from March 24 through June 17. The NGA show brings a 30-scroll set of exquisite Japanese paintings to the US in its entirety for the first time; the Sackler show features woodblock prints by the famed artist Hokusai.


“You Are What You Eat” continues at Strathmore through March 17, featuring paintings, sculptures, and textiles inspired by our relationship with food.

“Everitt Clark: Night and Day—The Suburbs of Northern Virginia” runs through March 31 at Artisphere, displaying Clark’s black-and-white prints of unexpected fragments found in NOVA. Some were taken during the day, and some at night, resulting in two very different series of unfamiliar landscapes.

“Black, White, and In Between” runs though April 1 at the Foundry Gallery, displaying works in polymer clay by Fran Abrams. Abrams found inspiration in the harshly divided political landscape to explore black, white, and shades of gray.

Addison Ripley Fine Art has an exhibition of work by extraordinary local artist Carol Brown Goldberg February 29 through April 20. The show features works on paper, including some of the artist’s ornate pen-and-ink drawings, and fantastical bronze sculptures.

Touchstone Gallery has “Tracks” by Pete McCutchen, a pop-art-inspired collection of photographs of roller-coaster tracks in vivid neon colors. Through April 1.

Through March 24 at Studio Gallery is an exhibition of photography by some eminent local snappers. “A Person and a Story” features portraits of different intriguing characters by Keith Lane, Matt Dunn, Jim Darling, Joshua Cogan, and Joshua Yospyn.

Opening at the W Hotel March 2 is “Rocked,” an exhibition of rock-and-roll-themed photographs by British photographer Mick Rock. Some of Rock’s subjects include Debbie Harry, Lady Gaga, and Iggy Pop. Through March 31.

Hillyer Art Space has three new shows opening this month, from March 2 through 27. “Rachel Rotenberg: New Work” features sculptures carved out of cedar, while “Daniel Venne: Looking for Now” includes drawings themed around sexuality, crafted on tea-stained paper. “Kathryn Zazenski: Geometry of Thought,” a series of abstract letters on paper, is in the Members’ Gallery.

“En Foco: In Focus” runs March 14 through May 16 at the Art Museum of the Americas, displaying photographs by artists of Latin America, African, Asian, and Native American heritage. The work documents the changing landscape of modern-day America.

“Avery Lawrence: Moving a Tree and Arranging Suitcases” runs March 9 through April 21 at Heiner Contemporary, presenting films, drawings, photography, and wallpaper created by the New Orleans–based artist. Lawrence premiered “Moving a Tree” at the (e)merge art fair in DC last year.



Valerie Fletcher, senior curator at the Hirshhorn, hosts an interactive tour of “Suprasensorial” March 1.

This month’s Phillips After Five is March 1, and features a Parisian cabaret theme.

March 3 is Family Day at the Corcoran, with performances, art workshops, face painting, and more.

Celebrate Persian New Year at the Freer/Sackler March 4, with dance performances, contemporary music, and traditional Persian food.

Everyday Sunshine: The Story of Fishbone screens March 8 at the Hirshhorn.

DJ Camilo Lara, a.k.a. the Mexican Institute of Sound, performs his fusion electronic beats at Artisphere March 17.

Doug Aitken, whose projection, “Song 1,” debuts at the Hirshhorn March 22, discusses it at the museum the same day.

The Phillips has a screening of the film Paris: The Luminous Years March 24. A Q&A with director Perry Miller Adato follows the movie.

Artist Janine Antoni, who blurs the lines between art and everyday life, discusses her work at the Phillips March 28.

The Corcoran’s annual Artini event returns March 31, with cocktails, music, and art-inspired drinks. We’ll be posting more about Artini later in the month, so stay tuned.