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The Hirshhorn Museum Will Be Covered by a Giant Painting Until Next Spring

The pastel work by Nicolas Party will clad the exterior of the Hirshhorn while it undergoes renovations.

Photo courtesy of Nicolas Party.

A giant pastel painting will cover the Hirshhorn Museum starting on Saturday. New York-based Swiss artist Nicolas Party was commissioned to paint this piece while the art museum undergoes renovations for the next seven months.

The giant wrap-around, called Draw the Curtain, portrays several black-and-white faces partially hidden by draped curtains painted in green, blue, yellow, and red. The faces resemble classical sculptures, and the curtains are inspired by 17th-century Dutch paintings.

With people being able to see the piece along the National Mall, it’s almost as if the painted faces are playing hide and seek to lure viewers to check out what’s behind the Hirshhorn’s walls. Luckily, viewers won’t have to wait to soothe their curiosity. The museum will be open during the renovations and have a number of new exhibitions lined up for the next few months, including another large exhibit by multimedia artist Laurie Anderson that will feature more than ten new artworks through an “immersive audiovisual experience.”

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Damare Baker
Assistant Editor

Before becoming an assistant editor, Damare Baker started out as an editorial fellow for Washingtonian. She has previously written for Voice of America and The Hill. She is a graduate of Georgetown University, where she studied international relations, Korean, and journalism.