The Inka Road stretches 20,000 miles across South America. Providing a vital link between the administrative and spiritual capitals of the ancient Inka world, it is still in use today and deemed a World Heritage Site by the United Nations. This exhibit at the National Museum of the American Indian explores its engineering history in terms of technology, politics and culture.
The Renwick Gallery reopened last fall after an extensive renovation; now, an installation of artworks taken from the museum’s permanent collection will explore the value of craft in the modern world. More than 80 objects on view will include such new acquisitions as stained glass by Judith Schaechter, wood sculpture by Wendell Castle and cast glass by Karen Lamonte.
Married, Russian-born American artists Ilya and Emilia Kabakov create installations inspired by hardships they endured while living in the Soviet Union. Spanning 1985 to the present, maquettes and whimsical models create mini-environments with the help of lights, motors, text and music. Monuments, allegorical narratives, architectural structures and commissioned outdoor works are part of the exhibit.
The late African-American artist Al Loving created abstract expressionist works, experimenting in a range of media. In the 1980s, he used heavy rag paper to create colorful, three-dimensional collages employing spiral motifs; “Spiral Play” features 12 of these works, some of which are monumental in scale.
The Freer | Sackler celebrates its October 2017 reopening with an installation by artist Subodh Gupta (above), who transforms utilitarian vessels found in India into monumental structures. Comprised of about 30 towers of brass containers from one to 15 feet in height, “Terminal” evokes a dense urban landscape.
Featuring nearly 350 objects and images, from a Tomahawk missile to a can of baking powder, this exhibit demonstrates the ways in which Indian words and images have become ingrained in American culture. It also examines how four Indian narratives—Pocahontas, Thanksgiving, the Trail of Tears and the Battle of Little Bighorn—have engendered enduring fascination and conflict.
Mexican modernist Rufino Tamayo (left, in a portrait by Irving Penn) is the subject of an exhibit tracing his artistic development from the 1920s to 1949, when he lived and worked in New York. Forty-two lush, colorful works, ranging from urban-themed paintings to dream-like canvases, are on display.