Spring is about youth, fresh starts and taking chances — a theme that’s echoed in the crop of exciting art happenings taking place around town this month. At the top of the list is “DOLL: DIWO OPNSRC LMFAO LHOOQ.”
Opening at Artisphere on April 12, the acronymically titled group show of interactive and multimedia art is part of “Experimental Media 2012,” a joint project of Artisphere and the Washington Project for the Arts. In addition to the “DOLL” gallery exhibition, the project includes a nongoing series of video programs. The first night of screenings take splace on April 26 at the Phillips Collection.
Check out the details on more just-picked art events this month.
It doesn’t get much fresher or feistier than NEXT at the Corcoran. The show, opening on April 14, spotlights the work of graduating students at the Corcoran College of Art and Design.
The night before that, all the hipsters are going to want to hit the National Portrait Gallery for Visio Disco, a late-night art party featuring music, art and dancing in the museum’s courtyard under the beautiful, wavelike canopy. Arrive by 10 p.m., and check out the galleries before the courtyard party picks up steam. On April 7, the Portrait Gallery hosts a talk with artist Tam Tran. The Vietnamese-born, L.A.-based photographer’s self-portraits are featured in the excellent group show “Portraiture Now: Asian American Portraits of Encounter.”
Photographer Francesca Woodman was only 23 when she committed suicide in 1981. Since then, the work the artist left behind — enigmatic, sexually charged self portraits — has gotten white hot. On April 14, the Phillips Collection screens “The Woodmans,” a provocative 2010 documentary about the artist and the impact of her death on her artist parents.
On April 4, the Arlington Arts Center opens its 2012 Spring Solos. featuring interactive installation, drawing, photography, sculpture and artist’s books by five young artists. The opening reception is April 20. On April 21, look for more new work by emerging artists Jessica van Brakle and Joshua Wade Smith at Hamiltonian Gallery.
If you need a tonic to all that apple-cheeked youth, check out these historical shows opening later this month: “I Spy: Photography and the Theater of the Street, 1938-2010” hits the National Gallery of Art on April 22. And on April 27, “African American Art: Harlem Renaissance, Civil Rights Era and Beyond” brings together work by such 20th-century artists as Sargent Johnson and Sam Gilliam at the Smithsonian American Art Museum.
Sometimes old things are better than new, because of the stories they tell.