Home The Washington Diplomat February 2018 Events – February 2018

Events – February 2018












Through Feb. 1

Double Look: The Other Latin American Photography

Is it possible to talk about a Latin American documentary photography? Curators Carla Möller and Jose Pablo Concha propose a widening of documentary language exploring the path of active photographers who have achieved critical autonomy to observe their own historical time.

Embassy of Chile

Feb. 2 to 24

In Transit

Americans have been on the move since they set foot on this continent — whether by car, bicycle, airplane, boat, train or walking. They get where they need to go by actually moving, studying or making a career move. See Touchstone artist’s explorations of transitions and mobility in their photographs, paintings, collages, hand-pulled prints, sculptures, clay forms and drawings.

Touchstone Gallery

Feb. 2 to 28

Crossover: East and West

This new group exhibition features ceramic, installation, painting and video art that question and inform the Asian immigrant experience in America through the works of four accomplished Korean American artists: Victoria Jang, Christina Ko, Jang Soon Im and Eun Kyung Suh. “Crossover” explores the relationship between common notions of Eastern and Western culture from a Korean-American perspective and the effects of cross-cultural phenomena on individuals and minority groups in society. Set between two timely and important occasions, Korean American Day in the U.S. on Jan. 13 and Korea’s traditional Lunar New Year holiday that falls on Feb. 16 in 2018, this exhibition presents a diverse array of art that visualizes current cultural and social issues in terms of both Korean contemporary identity and past heritage.

Korean Cultural Center

Feb. 3 to May 6

Ten Americans: After Paul Klee

This exhibit explores the seminal role of Swiss-born artist Paul Klee (1879-1940) in the development of mid-20th century American art. “Ten Americans” sheds new light on important figures in American Abstract Expressionist and Color Field painting who adapted aspects of Klee’s art and ideology into their own artistic development. It showcases more than 60 paintings, prints and drawings from collections in the U.S. and Switzerland.

The Phillips Collection

Feb. 8 to March 13

Phenomenon Masaryk

In commemoration of the 100th anniversary of Czech independence, this exhibition focuses on Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk, the founding father and first president of Czechoslovakia. The project depicts his many roles as professor of philosophy, sociologist, writer, politician, journalist, visionary, democrat, father and husband. A combination of display panels and projections portrays Masaryk’s worldly inspiration and broad influence as well as his critical thinking and courage to oppose the majority while defending justice and human values.

Embassy of the Czech Republic

Through Feb. 10

Unnecessary Force

In an economy motel room, an embezzling mayor is supposed to meet with his female accountant. In the room next door, two undercover cops are supposed to catch the meeting on videotape. But there’s some confusion as to who’s in which room, who’s watching the video, who’s taken the money, who’s hired a hit man and why the accountant keeps taking off her clothes. Tickets are $45.

Andrew Keegan Theatre

Feb. 14 to May 13

Brand New: Art and Commodity in the 1980s

It’s the ’80s as you’ve never seen it before. Explore the iconic decade when artwork became a commodity and the artist a brand. Razor-sharp, witty, satirical and deeply subversive, these nearly 150 works examine the origins and rise of a new generation of artists in 1980s New York who blurred the lines between art, entertainment and commerce, a shift that continues to define contemporary art today.

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden

Through Feb. 17

Painting Shakespeare

Discover the paintings collection at the Folger — its stories, its glories and Shakespeare’s power to inspire visual artists. From humble oil sketches to international masterpieces, this exhibition presents kids and adults alike, with a sometimes surprising, and always eye-catching, view of the man and his works.

Folger Shakespeare Library

Feb. 24 to June 3

Beyond Words: Book Illustration in the Age of Shakespeare

With visually interesting illustrated books and single sheet prints that have been rarely or never before displayed, this exhibition explores the production of the images in books in early modern Europe.

Folger Shakespeare Library

Feb. 24 to Aug. 5

The Prince and the Shah: Royal Portraits from Qajar Iran

In our age of social media and selfies, it may be difficult to grasp the importance of painted portraits and studio photographs in 19th-century Iran. During this time, known as the Qajar era, rulers such as Fath-Ali Shah, a contemporary of Napoleon, and Nasir al-Din Shah, a contemporary of Queen Victoria, used portraiture to convey monarchical power and dynastic grandeur. Through a selection of about thirty works from the Freer and Sackler collections, this exhibition explores how Persian artists transformed modes of representing royalty and nobility.

Freer Gallery of Art

Through March 11

ERIK THOR SANDBERG: Out of reach…there is hope

This overview of the artist’s work from 2005 to the present brings together some 40 works, mostly paintings and several drawings, which oscillate in scale between small and full-body size.

American University Museum

Through March 4

Ilya and Emilia Kabakov: The Utopian Projects

Spanning 1985 through present day, this survey comprises more than 20 of the Kabakovs’ maquettes, whimsical models, for projects realized and unrealized, including monuments, allegorical narratives, architectural structures and commissioned outdoor works. Opening nearly 30 years after the Hirshhorn hosted Ilya Kabakov’s first major U.S. exhibition, these intricate creations invite the viewer into their surreal world in miniature and offer a rare glimpse into the duo’s artistic process.

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden

Through March 11

Kateřina Vincourová: Arteria

This exhibition focuses on the fragile nuances of interpersonal relations while at the same time abstracting these notions into an examination of time and space. Kateřina Vincourová’s work thus becomes a holistic system — a large-scale spatial drawing rather than a collection of individual pieces.

American University Museum

Through March 11


Artist Brian Dailey’s multiscreen video installation investigates the relationship between language, culture, national identity and the challenges of communicating key concepts across linguistic boundaries and national borders in the age of globalization. His virtual Tower of Babel is a contemporary turn on the Biblical story explaining the worldwide diversity of languages, a tale with parallels in ancient Sumerian and Assyrian myths.

American University Museum

Through March 18

Tamayo: The New York Years

Rufino Tamayo’s lushly colored paintings portraying modern Mexican subjects earned him widespread acclaim as an artist who balanced universal themes with a local sensibility. Tamayo (1899-1991) was drawn to New York City in the early 20th century at a time when unparalleled transatlantic and hemispheric cross-cultural exchange was taking place. “Tamayo: The New York Years” is the first exhibition to explore the influences between this major Mexican modernist and the American art world with 41 of his finest artworks.

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Through March 25

Palimpsestus: Image and Memory

The 70 artworks on display, produced between 1900 and 2014, include more than 30 artists from 10 different countries drawn from Colección Memoria, as well as a selection of iconic modern and contemporary pieces from OAS permanent art collection. The exhibit surveys the main artistic trends and visual cultures that have developed in Latin America in the second half of the 20th eentury. The term Palimpsest, a capitalistic practice stemming from the scarcity of paper as a good for 15 centuries, is appropriated by the curator to conceptualize the relativity and interrelation of art narratives and aesthetic discourses.

OAS Art Museum of the Americas

Through Spring 2018

Syria: Please Don’t Forget Us

The Syrian conflict has raged for almost seven years and claimed the lives of more than 500,000 of the country’s citizens. Eleven million people, one-half of Syria’s pre-war population, have fled their homes. The Assad regime is detaining more than 100,000 of its people in secret detention centers where they are starved, tortured, and killed. This exhibition is a powerful testament to not only what the Syrian people have endured, but also their quest to document the crimes, tell their stories and hold their perpetrators accountable.

U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum

Through May 5

A Dark and Scandalous Rockfall

This collaborative installation by Perla Krauze and Barbara Liotta, artists from both sides of the Mexico-United States border, incorporates material and metaphorical qualities of stone to evoke landscape and classical sculpture. The title of the exhibit is drawn from the poem “Dry Rain” by Mexican poet Pedro Serrano, which begins: “At times the poem is a collapse/ a slow and painful landslide/ a dark and scandalous rockfall.” Given the current state of U.S.-Mexico relations, this exhibition presents a healing gesture, recognizing our shared history.

Mexican Cultural Institute

Through May 13

Michel Sittow: Estonian Painter at the Courts of Renaissance Europe

Undoubtedly the greatest Renaissance artist from Estonia, Michel Sittow (c. 1469–1525) was born in Reval (now Tallinn), likely studied in Bruges with Hans Memling and worked at the courts of renowned European royals such as King Ferdinand of Aragon and Queen Isabella of Castile. Through some 20 works representing most of Sittow’s small oeuvre, the exhibition will offer an opportunity to examine his art in a broader context.

National Gallery of Art

Through May 13

Outliers and American Vanguard Art

Some 300 works explore three distinct periods in American history when mainstream and outlier artists intersected, ushering in new paradigms based on inclusion, integration and assimilation.

National Gallery of Art

Through June 24

Jim Chuchu’s Invocations

The museum is the first institution to acquire and display Kenyan multimedia artist Jim Chuchu’s mesmerizing suite of video projections, in which two distinct videos loop in succession and follow the structure of initiation rituals. Surrounded by Chuchu’s pulsing house beats and evocative imagery, viewers are invited to contemplate the separations and releases that shape our individual and collective identities.

National Museum of African Art

Through July 8

Hung Liu in Print

This spotlight exhibition features 16 prints and a tapestry by painter and printmaker Hung Liu that invites viewers to explore the relationship between Liu’s multi-layered paintings and the palpable, physical qualities of her works on paper. Her multifaceted body of work probes the human condition and confronts issues of culture, identity and personal and national history.

National Museum of Women in the Arts

Through Aug. 15

Tomb of Christ

Be virtually transported to Jerusalem and discover the fascinating history of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in an immersive 3-D experience unlike anything you’ve seen in a museum before. Groups will be able to virtually visit the church and learn about its storied history and enduring mysteries.

National Geographic

Through Nov. 12

Mark Bradford: Pickett’s Charge

For his first solo exhibition in D.C., acclaimed artist Mark Bradford debuts a monumental site-specific commission inspired by Paul Philippoteaux’s 1883 cyclorama depicting the Battle of Gettysburg. Covering the curved walls of the Hirshhorn’s Third Level Inner Circle, “Pickett’s Charge” presents 360 degrees of abstracted historical narrative.

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden

Through Dec. 25

Visionary: Viewpoints on Africa’s Arts

More than 300 works of art from the museum’s permanent collection are on view within this exhibition. Working in media as diverse as wood, ceramics, drawing, jewelry, mixed media, sculpture, painting, photography, printmaking, and video, these works of art reflect the visionary ideas and styles developed by men and women from more than half of Africa’s 55 nations. The installation is organized around seven viewpoints, each of which serve to frame and affect the manner in which African art is experienced.

National Museum of African Art



Feb. 2 to 4

Image China: Dragon Boat Racing

This an award-winning Chinese dance-drama performed by the Guangdong Song and Dance Ensemble tells the story of the creation of one of the most iconic and enduring pieces of Cantonese music. Set in 1930s China against the backdrop of the Japanese occupation, “Dragon Boat Racing” follows two lovers whose passion for each other is equaled only by their passion for music. Tickets are $30 to $110.

Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater

Through Feb. 4

American Ballet Theatre: Whipped Cream – Works by Ratmansky, Millepied and Wheeldon

American Ballet Theatre’s starry roster of dancers is just one of many assets fueling its ever-growing fan base. The company performs a stunning lineup of works, including the D.C. premiere of Ratmansky’s full-length story ballet “Whipped Cream.” Tickets are $49 to $249.

Kennedy Center Opera House

Feb. 14 to 18

The Washington Ballet presents John Cranko’s ‘Romeo & Juliet’

The Washington Ballet returns to the Kennedy Center Opera House to celebrate love and fate in an evening of unbridled passion set to Prokofiev’s dynamic score. The intricate and timeless tale of Shakespeare’s star-crossed lovers is told through vivid characterizations, clear dramatic structure and masterful dancing. Tickets are $25 to $160.

Kennedy Center Opera House



Tue., Feb. 6, 8 p.m.

World Affairs Council-DC: Costa Rica

Join the World Affairs Council-DC as it hosts Costa Rican Ambassador Román Macaya Hayes for a discussion on the United States and Costa Rica’s bilateral relationship. The U.S. is Costa Rica’s largest trading partner, accounting for over half of Costa Rica’s exports, imports, tourism and foreign direct investment.

Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center

Wed., Feb. 14, 10 a.m.

The Prague Coup d’État in 1948: Heretical Thoughts

Igor Lukes, Boston University professor of history and international relations, proposes to challenge the established view that the outcome of the postwar political crisis in Prague was a preordained affair. He posits that, except for the communist plotters, the greatest share of responsibility for the loss of Czechoslovakia’s democratic identity rested on the shoulders of the democratic politicians.

Embassy of the Czech Republic



Thu., Feb. 1, 6:45 p.m.

La Música de México: A Lecture and Recital by Dr. Francisco Castillo Trigueros

As part of its 2018 Music Series, “La Música de México,” the Mexican Cultural Institute presents Dr. Francisco Castillo Trigueros, a composer of contemporary chamber, orchestral and electronic music from Mexico City. Focusing on electroacoustic music, sound art and film, the presentation will include his “Canciones desde Xilitla,” a film-audio reflection on the surreal sculpture gardens built in the Mexican Huasteca by Edward James. Admission is free but $5 donation is suggested; to register, visit www.instituteofmexicodc.org.

Mexican Cultural Institute

Thu., Feb. 1, 6:30 p.m.

Polish Jazz Nights

The duo of vocalist Grazyna Auguscik and accordionist Jarosław Bester is a fusion of two extraordinary personalities in the global music market. Drawing inspiration from traditions of jazz, avant-garde and folk music, but also within the framework of classical music, the duo creates a subtle, yet extremely precise and virtuosic musical story. Seating is limited; for registration information, washington.culture@msz.gov.pl.

Polish Ambassador’s Residence

Feb. 2 to 3

A Branch of Freshest Green: The Music of Hildegard Von Bingen

In the Gothic nave of Washington National Cathedral, the Folger Consort presents a bouquet of soaring and ecstatic melodies of the great 12th-century visionary and composer. Female voices join with medieval instruments to capture the mysticism of Hildegard’s hymns and sequences. Tickets are $30 to $60.

Washington National Cathedral

Mon., Feb. 5, 7 p.m.

East Meets West: A Chinese New Year Celebration

Hong Kong is the primary crossroads between the cultures of East and West. For this concert, the celebrated Hong Kong String Orchestra (HKSO), led by the Artistic Director Yao Jue, will join forces with Georgetown University students in a celebration of the Chinese New Year.

Georgetown University Davis Performing Arts Center

Feb. 5 and 6

Ladysmith Black Mambazo

For over 50 years, South Africa’s four-time Grammy Award-winning group, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, has warmed the hearts of audiences worldwide with their uplifting vocal harmonies, signature dance moves, and charming onstage banter. Tickets are $40 to $42.

Wolf Trap

Thu., Feb. 8, 7:30 p.m.

Dorothea Röschmann, Soprano

Vocal Arts DC presents the luminous German soprano Dorothea Röschmann, a world-renowned Bach and Mozart specialist and lieder recitalist, who has rarely performed in the U.S. and only once previously in Washington, D.C., in 2006. Tickets are $50.

Kennedy Center Terrace Theater

Tue., Feb. 13, 6:30 p.m.

Trio Immersio

The Austrian Cultural Forum of D.C. presents the celebrated Vienna-based ensemble Trio Immersio, which performs masterpieces of Austrian and French composers from the 19th, 20th and 21st century. Admission is free; for information, visit http://acfdc.org.

Embassy of Austria

Sun., Feb. 18, 6 p.m.

Washington Concert Opera Presents Donizetti’s Maria di Rohan

A classic love triangle with a tragic twist, this rare bel canto work follows the story of a woman torn between the man she loves and the man to whom she is secretly married. Tickets are $40 to $110.

GW Lisner Auditorium

Fri., Feb. 23, 8 p.m.

Washington Performing Arts Presents: Emanuel Ax, Leonidas Kavakos and Yo-Yo Ma

This “super trio” of musicians lend their artistic mastery the richness of Schubert and Brahms’s chamber music. Tickets are $50 to $250.

Kennedy Center Concert Hall



Fri., Feb. 9, 7 p.m.

D’Vine Affair: Balletoo and Vino in Verona

Be transported to Italy’s City of Love, Verona, in an evening that includes exquisite Italian wines, paired with a savory Italian-inspired multicourse meal in the incomparable Embassy of Italy in celebration of The Washington Ballet performances of “Romeo & Juliet” during Valentine’s week. This “Romeo and Juliet” themed event will also include performances by The Washington Ballet including works by two Italian choreographers, Marco Pelle and Mimmo Miccolis. Tickets are $300; for information, visit www.washingtonballet.org/event/dvine-affair.

Embassy of Italy


Feb. 1 to 25

La Foto – A Selfie Affair

Two families are changed forever when a provocative selfie goes viral. Who bears responsibility for the consequences and who is the victim in what has become a common occurrence? With biting humor, issues of privacy, relationships and body image are explored as Gustavo Ott’s characters deal with mid-life crisis and try to find meaning and emotional connections between generations in an age of social media. Tickets are $45.

GALA Hispanic Theatre

Through Feb. 4


This world premiere by Australian playwright John Shand produced by Scena Theatre draws on the trial of the priest Urbain Grandier for witchcraft in France in 1633-34. It is Shand’s response to witch hunts of all eras (including our own), when scores are settled and innocence becomes no defense. The play also explores the nexus between sexual and religious rapture. Tickets are $30 and $35.

Atlas Performing Arts Center

Feb. 5 to March 4


It’s winter in Minnesota, and an immigrant Zimbabwean family is preparing for the wedding of their eldest daughter. But when the bride insists on observing roora, a traditional bride-price ceremony, it opens a deep rift in the household. Rowdy and affectionate, “Familiar” pitches tradition against assimilation among the members of one devoted family. Which will prove stronger: the customs they keep or the secrets they’ve kept buried? Tickets start at $49.

Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company

Feb. 6 to 8

Something Rotten!

Nick and Nigel Bottom are two playwrights stuck in the shadow of that Renaissance rock star Will Shakespeare. When a soothsayer foretells the next big thing in theatre involves singing, dancing and acting at the same time, the Bottom brothers set out to write the world’s very first musical. Tickets are $48 to $98.

National Theatre

Through Feb. 8

Jefferson’s Garden

Christian, a Quaker pacifist, defies his family to fight in the American Revolution. Susannah, an enslaved woman, is tempted to fight for the British when they promise her liberty. On their travels, Christian and Susannah cross paths with Thomas Jefferson, George Mason and Sally Hemings. These encounters force them to confront the compromises America makes after the promise of equality. Please call for ticket information.

Ford’s Theatre

Through Feb. 11

The Way of the World

Mae is a sweet-natured woman with just a little baggage: a $600 million inheritance. When her womanizing boyfriend Henry dallies with her protective aunt, both women become the object of scandal — but Henry has a plan to win the heiress back. Tickets are $35 to $79.

Folger Theatre

Through Feb. 18

4,380 Nights

For the last 12 years, or 4,380 days, Malik Djamal Ahmad Essaid has been held without charge by the U.S. government at the Guantanamo Bay Detention Center. As he languishes in his cell, his interactions with those on the outside are juxtaposed with historical events in a riveting exposé into the most dangerous prison of all: fear. Please call for ticket information.

Signature Theatre

Through Feb. 18


Based on the stories of playwright Mary Kathryn Nagle’s Cherokee grandfathers, this world premiere spans 1830s Cherokee Nation (now present-day Georgia) and Andrew Jackson’s presidency to the Cherokee Nation in present-day Oklahoma. It follows a young Cherokee lawyer fighting to restore her nation’s jurisdiction and defend the constitutionality of the 2013 Violence Against Women Act. Tickets are $40 to $90.

Arena Stage

Through Feb. 18

The Trial

A 30-year-old man is going about his day when suddenly, without cause or warning, he is arrested while at work. Two unidentified agents from an unknown agency arrest this man for an unspecified crime. In its retelling of Franz Kafka’s “The Trial,” Synetic Theater will explore the struggles of “K” and his encounters with the invisible Law and the untouchable Court. Ticket start at $35.

Synetic Theater

Feb. 23 to April 8

Hold These Truths

Jeanne Sakata’s one-man drama tells the true story of Gordon Hirabayashi, the American son of Japanese immigrants who defied an unjust court order when America placed its own citizens in internment camps during World War II. Midway through Arena Stage’s 2017/18 season, “Hold These Truths” brings an untold story to the stage that represents the diversity of our country and examines what it means to be an American. Tickets are $40 to $90.

Arena Stage

Through Feb. 25


In the wake of his father’s abrupt death, Hamlet returns home from university to find his personal and political world changed as he never imagined it could — his mother remarried, his uncle on the throne and a world seemingly gone insane. When his father’s ghost appears and demands vengeance, the increasingly desperate Danish prince must decide: submit or resist. Accept or avenge. Live or die. Please call for ticket information.

The Shakespeare Theatre

Through March 4


In the wake of his father’s abrupt death, Hamlet returns home from university to find his personal and political world changed as he never imagined it could—his mother remarried, his uncle on the throne and a world seemingly gone insane. When his father’s ghost appears and demands vengeance, the increasingly desperate Danish prince must decide: submit or resist. Accept or avenge. Live or die. Please call for ticket information.

Shakespeare Theatre Company

Through March 4

The Wolves

Winter indoor soccer. Saturdays. Over quad stretches and squats, a team of young women prepares to defend the Wolves’ undefeated record, their banter spilling from tampons to genocide to the pressures of preparing for their adult lives. With an ear for the bravado and empathy of the teenage years, “The Wolves” explores the violence and teamwork of sports and adolescence, following a pack of 16-year-old girls who turn into warriors on the field. Tickets are $20 to $85.

The Studio Theatre