Home The Washington Diplomat May 2018 Events – May 2018

Events – May 2018












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 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

May 7 to Aug. 24

In the Library: The Richter Archive at 75

In celebration of the 1943 arrival of the George M. Richter Archive of Illustrations on Art — the founding collection of 60,000 photographs that formed the nucleus of the department of image collections — this installation presents the history and development of the photographic archives of the National Gallery of Art.

National Gallery of Art

Through 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 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 May 25

Evolving Traditions: Paintings of Wonder from Japan

This exhibition of captivating works by modern artist Yuki Ideguchi — alongside rarely-seen masterpieces of traditional Japanese paintings from the Japanese Embassy collection — takes visitors through a history of ever-evolving paintings, dating from the 6th century to the present time, whose common threads lie in the use of traditional and unique pigments, materials and techniques.

Japan Information and Culture Center

Through May 27

Toledo Múltiple

As Mexico’s most prolific and influential graphic artist, Francisco Toledo has been exploring the fantastical and expanding the expressive range of his printmaking over more than 50 years. This exhibition encompasses a wide range of Toledo’s work, revealing the progression and creative process evidenced in his printmaking. The exhibition also includes 21 works by both Mexican and foreign printmakers as part of Toledo’s collection for the Instituto de Artes Gráficas de Oaxaca.

American University Museum

Through May 28

Sally Mann: A Thousand Crossings

For more than 40 years, Sally Mann has made experimental, elegiac and hauntingly beautiful photographs that span a broad body of work including figure studies, still lifes and landscapes. “Sally Mann: A Thousand Crossings” explores how her relationship with the South has shaped her work.

National Gallery of Art

Through May 28

Women House

Questions about a woman’s “place” resonate in our culture, and conventional ideas persist about the house as a feminine space. This new exhibition forms a sequel to the famous project “Womanhouse,” developed in 1972 by Judy Chicago and Miriam Schapiro. Similar to their artistic foremothers in the 1970s, contemporary artists in “Women House” recast conventional ideas about women and the home with acuity and wit, creating provocative photographs, videos, sculptures and room-like installations built with materials ranging from felt to rubber bands.

National Museum of Women in the Arts

Through June 1

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

Artist Patrizio Travagli invites audiences to turn our attention to the disturbing singularity of the mirror. How many times have mirrors deceived us? How many times, even if for a few moments, have we believed that the reflected image was a window or a door, an entrance not to Wonderland, as it was for Lewis Carroll’s “Alice,” but to our own common, everyday world? In the exhibition, Travagli asks you, the viewer, to become the piece of art. Your reflection in the mirror is the launching point for questions about identity, illusion and reality. For information, visit https://iicwashington.esteri.it/iic_washington/it.

Embassy of Italy

Through 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. Featuring more than 80 illustrated rare books and prints from the 15th to the 18th century from the Folger Shakespeare Library, the images include woodcuts, produced from carved woodblocks, and engravings and etchings, printed from copper plates.

Folger Shakespeare Library

Through June 8

Whispering Glass

A new photographic exhibit by Fiona Lake shares stories from Australia’s outback cattle stations through images that capture life on outback cattle stations located across Australia’s vast rangelands, stretching more than 3,000 kilometers east to west and 2,000 kilometers north to south.

Embassy of Australia Art Gallery

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 June 24

The Creative Nation: Swedish Music and Innovation

Sweden has long been ranked as one of the most creative and innovative countries in the world, with accolades for its contributions to music, design and technology. This exhibit explores the connection between Sweden’s many technological innovations and the nation’s commercial musical prowess. From video games to communication tools, a slew of innovative products has followed in the tracks of Ericsson and Skype. And given Sweden’s long history of musical excellence, it’s hardly surprising that tech companies in Sweden also excel in the world of music. Sweden offers universal music education and is among the top nations per capita both in number of choirs and number of global stars, from dancing queens to house mafias.

House of Sweden

Through June 24

Ingmar Bergman Moods: Costumes and Images

Director Ingmar Bergman’s imagery continues to inspire artists of all genres today. During the 2018 Bergman Centennial Year, many new films inspired by Bergman’s legacy are being released by contemporary filmmakers. The costumes presented at House of Sweden represent a mix of new and old, including examples from Tomas Alfredsson’s newly released film as well as original Nina Sandström works used in Bergman productions and other reinterpretations. The costumes are paired with large-scale photos reimagining iconic Bergman roles as well as the milieus that shaped Bergman as a storyteller.

House of Sweden

Through June 24

Still Life by Karin Broos

Karin Broos is one of the most widely recognized Swedish artists of our time, and this is the second presentation of her work in an exhibition outside of Sweden. With her photorealistic portrayals of apparently everyday scenes, she expresses ambiguous sentiments and universal feelings of melancholia and gloom. The subjects in her atmospheric works are mainly from her home in Östra Ämtervik, the Värmland countryside, the Fryken lakes and her own close family. Her work also often explores different kinds of interiors and self-portraits, referring to 17th-century Dutch paintings and symbolism as well as to contemporary art.

House of Sweden

Through July 1

Cézanne Portraits

Bringing together some 60 examples drawn from collections around the world, this is the first exhibition devoted to the famed post-impressionist’s portraits. The revelatory exhibition provides the first full visual account of Paul Cézanne’s portrait practice, exploring the pictorial and thematic characteristics of his works in the genre, the chronological development of his style and method, and the range and influence of his sitters.

National Gallery of 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 July 8

Transformers: New Contemporary Latin American Sculpture by Darío Escobar and Patrick Hamilton

The conceptual sculptures on display in this exhibition explore similar themes through each artist’s distinct aesthetic and thought process. Separately and together, Darío Escobar of Guatemala and Patrick Hamilton of Chile share a penchant for using common materials such as rubber tires, metal fencing, spackling knives and soccer balls. Lightly treated and often simply rearranged or reordered, Escobar and Hamilton’s found objects are transformed from commercial products into newly aestheticized artworks that also provide ideological critiques of globalization and its effects.

OAS Art Museum of the Americas

Through July 9

Vanishing Traditions: Textiles and Treasures from Southwest China

For centuries, minority cultures in southwest China have donned elaborate textiles, jewelry, and accessories for community celebrations. Dazzling festival costumes new to the museum’s collections explore traditions now endangered by modernization.

The George Washington University Textile Museum

Through July 29

To Dye for: Ikats from Central Asia

With their brilliant designs, ikats are among the most distinct fabrics produced in Central Asia. Not surprisingly, ikats caught the attention of contemporary designers, most notably Oscar de la Renta. This exhibition brings together about 30 of the finest historical Central Asian ikat hangings and coats from the Freer|Sackler collections, as well as seven of Oscar de la Renta’s iconic creations, to explore the original use and function of these dazzling fabrics and the enduring appeal of their extraordinary designs.

Freer Gallery of Art

Through Aug. 5

Do Ho Suh: Almost Home

Korean-born Do Ho Suh (b. 1962) is internationally renowned for his immersive, architectural fabric sculptures that explore the global nature of contemporary identity. “Do Ho Suh: Almost Home” will transform the museum’s galleries through Suh’s captivating installations, which recreate to scale several of his former homes from around the world. Through these works, Suh investigates the nature of home and memory and the impact of migration and displacement on an individual’s sense of self.

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Through 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 Aug. 5

Sharing Images: Renaissance Prints into Maiolica and Bronze

Inspired by the acquisition of the important William A. Clark maiolica (glazed Italian ceramics) collection from the Corcoran Gallery of Art, this exhibition brings together some 90 objects to highlight the impact of Renaissance prints on maiolica and bronze plaquettes, the two media most dramatically influenced by the new technology of image replication.

National Gallery of Art

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 Aug. 31

Constructing Mexico68

To celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the first Latin American Olympic games, this exhibit takes audiences through a simple and concrete exploration of the sporting venues built for the 1968 Mexico City Summer Olympics and their constant connection to design and urban art. The development of competition sites for the Olympics’ diverse sporting disciplines required not only the adaptation of existing structures, but also the rapid construction of new, modern and functional facilities. In these new spaces, it was possible to implement the use of an applied architecture that met both the needs of the audience and the functional requirements of each sporting event that occupied it.

Mexican Cultural Institute

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

Through Jan. 21, 2019

No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man

Each year in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert, a city of more than 70,000 people rises out of the dust for a single week. During that time, enormous experimental art installations are erected and many are ritually burned to the ground. Cutting-edge artwork created at Burning Man, the annual desert gathering that is one of the most influential events in contemporary art and culture, will be exhibited in the nation’s capital for the first time this spring.

Renwick Gallery

Through April 20, 2020

A Right to the City

After a half-century of population decline and disinvestment, Washington, D.C., and similar urban centers around the country have been witnessing a “return to the city,” with rapidly growing populations, rising rents and home prices, but also deepening inequality. “A Right to the City” explores the history of neighborhood change in the nation’s capital, and its rich history of neighborhood organizing and civic engagement that transformed the city in the face of tremendous odds.

Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum



Fri., May 25, 8 p.m.

The Washington Ballet: Giselle

A beloved Romantic ballet. Love, betrayal and forgiveness are paired with coveted virtuoso roles. This haunting and tender classic tells the story of the promise and tragedy of young love. Tickets are $25 to $75.

Wolf Trap



Thu., May 3, 7 p.m.

Salongespräch – Freedom of the Press: Still the Fourth Estate?

On the occasion of the International Day of the Freedom of the Press, the Austrian Press and Information Service and the Austrian Cultural Forum in D.C. present a discussion examining the state of the press on both sides of the Atlantic, particularly in light of the perceived partisan erosion of trust in and credibility of the media. Admission is free; to RSVP visit http://acfdc.org.

Embassy of Austria

Thu., May 24, 6 p.m.

After Hours: Gallery Talks & Mixer – Science and Fashion

Streaming from Buenos Aires, the Cultural Center for Science of the Argentine Ministry of Science will host an interdisciplinary discussion on the intersection of science and fashion. The “After Hours” series of gallery talks and mixers takes place inside the current IDB Cultural Center exhibition “Fashioning the Future: Argentine Designers on the Edge of Tomorrow,” an experiential journey through contemporary Argentine fashion that merges science, technology and creativity.

Inter-American Development Bank Cultural Center



May 1 to 31

Passport DC

This month-long journey around the world hosted by Cultural Tourism DC highlights thriving international community in the nation’s capital. Celebrated annually in May, which is International Cultural Awareness Month in Washington, Passport DC features 31 days of programming by 70 embassies and some of DC’s very best cultural institutions. In 2017, more than 200,000 people enjoyed the popular embassy open houses, street festivals, performances, exhibitions, workshops and more. Highlights include the Around the World Embassy Tour (May 5); European Union Embassies’ Open House (May 12); Embassy Chef Challenge (May 17); Flower Mart at National Cathedral (May 4-5); and Fiesta Asia Street Festival (May 19). For information, www.culturaltourismdc.org/portal/passport-dc1.

Various locations

May 2 to 10

Eurobeats: European Music Festival

This new festival celebrates the variety and richness of European music and talent at various venues in D.C. Supported by European Embassies the festival will present music across all genres and screen films about European music. Highlights include “French Waves: 30 Years of French Electronic Music” at Dupont Underground (May 10); “Just Another Foundry” jazz concert at the Goethe-Institut (May 6); Original Quartet at NYU DC (May 8); “Soniqua Sequence” film and music performance at the House of Sweden (May 2); and “Vinyl Generation” screening at the House of Sweden (May 6). For more information, visit http://events.euintheus.org/events/eurobeats-european-music-festival/ or #eurobeatsDC.

Various locations

May 8 to 20

Artes de Cuba: From the Island to the World

This unprecedented gathering of Cuban and Cuban-American artists represents some of the world’s greatest from the island and the Diaspora. Featuring some of Cuba’s finest artists and leading Cuban American creators, “Artes de Cuba” will inspire with more than 50 events over two weeks, featuring music, dance, theater, film, fashion, design and more. The festival also extends beyond the Kennedy Center’s performance spaces and spills out into its halls and terraces with free exhibitions, and to the Millennium Stage with 12 free performances that will be streamed online.

Kennedy Center

May 18 to 20

SerbFest DC

Presented by Saint Luke Serbian Orthodox Church of Potomac, Md. — the epicenter of Serbian culture in the area — this three-day festival showcases traditional Serbian dishes and beverages, dance and music performances, gifts and boutique items, as well as family-friendly activities. For information, visit serbfestdc.com.

Saint Luke Serbian Orthodox Church



Thu., May 3, 6:45 p.m.

Music from Mexico and Italy for Voice and Piano

As part of its 2018 music series “La Música de México,” the Mexican Cultural Institute presents soprano Daniela D’Ingiullo and pianist Roberto Hidalgo for a concert of music from Mexico and Italy. This concert features works by Mexican and Italian composers from the early 20th century to today, including the world premiere of “Tres canciones de A. Machado” (1996) by Jesús Villaseñor and “Four Poems by Ezra Pound” (2017) by Juan Trigos. Admission is free; to RSVP, visit www.instituteofmexicodc.org.

Mexican Cultural Institute

Sun., May 6, 7 p.m.

Zakir Hussain’s ‘Crosscurrents’

Famed both as instrumental virtuosos and as stylistic adventurers, Indian tabla maestro Zakir Hussain and bassist Dave Holland forge new and exciting connections between Indian classical music and jazz — two styles rooted in improvisation and rhythmic dynamism. They are joined by an all-star band including saxophonist Chris Potter and renowned Bollywood playback vocalist Shankar Mahadevan. Tickets are $30 to $50.

GW Lisner Auditorium

Tue., May 8, 7 p.m.

Original Quartet

Original Quartet explores the roots of Andalusian music with a repertoire that includes old poems and songs from Iraq, Sephardi compositions and Indian traditional pieces, as well as modern compositions created specifically for this project. Admission is free; to RSVP visit www.spainculture.us/city/washington-dc/.

NYU Washington DC

Tue., May 15, 7:30 p.m.

Gwhyneth Chen, Piano

Gwhyneth Chen is a Taiwanese-American pianist who in 1993, won the biggest cash prize in the history of piano competitions — $100,000. Then a young woman of 23, she was the youngest contestant at the Ivo Pogorelich International Piano Competition and was immediately recognized as one of the foremost pianists of her generation. Tickets are $110, including buffet and wine; for information, visit www.embassyseries.org.

Twin Oaks Estate

Wed., May 16, 8 p.m.

Evgeny Kissin, Piano

Evgeny Kissin’s “arm-blurring bursts of octaves, spiraling flights of finger-twisting passagework” (The New York Times) will fill the Kennedy Center Concert Hall after a two-year hiatus as the musician tackles Beethoven and Rachmaninoff. Tickets are $50 to $150.

Kennedy Center Concert Hall

Fri., May 25, 7 p.m.

Schoenberg, Schubert and the Odyssey of Exile

Presented by the Austrian Cultural Forum of D.C. and PostClassical Ensemble, in conjunction with the exhibition “Arnold Schoenberg: Through the Lens of Richard Fish,” this unique concert explores the condition of exile in the music of four composers, ranging from the existential estrangement of Franz Schubert’s “Wanderer” to Hanns Eisler’s wartime exile in Los Angeles. Admission is free; to RSVP visit http://acfdc.org.

Embassy of Austria


May 2 to 6

Royal Shakespeare Company: Hamlet

The legendary company brings the North American premiere of its riveting, contemporary take on the Bard’s searing tragedy to the Kennedy Center, following an acclaimed U.K. run in 2016. Tickets are $39 to $129.

Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater


May 5 to 26

Washington National Opera: Candide

In Leonard Bernstein’s funny, philosophical and fast-paced take on Voltaire’s biting satire, very bad things happen to very good people (and plenty of bad ones too) as a terrific ensemble cast quick-change their way through an effervescent score that includes such classic tunes as “Make Our Garden Grow” and “Glitter and Be Gay.” Tickets are $45 to $275.

Kennedy Center Opera House


Through May 6

Two Trains Running

Confronted with a rapidly changing world in the wake of the death of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the looming demolition of Memphis Lee’s diner as a result of Pittsburgh’s renovation project, Memphis and his regular customers struggle to maintain their solidarity and sense of pride in August Wilson’s quintessential epic drama. Tickets are $50 to $99.

Arena Stage


Through May 12

The Wiz

In this adaptation of L. Frank Baum’s magical novel, Dorothy is whisked away by a tornado to the fanciful land of Oz. There, she and her sidekicks encounter Munchkins, flying monkeys and a power-hungry witch named Evillene who vows to destroy them. Ease on down the road and rediscover this imaginative story celebrating community, courage, heart, brains and friendship. Please call for ticket information.

Ford’s Theatre


May 12 to June 10

Saint Joan

Joan of Arc, from peasant stock, fights for her country and defeats the English at Orleans. She is captured and taken prisoner in Burgundy, brought before a church court, tried as a heretic, and burned at the stake — all before the age of 19. Depicted as neither witch, saint, nor madwoman in George Bernard Shaw’s retelling, Joan is but an illiterate farm girl whose focus on the individual rocks the church and state. Tickets are $30 to $79.

Folger Theatre


Through May 13

In the Time of the Butterflies
(En el tiempo de las Mariposas)

In this fictionalized story, the courageous Mirabal sisters challenge the oppressive dictatorship of Gen. Rafael Trujillo in the Dominican Republic using the code name “butterflies” to inspire resistance cells throughout the country until their brutal murder by the regime in 1960. Tickets are $45.

GALA Hispanic Theatre


Through May 19

Washington National Opera: The Barber of Seville

Can the sharp-witted barber of Seville help Count Almaviva woo the beautiful Rosina away from a bumbling doctor? A stellar cast joins this WNO revival of Rossini’s delightful comedy — one of the most beloved opera masterpieces of all time, boasting uproarious laughs and sensational music in equal measure. Tickets are $45 to $150.

Kennedy Center Opera House


Through May 20

Snow Child

Infused with a score that combines Alaskan string band-traditions with contemporary musical theater, “Snow Child” follows a couple rebuilding their lives in the Alaskan wilderness when they meet a magical and mysterious snow child who transforms them. Tickets are $40 to $90.

Arena Stage


Through May 20


In this high-octane comedy, Vietnamese-American playwright Qui Nguyen recreates (and kind of makes up) his parents’ reluctant courtship: Fresh from Saigon, they meet in an Arkansas refugee relocation camp in 1975. “Vietgone” follows these new Americans through a bewildering land in a story full of lust and heartache, cowboys and motorcycles. Tickets are $20 to $57.

Studio Theatre


Through May 20

Waiting for Godot

Lingering by the side of the road, killing time with hat tricks and half-remembered stories, Estragon and Vladimir dawdle through one of the greatest dramas of the 20th century. Please call for ticket information.

Shakespeare Theatre Company


Through May 27

Titus Andronicus

“Titus Andronicus,” from Synetic Theater’s visionary founding artistic director Paata Tsikurishvili, is lucky number 13 in the “Wordless Shakespeare” series. Tsikurishvili will sink his teeth into this revenge-driven tragedy and tell the bloody tale of Titus and Tamora with all of the fiery passion, energy and vengeance only Synetic can deliver. Tickets start at $35.

Synetic Theater


Through May 27


Scena Theatre presents “1984,” the acclaimed stage version of George Orwell’s dystopian vision of the future that shows us a world where individualism is crushed, and challenging authority leads to torture, prison and death. Tickets are $35 to $45.

Atlas Performing Arts Center


Through June 10


Set in small-town Nebraska in 1993, college-bound jock Mike and self-assured but aimless Will find themselves drawn to each other. This examination of first-time love is set to the songs of Mathew Sweet’s iconic alternative-rock album “Girlfriend.” Please call for ticket information.

Signature Theatre