European Artists at The Phillips Collection

| October 10, 2012 | Homepage Latest The Latest

The Phillips Collection introduces two European artists—Per Kirkeby and Xavier Veilhan—to the American public in not-to-miss presentations this fall.

On view now through January 6, 2013 is “Per Kirkeby: Painting and Sculpture,” 37 works by Kirkeby, a contemporary Danish painter, sculptor, poet, and filmmaker. Kirkeby has had a prolific 40-year career, and this exhibition features an interesting selection of 26 of his layered paintings and 11 bronze models of fragmented bodies, often shown melded together. Trained as both a geologist and artist, his chalk drawings on Masonite from the 1980s were frequently erased early on. This process of erasure and his study of the environment reflect Kirkeby's belief that nothing is permanent—which explains why many of his large-scale sculptures are fashioned like ever-changing geological strata.

Meanwhile, French artist Veilhan marks his first major US museum presentation with “(IN)balance,” an exhibit running November 3 through February 10, 2013 as part of the museum’s larger Intersections contemporary art series. Veilhan is most famous for animating the gardens at ChaÌ‚teau de Versailles with a lacquered royal purple horse and carriage. He uses sculpture, painting, digital photography, film, and video to address issues of representation: how and what we see. Inspired by technological innovation, Veilhan's works fuse historical art styles and traditions with modern materials and reinterpretations. One of the expected highlights is a striking, polyurethane sculpture of an angular bear. “We're incredibly excited about the fabulous eight-foot-tall Ferrari red The Bear coming to the corner of 21st and Q Streets,” says Cecilia Wichmann of The Phillips Collection. “This will be our largest Intersections contemporary art project to date.” 1600 21st St., NW, 202-387-2151

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