Admission is always free Directions

Open today: 10:00 to 5:00

Release Date: May 7, 2001

Collectors Committee Selects Works by Dan Flavin and Edward Ruscha and Important Photographs and Prints for National Gallery of Art's Expanding Collection of Modern and Contemporary Art

Washington, DC—The National Gallery of Art announced today the acquisition of two "Monuments" for V. Tatlin (1967-1970) by Dan Flavin, a key figure of Minimal art, and Lisp (1968) by Edward Ruscha, one of the most compelling painters of the last forty years. The acquisition of these and other works--three photographs by Aaron Siskind from 1954 and one by John Cohen from 1959; the 1967 portfolio of lithographs by nine artists entitled "9," which includes the Gallery's first lithographs by Richard Lindner and Saul Steinberg as well as prints by Willem de Kooning and Ellsworth Kelly, among others; and Iliad (c. 1970), a vibrant monoprint collagraph by Romare Bearden--were made possible by the Gallery's Collectors Committee.

"It is through the continuing generosity of the Collectors Committee that the National Gallery of Art is able to enhance its collection of contemporary art in areas we are committed to developing. "Monuments" for V. Tatlin and Lisp are important historic works by major artists of the 1960s and 1970s, and the photographs and works on paper are all outstanding additions to our collection," said Earl A. Powell III, director, National Gallery of Art.

Flavin's "Monuments" for V. Tatlin series is a celebrated example of his signature work of objects composed of tubes of fluorescent light. The sculptures explore the Minimalist interest in activating the surrounding space: light appears to project beyond the limits of the physical object into real space, creating an artwork whose boundaries are not clearly defined. The artist began this series in 1964 and continued to make new works for it until 1982 (about 40 were produced in total). Prior to this acquisition, the Gallery owned no major examples of first-generation Minimal work and no light-based work by this seminal artist. The sculptures will go on view later in the year.

In Ruscha's oil on canvas, the word "lisp" is produced through the graceful twists and folds of what appears to be a paper ribbon casting its shadow against a yellow ground. The tiny drops of liquid at the end of the ribbon text, evoking the spray of a lisping speaker, reveal Ruscha's off-beat humor. This work represents the only "ribbon" painting the artist has ever made; it joins one other painting in the Gallery's collection, a later work entitled I think I'll... (1983), as well as three drawings and 56 prints by Ruscha. Lisp will go on view in the East Building during the second week of May.

In February, the Gallery acquired Richard Serra's Five Plates, Two Poles (1971) with funds from The Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation, and it is now on view in the East Building. These acquisitions demonstrate a commitment to building the Gallery's collection of art from the 1960s and 1970s with key historical examples by leading figures. Jeffrey Weiss, the Gallery's curator of modern and contemporary art, is coordinating that effort.

General Information

The National Gallery of Art and its Sculpture Garden are at all times free to the public. They are located on the National Mall between 3rd and 9th Streets at Constitution Avenue NW, and are open Monday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. The Gallery is closed on December 25 and January 1. For information call (202) 737-4215 or visit the Gallery's Web site at www.nga.gov. Follow the Gallery on Facebook at www.facebook.com/NationalGalleryofArt, Twitter at www.twitter.com/ngadc, and Instagram at http://instagram.com/ngadc.

Visitors will be asked to present all carried items for inspection upon entering. Checkrooms are free of charge and located at each entrance. Luggage and other oversized bags must be presented at the 4th Street entrances to the East or West Building to permit x-ray screening and must be deposited in the checkrooms at those entrances. For the safety of visitors and the works of art, nothing may be carried into the Gallery on a visitor's back. Any bag or other items that cannot be carried reasonably and safely in some other manner must be left in the checkrooms. Items larger than 17 by 26 inches cannot be accepted by the Gallery or its checkrooms.
 
For additional press information please call or send inquiries to:
Department of Communications
National Gallery of Art
2000B South Club Drive
Landover, MD 20785
phone: (202) 842-6353
e-mail: pressinfo@nga.gov
 
Anabeth Guthrie
Chief of Communications – Converged Media
(202) 842-6804
a-guthrie@nga.gov

Subscribe to Our E-mail Newsletters
Stay up to date with the National Gallery of Art by subscribing to our e-mail newsletters: Web, educators, family programs, fellowships/internships, films, lectures, music programs, and teen programs. Select as many updates as you wish to receive. To edit your subscriber information, please go to our subscription management page.

Press Kit

Press Release

Questions from members of the media may be directed to the Department of Communications at (202) 842-6353 or pressinfo@nga.gov

The public may call (202) 737-4215 or visit www.nga.gov for more information about the National Gallery of Art.

RSS (NEWS FEED)
http://www.nga.gov/content/dam/ngaweb/press/rss/press_feed.xml

NGA NEWSLETTERS:
Stay up to date with the National Gallery of Art by subscribing to our e-mail newsletters: Web, educators, family programs, fellowships/internships, films, lectures, music programs, and teen programs. Select as many updates as you wish to receive. To edit your subscriber information, please go to our subscription management page.