Three Artists Commissioned to Create Temporary Site-Responsive Works for NGA East Building

By Editorial Team on March 9, 2021

The National Gallery has commissioned Sarah Cain, Avish Khebrehzadeh, and Kay Rosen to create special site-responsive installations for the interior and exterior of the East Building. The temporary installations will enliven the space while it undergoes a skylight replacement and other renovations.


From left to right: Sarah Cain with her work We will walk right up to the sun, 2019, permanent work on site at The San Francisco International Airport, commissioned by the San Francisco Arts Commission, image courtesy of the artist, photo by Jeff McLane; Avish Khebrehzadeh, image courtesy M77 Gallery, Milan, photo by Lorenzo Palmieri; Kay Rosen, photo by Larry Lapidus


Beginning in mid-April, Kay Rosen’s bold language-based work SORRY (2020–2021) will cover the East Building’s Main Entrance. Sarah Cain’s painterly installation My favorite season is the fall of the patriarchy (2020) and Avish Khebrehzadeh’s Seven Silent Songs (2020), a set of video animations, will be on view inside the East Building when it reopens in 2021.

“Art created in response to the East Building is part of our DNA. Since its inception the Gallery has worked closely with artists, from Henry Moore to Leo Villareal, to commission works that activate the environment. These projects extend that tradition with meaningful works for the Gallery’s present,” said Kaywin Feldman, director of the National Gallery of Art.

“As we work to preserve I. M. Pei’s architectural masterpiece, the renovations offer us an exciting opportunity to showcase the problem-solving talents of three artists who, through a variety of means, make use of provisional surfaces and alternative spaces to engage viewers in stimulating ways,” added Molly Donovan, curator of contemporary art at the National Gallery.

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