Glenstone Museum to Present Doris Salcedo Exhibition, Opening to the Public May 26
Survey Is the Artist’s First Solo Presentation in the Washington, D.C. Area
On May 26, Glenstone Museum will open a survey exhibition of works by Doris Salcedo (b. 1958, Bogotá, Colombia), featuring sculptures dating from 1989 to the present. Located in Room 2 of the Pavilions, the exhibition is designed in close collaboration with Salcedo and will feature selections from the artist’s personal collection alongside works from the museum’s holdings. This will be Salcedo’s first solo exhibition in the Washington, D.C. area and her first presentation at Glenstone.
Salcedo grounds her practice in research and firsthand interviews with survivors of political and domestic violence in her native Colombia and around the world. Through a process that is time-intensive, laborious, and compassionate, she uses objects—including armoires, tables, clothing, and bedframes—to create poetic sculptural translations of the experiences of those who have suffered harm.
Emily Wei Rales, director and co-founder of Glenstone, said, “We’re excited to invite visitors to experience the profoundly moving work of Doris Salcedo. The rigorous research she conducts and the meticulous care she devotes to making her work result in objects that are imbued with intense emotion arising from personal narratives. This exhibition is testament to her commitment to social justice—the lodestar of her practice.”
Among the works on view are Disremembered X, 2020/2021, a sculpture in four parts commissioned by Glenstone, which originated from interviews the artist conducted with American mothers who lost children to gun violence. The ethereal forms created in response to these encounters, which appear as shawls or jackets suspended from the wall, are comprised of raw silk thread and thousands of sewing needles. Addressing the pain of bereaved parents, Salcedo acknowledges that not only are these individuals forced to endure the violent loss of their children, they are also confronted with the indifference of a society that is unwilling to do the work that mourning gun violence demands.
Additional works on view from Glenstone’s collection include selections from Salcedo’s renowned Tabula Rasa series from 2018. Informed by interviews conducted with survivors of sexual violence during the civil conflict in Colombia, these sculptures appear at first glance to be ordinary wooden tables. On closer inspection, their surfaces reveal a network of fissures and cracks created through a complex process of destruction and reconstitution. Tabula rasa, a Latin phrase that translates to “clean slate,” or “erased slate,” speaks to the process of making lives whole again after a traumatic event.
Untitled, 1989-1990/2013, consists of four steel hospital bedframes wrapped in animal fiber lying flat on the ground and leaning against the wall. In this work, as in others, Salcedo juxtaposes a range of subjects, materials, and forms: organic and inorganic, horizontal and vertical, the individual and the collective, the ephemeral and the enduring. Among the dualities inherent in her work, the most important is to give presence to an absent body, pointing to that which is often overlooked.
Also included in the exhibition are two works on loan from the artist that belong to a series of untitled sculptures featuring wooden furniture in which the interior voids have been filled with concrete. The objects carry both the physical weight of the material and the emotional weight of the burden of grief.
About Doris Salcedo
Doris Salcedo was born in Bogotá, where she lives and works today. She rose to prominence in the 1990s when she melded the long history of civil conflict in her native Colombia with a subtle, post-minimalist aesthetic. Since the beginning of her career, she has used intimate and familiar objects to articulate that which is often unspoken.
Salcedo completed a BFA at Jorge Tadeo Lozano University and an MA at New York University. Her work was the subject of a major retrospective organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (2015), which then traveled to the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York and the Pérez Art Museum Miami. Additionally, her work was included in the 8th International Istanbul Biennial (2003); Documenta 11, Kassel, Germany (2002); the 24th Bienal de São Paulo (1998); and the 45th Venice Biennale (1993). Salcedo has received numerous awards and honors, including the inaugural Nomura Art Award (2019), the Nasher Sculpture Prize (2015), the Ninth Hiroshima Art Prize (2014), the Ordway Prize (2005), and a John Simon Guggenheim Foundation Grant (1995).
Glenstone, a museum of modern and contemporary art, is integrated into nearly 300 acres of gently rolling pasture and unspoiled woodland in Montgomery County, Maryland, less than 15 miles from the heart of Washington, D.C. Established by the not-for-profit Glenstone Foundation, the museum opened in 2006 and provides a contemplative, intimate setting for experiencing iconic works of art and architecture within a natural environment. The museum includes its original building, the Gallery, as well as additional structures opened in its 2018 expansion: the Arrival Hall (LEED platinum), the Pavilions, and the Café (both LEED gold).
Glenstone is open Thursdays through Sundays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Visitors are also invited to explore the grounds or participate in self-guided sculpture tours. Admission to Glenstone is free and visits can be scheduled online at: www.glenstone.org.
Students 12 and older, active-duty military members, and museum professionals enjoy guaranteed entry for themselves plus one guest upon presenting a valid identification card at the Arrival Hall. Advance registration is not required for visitors in these categories. Passengers who arrive at Glenstone on the Ride On bus (route 301) are also offered guaranteed entry.
For a list of current visitor guidelines, please review the Plan Your Visit page on www.glenstone.org.