The Phillips Collection highlights the diversity and intricacy of its permanent collection in Pour, Tear, Carve: Material Possibilities in the Collection. The multi-faceted exhibition on view March 18–May 14, 2023, features over 65 works from the Phillips’s vast permanent collection and delves into how artists have used both historic and contemporary art materials as conduits of meaning and to generate discussion.
“Pour, Tear, Carve offers visitors the chance to see artworks from our permanent collection, including some on view for the first time,” shares Phillips Associate Curator Renée Maurer. “It is thrilling to showcase our collection in this fresh and eye-opening way. The exhibition introduces several key recent acquisitions to the collection by renowned living artists: Sanford Biggers, Diane Burko, Kevin Cole, Agnes Denes, Leonardo Drew, Jeffrey Gibson, Mimi Herbert, Martha Jarvis Jackson, Elias Sime, and Joyce Wellman. These new works will be placed in themed groupings with well-known and never-before-seen examples from the collection.”
“We curated this exhibition to include a wide range of media including paintings, sculptures, photographs, drawings, prints, textiles, and mixed media,” shares Phillips Assistant Curator Camille Brown. “Through the breadth and depth of these works, we explore the role methods and materials play in evoking personal memories, conveying time and place, and stimulating the senses.”
The exhibition includes works by Georges Braque who incorporated sand into his still lifes to create spatial tensions, and Joan Mitchell whose gestural marks pour over large canvases, suggesting movement and a sense of place. Dindga McCannon and Aolar Mosley repurpose torn fabric and textiles into extraordinary, quilted objects. Simone Leigh’s use of natural and inorganic materials traverse links between the past and present. The experiments of Alfonso Ossorio, who affixed bones, jewelry, and mirror shards to panels, and Leo Villareal, who creates complex, rhythmic LED compositions, generated new definitions of art mediums.
Pour, Tear, Carve spotlights how the selection and manipulation of materials—from paint, paper, clay, wood, and cloth to plastic, metal, and more—can enhance a viewer’s understanding of and dialogue with dynamic examples of modern and contemporary art.
Pour, Tear, Carve is organized by The Phillips Collection and co-curated by Camille Brown, Assistant Curator, and Renée Maurer, Associate Curator.
About the Phillips Collection
The Phillips Collection, America’s first museum of modern art, was founded in 1921. The museum houses one of the world’s most celebrated Impressionist and American modern art collections, and continues to grow its collection with important contemporary voices. Its distinctive building combines extensive new galleries with the former home of its founder, Duncan Phillips. The Phillips’s impact spreads nationally and internationally through its diverse and experimental special exhibitions and events, including its award-winning education programs for educators, students, and adults; renowned Phillips Music series; and dynamic art and wellness and Phillips after 5 events. The museum contributes to global dialogues with events like Conversations with Artists and Artists of Conscience. The Phillips Collection values its community partnership with THEARC—the museum’s satellite campus in Southeast DC. The Phillips Collection is a private, non-government museum, supported primarily by donations.
The Phillips Collection is located at 1600 21st Street NW.