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The colorful columns march on: In the ’60s and ’70s, Anne Truitt made a name for herself creating a never-ending series of simple wooden pillars painted in luminous colors. In October, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Gallery opens “Anne Truitt: Perception and Reflection,” a career retrospective featuring 49 of the D.C. artist’s sculptures, along with some 2-D works. This will be the first major Truitt retrospective since 1974, and it comes five years after her death at the age of 83. While Truitt’s tall rectangular solids seem tied to minimalism, the way she painted them was almost lyrical, at odds with much minimal art. Her colors give otherwise plain shapes grace, cancel out the sense of their mass, and cause them to look almost unreal, like hovering, vibrating apparitions. Art critic Clement Greenberg championed her early in her career—something he did for most of the D.C. artists who eventually made it into the art history textbooks. In the early 1960s, Truitt was associated with Greenberg’s Washington Color School; her work was considered alongside painters like Morris Louis and Kenneth Noland. Truitt’s art was far more personal than one might expect, given how reductive it appears. The artist claimed she was intuitively working to embody memories and moments from her own life. “Perception and Reflection” offers an opportunity to see if Truitt’s work really transcends its historical moment and communicates a truly singular vision.
The Exhibition is on view 10 a.M. to 5:30 P.M. daily, from Oct. 9 to Jan. 3 at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Independence Avenue and 7th Street SW. Free. (202) 633-1000.