Expansive Dialogues

The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden is among the most important contemporary art institutions in the USA, and a leading voice for art and culture in the 21st century. With nearly 12,000 paintings, sculptures, photographs and works in other media, it is home to one of the most significant collections of post-war western art in the world, and also presents a diverse array of exhibitions and public programmes. In aid of these activities, in the past two years the Hirshhorn – which is part of the Smithsonian – has held dual New York and Washington, DC galas with the aim of raising funds, but also to honour some of the artists whose works make up the museum’s expansive collection.

On Monday 6 November, the institution welcomes around 400 guests to the Lincoln Center in New York to celebrate 31 women artists from around the world who have transformed public perceptions of contemporary art and encouraged dialogue around some of the more pressing issues of our times. Among the artists selected are some of the most significant working today, including many pioneers who have offer us new ways of making and thinking about art. The institution claims a history of continual support for women artists both through its acquisition programme and exhibitions, and director Melissa Chiu has expressed her pride at being able to honour 31 artists whose value is not only in their own work, but also in the stage they have set for generations to come. The big names of the group, to name only a few, will include Yayoi Kusama, Tacita Dean, Jenny Holzer, Yoko Ono and Tracey Emin, but space will also be given to emerging artists whose work is nonetheless transforming the way we consider the world around us.

Previous galas have raised more than $3.5 million to help the institution in its mission and, in giving much deserved recognition to a selection of ground braking performance and video artists, painters and sculptors, it appears the value isn’t solely financial.

Ned Carter Miles

The Hirshhorn Gala runs on 6 November at the Lincoln Center, New York. For more information: www.hirshhorn.si.edu

1. Yayoi Kusama, Love is Calling (2013).