Saturday, November 20
The Corcoran Gallery of Art and College of Art + Design opens Washington Color and Light, showcasing significant works by artists associated with the Washington Color School of the 1950s-1970s and their contemporaries. Drawn exclusively from the Corcoran’s collection, the works showcase the museum’s extensive collection of Color School paintings and sculpture including galleries devoted to monumental paintings by Gene Davis and Thomas Downing. An adjacent gallery houses Gypsy Switch, 2010, a stunning new light installation by pioneering California artist Robert Irwin.
Living and working in Washington, D.C., Gene Davis, Thomas Downing, Morris Louis, Howard
Mehring, Kenneth Noland, and Paul Reed first showed their work together in a 1965 exhibition at the
Washington Gallery of Modern Art called The Washington Color Painters. While these six artists never thought of themselves as a group, the Washington Color School title became synonymous with local abstract art and artists, coming to include artists Jacob Kainen, Alma Thomas, and Anne Truitt. The energy around this group promoted Washington as a center for innovative abstraction and gave rise to a younger set that included Sam Gilliam, Rockne Krebs, and Ed McGowin.