"Speculative Forms" at Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden Monday, June 23

Observing sculpture poses a corporal challenge for clumsy people like me who may venture a little too close to the exhibited art. The Hirshhorn’s latest exhibition explores the history of 20th century sculpture—but it tosses out standard descriptors like “figurative” versus “abstract” and “still” versus “kinetic,” instead highlighting pieces that exist between those extremes. The show, which pulls its pieces from the museum’s permanent collection, draws its name from the idea of speculative realism, which places equal emphasis on subject, object, and space. And while modernist scholars push for art to exist in isolation from its surroundings, the Hirshhorn’s curators believe that the viewer’s eyes and body form important connections with the work. So go ahead, lean in close and explore the sculptures. Just don’t topple into them. The exhibition is on view daily, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, 7th Street and Independence Avenue SW. Free. (202) 633-1000. hirshhorn.si.edu.

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