A Sunset in the Morning

I went to the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in D.C. this week with my friends and even though it was the morning, we saw the most beautiful sunsets.

Nicolas Party was the artist of the Sunrise, Sunset exhibit. He painted sunsets that, at times, looked as real as if you were looking at it through a window. They were filled with color. The museum is a circle so as you walk through the exhibits you’re walking in a circle. Party set up the exhibit in a way that as you walked around the background wall colors changed; it was as if you were in someone’s house and the colors of each room were different. This complimented the work perfectly.

As we walked around we started to debated if the paintings were of a decal type, peel-on material. We knew Party obviously had originally painted the sunsets but thought maybe they were transferred to some sort of posters, then put up since the edges were so perfectly set. Then as we walked to the end, which was also the beginning, we read about the exhibit and were amazed to learn that the landscapes were painted right on the walls themselves.

Party’s inspiration was Obama’s quote from his election address, “No matter what happens, sun will rise in the morning.” The pieces are filled with symbolism. I particularly like the note the artist makes in the exhibit description: “Like a ticking clock, the sunset is a sign that one day has passed… The sun was rising every day before humans existed on earth and will do so long after their extinction.” I’m just going to leave you with that.

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