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As the seat of the American government, Washington DC is better known for its political environment than its status as a national art and culture destination. But the city is in fact home to some of the finest exhibition spaces in the country, where some of the most progressive and visionary curators and gallerists present a top notch program of contemporary art shows. We take a look at ten must-visit contemporary art spaces in Washington DC.
Opened in 1999 under the name Conner Contemporary Art, ConnerSmith has since become a major part of DC’s contemporary art scene. Boasting 12,000 square-feet of exhibition space, ConnerSmith mainly exhibits abstract and conceptual works with social relevance. The gallery is particularly committed to promoting emerging artists on an international scale, and to this end, contributed to the foundation of the local Emerge Art Fair. Alongside its commitment to up-and-coming artists, ConnerSmith also represents a selection of established artists such as Leo Villareal—an acclaimed American artist who combines LED lights and computer technology to create awe-inspiring large-scale installations.
1013 O Street Northwest, Washington, DC, United States, +1 202 588 8750
Adamson Gallery is primarily devoted to fine art photography and artists who produce lens-based works. Past exhibitions have showcased the work of Gordon Parks, Robert Longo, Karen Knorr, and Lou Reed. The gallery’s collection of Chuck Close’s work is one of its strongest points of attraction; known for his large-scale, often wall-sized portraits, Chuck Close has represented the human face through a variety of techniques and a striking level of photorealism. Companion to Adamson Gallery is Adamson Editions, a digital publication of artist monographs.
Adamson Gallery, 1515 14th St NW Washington, DC, USA, +1 202 232 0707
Washington DC’s 14th Street has seen a multitude of exhibition spaces open since the new millennium. Amongst this string of new galleries is Project 4, which exhibits some of the most promising local and national artists. The space offers a cutting-edge take on American contemporary art, representing multimedia artists such as Margaret Boozer and Thomas Muller who are known to work with less conventional materials. All artists represented by the gallery are united in their innovative visions are striking aesthetics.
Project 4, 1353 U St NW #302 Washington, DC, USA, +1 202 232 4340
Located on the National Harbor waterfront, Art Whino specializes in ‘lowbrow art‘ – an artistic movement that draws inspiration from underground and pop culture. Showcasing works inspired by street art, graffiti, and Pop Art, the gallery regularly promotes public mural projects outside of the space and the city as well.
Art Whino Gallery, 120 American Way, National Harbor, MD, USA, +1 301 567 8210