Waxing Poetic in the Laib Wax Room

madeline and ben wax room

Newly engaged Madeline and Benjamin.

Benjamin Krauss and Madeline Bouton got engaged inside of the Phillips’s Laib Wax Room on February 5, 2015 and caught the moment on camera. We asked the couple a few questions about their relationship and why Wolfgang Laib’s Wax Room is important to them.

How did you meet?
We met during our junior year abroad in Berlin. After realizing we were both art history majors from southern California, we knew we were onto something.

What was your first date?
We never really “dated.” After friends introduced us one night, we spent an inseparable 4 days with each other. Things never really cooled down.

Had either of you been to The Phillips Collection before the proposal? When was your first visit?
Madeline actually interned at the Phillips from February to December 2012 at the Center for the Study of Modern Art. She treasures the Phillips like nowhere else in the city.

Why did you choose the Laib Wax Room as your proposal location?
Madeline was interning at the Phillips during the room’s installation. She was one of the first people to step inside. She loved Laib’s work from that moment forward. When Ben first visited the collection, he went back to the room three times.

Laib’s use of the natural, meditative execution, and intuitively German approach strikes a deep chord with us both. Given the room’s two visitor constraint and Madeline’s history with the Phillips, it just had to be in the Wax Room.

Chinese New Year: Year of the Goat / Sheep

Happy Chinese New Year! 2015 is the Year of the Goat/Sheep; can you spot the animals in these works from our permanent collection?

John Haley_sheep

John Haley, Sheep, not dated. Oil on canvas, 20 x 40 in. The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC, Acquired 1947

SimondsGooding_sheep

Maria Simonds-Gooding, An t-Oileánach Sheep, 1977. Etching and aquatint on paper, 21 7/8 x 14 7/8 in. The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC, Acquired 1979

Robert Gates_Goats

Robert Gates, Goats – Christiansted, not dated. Pencil on paper, 8 1/8 x 10 in. The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC, Acquired 1939

james mclaughline_sheep cote

James McLaughlin, Sheep Cote, 1947. Oil on canvas, 28 x 36 in. The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC, Acquired 1948

 

Four Things You Didn’t Know About Hiroshi Sugimoto

Sugimoto portrait

Hiroshi Sugimoto. Image courtesy of the artist

In a gallery adjacent to Man Ray–Human Equations: A Journey from Mathematics to Shakespeare, you’ll find photographs and sculptures by contemporary Japanese artist Hiroshi Sugimoto. His exhibition at the Phillips, Hiroshi Sugimoto: Conceptual Forms and Mathematical Models, is on view through May 10, 2015.

1) Sugimoto’s work on view at the Phillips is largely inspired by Marcel Duchamp, particularly the Dadaist’s obsession with the mechanics of space and the mathematical foundations of his work.

2) He is best known for his time-exposed photography. Among his most recognized works are his series Theatres, which are shot for the full length of each movie’s projection, and Seascapes, a series of horizon lines formed by bodies of water whose movements have been blurred into stillness by Sugimoto’s long exposures.

3) All of the sculptures on view in this exhibition are derived from infinity equations. As is apparent from his time-exposed photography, time and history are significant themes in Sugimoto’s work, ranging from human time to cosmological time. Each sculpture is to be thought of as infinitely expanding, just as the universe continues to expand from a point of singularity.

4) His sculptures are created using computer-controlled, precision milling machines, and are crafted from solid blocks of aluminum.