On your next visit to the Phillips, don’t miss a gallery on the second floor which has been temporarily converted into a theater for the recently opened Question Bridge: Black Males installation. The documentary-style video art project aims to represent and redefine black male identity in America. Like the subjects on the screen, visitors are invited to answer questions and leave responses at an interactive station in the gallery.
Similar to Duncan and Marjorie Phillips, contemporary collectors Herb and Dorothy Vogel collected artwork that many people weren’t ready for. They made their choices with a unique and discriminating eye and truly followed their own sense of value. Often they knew the artists they collected- Robert Mangold, Richard Tuttle, Pat Steir, to name a few. Herb and Dorothy visited studios, critiqued work, and clearly loved being a part of the art world from the studio to the gallery openings. Like the Phillips’s, they lived with their collection, although, unlike the Phillips’s, the quarters were very close. The result, in both cases, was a deep understanding and support of artists of their time, and a rich and distinctive collection, ultimately to be shared with the public. Herb Vogel died yesterday in New York. If you haven’t watched the documentary, Herb & Dorothy, it’s a must see.
The Environmental Film Festival presented the D.C. premiere of Arc of Light: A Portrait of Anna Campbell Bliss at National Museum of Women in the Arts earlier this week. Anna Campbell Bliss is a pioneering modernist who experiments with color and spatial relationships and who has devoted her life to the exploration of the intersections among art, technology, science, nature, poetry, mathematics, and architecture. She believes that the most exciting ideas emerge when a variety of disciplines meet. She was one of the first artists to incorporate computer-generated imagery into her work. She has been based in Utah since the early sixties and has been described by the Salt Lake City Tribune as the person who “brought Modernism to Utah”. Mrs. Bliss and her husband, architect Bob Bliss, were sighted enjoying the Aaronsohn Collection drawings at The Phillips Collection on the day following the film presentation. It is wonderful to know that she sought us out for a visit, since so many of her themes run parallel to what we care about at the Phillips. The work of Anna Campbell Bliss can be viewed on her website.
Sue Nichols, Chief Operating Officer