By Sheila Wickouski

Mary Early, a native of Southwest D.C., is known for her beeswax works, and one of her sculptures “untitled (wreath II) is currently on view at the “Modern and Contemporary Art Since 1945” exhibit at the Corcoran Gallery of Art. The exhibit features contemporary artists with a current connection to the D.C. area. The roster includes William Christenberry, Anne Truitt, Kenneth Noland, Helen Frankenthaler and Martin Puryear.

The ongoing exhibit is a selection of paintings, sculptures, works on paper, new media and installation art by leading post-war artists including Willem de Kooning, Ellsworth Kelly, Cy Twombly, Richard Diebenkorn, Joan Mitchell, Bruce Nauman, Jessica Stockholder and Gordon Parks.

Gordon Parks’ photograph, “Washington (southwest section), D.C. Negro woman in her bedroom,” is also on display at the Corcoran Gallery. Parks worked as a photographer for the Farm Security Administration (FSA), a depression-era government agency, and for Life Magazine, to illuminate pressing social issues such as poverty, race, segregation and crime. Although his photo of an unnamed woman is not as famous as his iconic American Gothic, it nevertheless is part of our Washington history and reflected Parks’ personal experiences of segregation.

What: Gordon Parks: Photographs from the Collection (now until Jan. 16, 2012)
What: “Modern and Contemporary Art Since 1945” (ongoing)
Best time to go: The gallery will be free and open to the public from Nov. 5-Nov. 12 when the gallery hosts FotoWeek DC events, free for all ANC 6D residents (zip codes 20024 or 20003) on Saturday, Dec. 10 as part of Randall Neighbor Day 2011, and free to the public on Monday, Jan. 16 in celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, which is also the last day of the Gordon Parks exhibit.
Admission: The Corcoran Gallery is open Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. The gallery is closed Monday and Tuesday. Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors (62+) and students (with valid ID), children 12 and under, military (with valid ID) and free for Corcoran members.

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