New York Avenue Sculpture Project: Betsabeé Romero

28 September 2018–20 September 2020

Exhibition Overview

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New York Avenue Sculpture Project installation rendering.

The New York Avenue Sculpture Project is the only public art space featuring changing installations of contemporary works by women artists in Washington, D.C.

The Sculpture Project illustrates the museum’s long-term commitment to the artistic beautification of New York Avenue, fostering a vibrant new identity for the neighborhood just east of the White House. Established in in 2010, the evolving public art program is a collaboration between the museum, the Downtown DC Business Improvement District (BID), the DC Office of Planning, and other local agencies.

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The dynamic works of Mexico City-based Betsabeé Romero (b. 1963) form the next chapter in the New York Avenue Sculpture Project. To create her four sculptures developed expressly for this installation, Romero assembled carved and painted tires into totemic structures that speak to themes of human migration and the natural environment. She embraces materials and techniques relating to popular culture. Using a process similar to tattooing, she carves figures and intricate patterns into the sidewalls and treads of tires, and then fills in the motifs with gleaming metallic paint. Romero’s sculptures are the first works featured in the Sculpture Project to incorporate interior lighting, which gives each piece an otherworldly glow.

(Image courtesy Betsabeé Romero Art Studio.)

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