What Absence Is Made Of

Group Exhibition. Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC, United States.

18 October 2017

Damien Hirst's 'The Asthmatic Escaped II' (1992). Courtesy Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC. Photo by Cathy Carver

‘What Absence Is Made Of’ features over seventy works drawn from the Hirshhorn’s permanent collection. Prompted by the increasing emphasis on the digital world, the exhibition traces the enigmatic ways in which artists have addressed absence—the loss of body, physical form or memory— in their work.

The sculptural installation ‘The Asthmatic Escaped II’ (1992) features alongside pieces by artists including Ed Atkins, Ana Mendieta and Constantin Brancusi. The steel-framed vitrine is a signature structure for Hirst, here used to frame a mise-en-scène that implies a recent human presence.