Out of the Desert, Into DC: Renwick Opens Burning Man Exhibit

D.C. — urban, bustling and often buttoned-up — seems so different from Burning Man, an annual bacchanalian festival of art in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert. But a slice of the fantastical and larger-than-life art has taken over the Renwick Gallery and even spilled out onto the surrounding streets. Below, check out our first look at this must-see exhibit.

28 photos
1/28
2/28
The Renwick's "No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man" features pieces from the festival and original artworks, like the grand archway pictured above. See the goddesses holding the eyes? Creators Michael Garlington and Natalia Bertotti shared this tip for full enjoyment: peek inside the pupils!
3/28
Artist Marco Cochrane's plans to bring a 45-foot statue of a dancing woman to the National Mall didn't work out, but this 18-foot version now has a home in the Renwick. The exhibit will be open until January 21, 2019.
4/28
The relaxing cushions and dancing lights on the Grand Salon's ceiling are gone, making way for a detailed wooden display in the style of effigies built at Burning Man.
5/28
A detailed light fixture baths the Grand Salon in a mellow light. No worries if you loved the cushy pillows: another room, decked out with pillows and dancing starfish, is devoted to slothful pursuits.
6/28
The cautiously carved walls have enough details to keep you gazing all day.
7/28
Some of Burning Man's fantastical transportation options are on display, including the "Evotrope."
8/28
This bike calls to mind an old-timey movie — literally. The images on the wheel can be viewed in a different light as they spin.
9/28
Many pieces play with light, including Trocto, a piece by artist duo Yelena Filipchuk and Serge Beaulieu, the two halves of HYBYCOZO. Even if you don't make it to the Renwick, you can see one of their pieces outside at the intersection of Connecticut Avenue Northwest and K Street Northwest.
10/28
"An unintelligible passionate yearning drove them out into the desert - TE Lawrence."
Tens of thousands of people fufill that urge annually at the Burning Man Festival, which attracts artists, celebrities and tech company CEOs alike.
11/28
The "City of Dust: The Evolution of Burning Man" room delves into the history and culture of the festival.
12/28
Some Burning Man costumes go far beyond your typical trendy fest-wear.
13/28
Consider your flower crown one-upped.
14/28
Desert fashion for the heat-proof.
15/28
One million people are expected to visit the Burning Man exhibit, Kim Cook, the director of art and civic engagement for the project told reporters.
16/28
The exhibit is meant to connect anyone to the Burning Man experience — even if you're on the East Coast or can't afford a ticket.
17/28
Pictured above, a ferocious art car.
18/28
19/28
The virtual reality experience is one of the most innovative parts of the museum: a 2-minute, immersive experience that brings you to the desert.
20/28
21/28
No spoilers, but note the red dot on the floor. Step on one during your visit for a Alice In Wonderland-esque surprise.
22/28
The exhibit extends out onto the surrounding streets for a public art exhibit called "Beyond the Renwick. Above, a likeness of Maya Angelou. Check out the map of outdoor exhibits here.
23/28
Meet Lucinda and Tom, two crows who have moved in downtown. Check out the map of outdoor exhibits here.
24/28
This cute, waving bear has fur made of pennies.Check out the map of outdoor exhibits here.
25/28
Right on Connecticut and K streets, HYBYCOZO's Golden Spike honors where math and art meet.Check out the map of outdoor exhibits here.
26/28
Artist Kate Raudenbush explored: What would a modern monument to technology look like years after humans left the temple behind? Check out the map of outdoor exhibits here.
27/28
Artist Kate Raudenbush shows off the hourglass inside "Future's Past."
28/28
Inside or out, the Renwick's exhibit is infinitely Instagram-able.
Contact Us