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Posted at 1:33 PM ET, 09/30/2008

Up Next: October Arts

By Stephanie Merry

Lino Tagliapietra's blown glass will be on display at the Renwick this month. (Photo by Greg R. Miller)

Everything from political works to glass sculpture and cartoons to ancient artifacts are headed our way this month. Here's a sampling of what's to come.

If you've watched both conventions, the Sunday morning talk shows and the debates, but still want more politics, then head to Irvine Contemporary starting Saturday, Oct. 18 where three artists present "Regime Change Starts at Home." There you'll find screen prints of Obama's face, religious sculptures made from gun parts and human bone (seriously) and a multimedia project entitled "Manifesto for the People's Republic of Antarctica."

If you prefer your politics with a side of superhero, consider heading to this weekend's Small Press Expo, which features artists from the comic/cartoon/graphic novel realm. Learn from the practitioners or just browse the strips and maybe take a personalized comic home with you.

Is beauty really in the eye of the beholder? Or has society imposed rules surrounding what qualifies as beautiful? The artists behind "Uncommon Beauty" at Ellipse Arts Center starting Friday, Oct. 3, are hoping to break down these societal norms by showing off the exquisiteness of the imperfect and offbeat. On the same day, see the indisputable beauty of Lino Tagliapietra's works. The glass artist will have his first retrospective exhibition at the Renwick, including 140 lavishly colorful works from his 40-year career.

The National Gallery has a couple big openings this month, including the works of Dutch master Jan Lievens, who for many years stood in the shadow of his frenemy Rembrandt. About 55 of the artist's works will be on display starting Oct. 26 to give museum-goers a sense of why this artist deserves his ever increasing prominence. Meanwhile, the gallery will display a huge cache of art from Pompeii beginning Oct. 19. Sculpture, paintings and mosaics will illuminate the history of the city that was swallowed up by Vesuvius' lava in 79 A.D.

The Phillips likewise has a major exhibition this month when the artistic husband-wife team Christo and Jeanne-Claude, who once decorated Central Park with fabric gates, comes to Washington with "Over the River," opening Oct. 11. The exhibit features plans and drawings of the couple's projected work of art, which consists of fabric suspended across the Arkansas River.

For art that inspires a festival, look forward to "Garden and Cosmos," which includes 17th century paintings of Indian royalty and deities, at the Sackler on Saturday, Oct. 11. The museum will celebrate the exhibition opening a week later with two days of music, storytelling and dance.

Have more suggestions for must-see arts in October? Let us know in the comments.

-- Stephanie

By Stephanie Merry  | September 30, 2008; 1:33 PM ET
Categories:  Museums  
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