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Posted at 8:00 AM ET, 07/ 4/2009

July Arts

By Stephanie Merry

We have all kinds of artsy possibilities coming our way this month, including late-night parties, a rock 'n roll-inspired museum discussion and a chance to see artists in motion -- in a swimming pool.

The National Gallery unveils a major show of Renaissance work: "An Antiquity of Imagination" marks the first American exhibition to spotlight Venetian sculptor Tullio Lombardo. The artist, who worked in the 15th and 16th centuries, took cues from classical antiquity, but he also followed the lead of some of the famous painters of his day with intimate close-ups of non-religious subjects. (July 4-Nov. 1)

The National Gallery takes a look at Renaissance sculpture this month. (National Gallery of Art)

The American History Museum amps up its discussion series with a a talk about the history of the electric guitar. Museum historian Monica Smith describes the birth of the instrument and charts its evolution to a rock band staple. (Noon-12:30 p.m. Thursday, July 9)

Phillip Trager's black-and-white photography will go on display at the Building Museum this month. The retrospective will feature Trager's early work -- photos of architecture from New York to Venice -- alongside his later dancer images, which capture the fluidity of the human form. (July 11-Jan. 3)

The Sackler has another installment in its series of "Moving Perspectives" exhibitions. This time the spotlight falls on multimedia artists Shahzia Sikander from Pakistan and Sun Xun from China. Sikander's abstract work resembles kaleidoscopes; images morph from what looks like an x-ray into a spiral of flowers. Sun Xun works in animation, often filming sequences of his own large-scale drawings. (July 18-Nov. 18)

Conner Contemporary is coming back to the Capitol Skyline pool with more experimental video, but this time the gallery's projections will be accompanied by another spectacle: artists doing synchronized swimming. "Synchroswim" will be on display courtesy of Washington Project for the Arts, which is calling for groups of two to 10 artists to submit applications for participation. (6-9 p.m. Sunday, July 19)

Hip-hop gets its due at Flashpoint this month with "M3: MCs, Mics and Metaphors." The 17 artists represented in this group exhibition responded to selected hip-hop songs in various ways. Some use a video to remix the music of Fela Kuti and Jay-Z, while others work with pieces of clothing to feature faces of famous DJs. (July 23-Aug. 29)

The Hirshhorn After Hours is back this month, and once again tickets have to be purchased in advance. Snag yours now so you can take advantage of the opportunity to check out "Strange Bodies" and work by Guido Van der Werve, have some wine at the museum and groove to DJs Izzy B and Nyko Skiie. (8 p.m.-midnight, Friday, July 24)

-- Stephanie

By Stephanie Merry  | July 4, 2009; 8:00 AM ET
Categories:  Museums  
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