Kuitca’s Untitled (1995)

When Argentine artist Guillermo Kuitca talks about rounding up scores of paintings and drawings for his current retrospective, he sounds as if he were reuniting with children he long ago gave up for adoption. “It is hard to see them,” Kuitca, 49, admits. “Some shine, and others swallow the attention. They simply are not easy to play with.” “Guillermo Kuitca: Everything”—which opens at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C. (October 21 to January 16, 2011), after a year of touring smaller venues—spans the artist’s career, bringing together his eerily captivating images of road maps and theater seating charts with ink-on-canvas numerical sequences, abstract paintings, installations of piled mattresses, and smaller, nearly Impressionistic drawings. Linked by themes of space and migration, the works “were difficult to organize,” says Kuitca. Yet the Hirshhorn, coming off a widely praised Yves Klein show, offers “wonderful rooms and angles. I like that you can see an installation of beds and turn the corner to find a drawing. Even for me, there will be small surprises.”

Kuitca’s Untitled (1995): Private Collection, New York