Art Since the Mid-20th Century

Alex Katz, Ada with Sunglasses, 1969, oil on canvas, Gift of Sidney and Rosalie Rose, 1983.62 

A new installation of the Museum's collection of art since the mid-20th century features approximately fifty works of art displayed in renovated galleries, and presented in three thematic installations: The Persistence of Abstraction, Revivals of Figuration and Portraiture, and Cultural Signs.

This presentation chronicles the past seven decades as still-evolving chapters which illustrate how artists across disciplines, generations, and geographies respond to the experiences of their time by revising the visual languages and genres they have inherited. The integration of all media offers an encounter that foregrounds how materials are often signifiers of meaning, demonstrating how an artist's choice of medium can be a critical conceptual strategy in the art-making process.

Examples from mid-century through the 1970s, including iconic works by Grace Hartigan, Alex Katz, Ellsworth Kelly, Franz Kline, Robert Matta, Joan Mitchell, Louise Nevelson, Jackson Pollock, Andy Warhol, and Tom Wesselmann provide visitors with landmarks from which to explore more recent contributions by artists including Louise Bourgeois, Chuck Close, Tony Feher, Annette Lemieux, Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle, Beatriz Milhazes, Elizabeth Murray, Nam June Paik, Sigmar Polke, Doris Salcedo, Cindy Sherman, Yinka Shonibare, and Kiki Smith.

In conjunction with this focus on the Museum's holdings from the late 20th century, a major stripe painting from 1967 by Kenneth Noland, one of the central figures of Color Field painting, is on view in the Museum's library. Also in the collection, Bill Viola's Union, a color video diptych from 2000, will remain on view in the Medieval gallery.

Select Images from the Exhibition

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