With strengths in American and European surrealism, abstract painting, mid-century kinetic and Pop art, and art addressing powerful themes of history, land use, and identity, Art Since 1948 is a continuing collection installation that surveys the collection and encourages formal and conceptual connections across six decades.
Ricker Library of Architecture and Art has developed a library guide that includes details about work contained in this gallery, as well as supplementary materials and curator-recommended reading: Library Guide to Art Since 1948
The gallery is installed thematically and chronologically, beginning with works of art collected in the late 1940s from the first years of what became the university’s historic Festival of Contemporary Arts, and continues to the present.
In Fall 2020, the gallery will feature several significant rotations. Two paintings —Robert Gwathmey’s Southern Community (1950) and Ben Shahn’s Second Allegory (1953) — will join surrealist counterparts from the collection to frame a key tension for mid-twentieth-century artists between abstraction and social justice.
Works by Hector Duarte, Sam Jury, Autumn Knight, Annette Lemieux, and Melanie Yazzie address the political and social effects of government and art world institutions. These works offer aesthetics and critiques that enliven history and take on renewed poignancy in light of the pandemic.
Another section will feature photographs and prints by Darryl Curran, François Deschamps, John Divola, Robert Fichter, Betty Hahn, Margo Humphrey, Sheila Pinkel, and Jerry Uelsmann: all peers of Bea Nettles whose exhibition Harvest of Memory will be in the adjacent East Gallery.
Loans will continue to dramatically expand the stories we can tell with the collection: works by Nick Cave and June Harwood from the Thoma Foundation in Chicago, Beyond the Chief (2008) by Edgar Heap of Birds from the Program in American Indian Studies, and Chryssa’s Newspaper Sculpture (1963) from the collection of Randall and Sheila Ott.
Curated by Amy L. Powell, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art