The Columbia Museum of Art showcases Modern & Contemporary Art from the Collection beginning August 2012, featuring over thirty paintings, drawings, photographs, and sculptures that will remain on view indefinitely.
Chief curator, Will South, said, “The collection is so rich in number that for some time the museum’s modern and contemporary holdings have been in storage. For our visitors to have the most diverse and exciting experience possible here at the CMA, some of these greatest hits need to be back out and that’s what’s happening.”
Long-time CMA members will also find old friends on view, including works by Jasper Johns, Howard Thomas, Sally Mann and Edward Ruscha, whose famous image of the Hollywood Hills on view has become a staple of the art world.
“Modern & Contemporary from the Collection offers experiences both serious and sensual, designed to both entertain and enlighten,” South said.
Among the earliest works of art on view in Modern & Contemporary Art from the Collection is Leon Kelly’s energetic abstraction influenced by the then new and radical art movement, Cubism. Kelly’s work is a classic American response to one of the most important art movements and a good starting place for visitors to either revisit Cubism or begin to appreciate it for the first time.
The dramatically large and brightly colored Gene Davis piece is in the same gallery. Davis’ imposing canvas is visually scintillating with line after line vying for the mind’s attention. The purpose of such painting was not to describe known things such as a cat or a cup or a flaming sunset, but rather to orchestrate color to stimulate a viewer’s reactions. Artists often say that if they could write about what it was they felt, they would. Instead, they paint it.
Small abstract oils by nationally recognized artist Pat Steir are also on view for the first time, and are recent gifts from the nationally known collectors, Herbert and Dorothy Vogel
Modern & Contemporary Art from the Collection is located in the Lipscomb Family Galleries 5 & 6 on level one. For more information, visit columbiamuseum.org.