Opening January 31, 2015
The reinstallation of the Wadsworth Atheneum’s contemporary art collection—featuring work from 1945 to the present—opens on January 31, 2015 in three dedicated galleries that have been newly renovated and refurbished over the past year. The year 2015 also marks the 40th anniversary of the Wadsworth’s MATRIX series of contemporary art exhibitions. Therefore, a special focus will be made on works in the collection by MATRIX artists.
Huntington Gallery will include mid-century abstract painting and sculpture by artists including Ellsworth Kelly (MATRIX 1) and Willem de Kooning (MATRIX 15), along with Alexander Calder, Helen Frankenthaler, Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, and Tony Smith. Newly donated to the collection, a major installation piece by Olafur Eliasson will be the centerpiece of a gallery focused on optical art.
Hilles Gallery will feature much loved master works from the contemporary art collection by Duane Hanson (MATRIX 40), Robert Rauschenberg, Cindy Sherman (MATRIX 88), Bob Thompson (MATRIX 90), and Andy Warhol (MATRIX 50). New, large-scale gifts and acquisitions include important pieces by Chuck Close (MATRIX 35), George Segal, Kiki Smith, Richard Tuttle (MATRIX 10), and Kara Walker. A permanent video gallery will open with James Nares’s STREET, a grand tour through the streets of Manhattan.
The newly reopened mezzanine gallery of the Colt building presents a wall drawing by international artist and Hartford native Sol LeWitt (MATRIX 3, 6, and 143). The first wall drawing to enter the museum’s collection, it has long been off-view to visitors. The space will also include a selection of LeWitt sculptures from the collection.
Willem de Kooning (American, born The Netherlands, 1904 – 1997), Montauk 1, 1969, oil on canvas, The Ella Gallup Sumner and Mary Catlin Sumner Collection Fund, 1973.46
James Nares (American, born England, 1953), STREET, 2012, high-definition video with sound, running time: 61 minutes, Purchased through the gift of Charles A. Goodwin, 2012.14.1