MATRIX, a changing series of contemporary art exhibitions, was initially funded in 1974 as an experimental pilot project with a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. Since its first exhibition in January 1975, MATRIX has shown over 1,000 works of art by more than 160 artists.

Use the links at left to view past MATRIX exhibition brochures, organized chronologically by decade.

For many distinguished artists, including Richard Tuttle, Neil Jenney, Jon Borofsky, Daniel Buren, Sylvia Plimack Mangold, Nancy Spero, Louise Lawler, Barbara Kruger, Gerhard Richter, Lorna Simpson, Carrie Mae Weems, and Glenn Ligon, their MATRIX show at the Wadsworth Atheneum was their first solo museum exhibition in the United States. Half of the artists have been in their 30s or younger, and more than one-third did not have an affiliation with a commercial gallery at the time of their MATRIX experience. 

From its inception, MATRIX has been a forum for art that is challenging, current, and sometimes controversial. Through clear explanation and thoughtful engagement with the viewer, MATRIX exhibitions call into question preconceptions about art and increase understanding of its possibilities.

MATRIX has inspired more than 50 similar programs across the country at museums in Atlanta, Berkeley, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Washington. DC.


In 2015 the Wadsworth celebrated the 40th anniversary of the MATRIX program. A timeline of MATRIX exhibitions is below,  documenting the important legacy of this series for the museum and history of contemporary art.

Artist Submissions

The Contemporary Art Department accepts proposals from artists to review for exhibition consideration. The contemporary art exhibitions are primarily in the form of MATRIX projects. With only three MATRIX exhibitions each year, please note that the program is international in scope and highly competitive. The goal is to present a diverse palette of artists and art in terms of gender, race, nationality, subject matter and media.

Artist submissions should be made by email to the address below, by providing a link to your artist website.

Please note: Museum exhibitions are scheduled two or three years in advance.

Submissions are generally reviewed on a quarterly basis. Due to the large volume of submissions received, we apologize, but we may not be able to respond individually to each request. We will contact you if there is curatorial interest in the submitted materials. No phone calls please.

Please submit your artist website for consideration to:
Jared Quinton
Emily Hall Tremaine Associate Curator of Contemporary Art

Thank you for your interest.