Monday March 20, 2017
Tags for: Museum Reinstalls Contemporary Art Galleries
  • Press Release

Museum Reinstalls Contemporary Art Galleries

exterior of the CMA building

New installation showcases recent acquisitions and celebrated highlights from the collection

Cleveland, OH (March 2017) – The Cleveland Museum of Art’s newly installed S. Mueller Family Galleries of Contemporary Art feature an exciting mix of recent acquisitions, beloved masterworks from the collection, and selected loans. The complete reinstallation includes many works never before shown, or previously shown only as part of special exhibitions before entering the CMA’s permanent collection. 

“The museum’s permanent collection galleries are dynamic and always changing,” said William Griswold, director of the Cleveland Museum of Art. “The newly installed contemporary art galleries offer our audiences the opportunity to experience some of our most recent acquisitions and to rediscover favorite works of art from the past 50 years.”

Highlights include the debut of several recent acquisitions, among them Untitled (Basketball Drawing) by David Hammons, presented to the museum by Agnes Gund in honor of LeBron James’s return to Cleveland; Heritage by Wadsworth Jarrell, a founding member of AFRICOBRA; Wild Things by Haim Steinbach; just the two of us by Julia Wachtel; Washing Away of Wrongs by Anicka Yi; and an untitled video projection by Oliver Laric. 

The new installation also marks the return of visitor favorites, including Anselm Kiefer’s Lot’s Wife, a barren, deeply recessed landscape based on Kiefer’s photos of train tracks in France; Robert Gober’s Untitled, an object that creates the illusion of a man’s pant-clad severed leg; Claes Oldenburg’s Giant Toothpaste Tube, a large-scale, soft sculpture of a household object; and Gerhard Richter’s Abstract Painting (750-1), which conveys a sense of movement. 

Significant loans from local and international private collections are also featured, including Cleaving (Apart/Together) by Jo Baer, seen in dialogue with sculptures by Damián Ortega and Gabriel Orozco; and “Untitled” (March 5th) #2 by Felix Gonzalez-Torres, on view alongside the newly acquired interactive work by Hugo Boss Prize recipient Anicka Yi. The Maria Lassnig Foundation has lent an important painting by Lassnig, which now hangs among influential figurative works—all portraits of people or society—by Florine Stettheimer, Wadsworth Jarrell and Robert Colescott, among others. In addition, Claes Oldenburg’s colossal sculpture Standing Mitt with Ball is now on view in the Ames Family Atrium. 

“This installation reflects the rapid evolution of the CMA’s holdings of contemporary art and the museum’s strong commitment to engaging with the present,” said Reto Thüring, curator of contemporary art. “The newly installed galleries provide a fascinating dialogue between key works by leading artists, such as the recently acquired basketball drawing by David Hammons and a seminal sculpture by Robert Gober from 1990, as well as historical masterpieces by Andy Warhol and Agnes Martin. Visitors will also encounter works that forge new territory, such as Anicka Yi’s interactive sculpture and Oliver Laric’s video projection.” 

About the Cleveland Museum of Art’s Contemporary Collection

Spanning from 1961 to the present day, the contemporary art collection at the Cleveland Museum of Art is constantly expanding to reflect the world around us. In recent years the department has shifted its strategy to collect more broadly in a way that mirrors the entire museum collection while recognizing the quickly evolving nature of contemporary art as younger generations of artists explore new forms. The department also seeks to champion under-recognized artists and to provide a more holistic, global view of art made in the second half of the 20th century and later. 

The collection includes paintings by pioneering artists from the 1960s, including Mark Rothko’s No. 2 (Red Maroons) (1962), Ellsworth Kelly’s Red Blue (1962), Agnes Martin’s The City (1966) and Andy Warhol’s seminal and monumental Marilyn x 100 (1962), as well as sculptural works by Lee Bontecou, Richard Serra, Donald Judd and Tony Smith. There are also strong holdings of artworks from the ’70s through the ’90s that reflect the complexities and diversity of modern life, including works by Alice Neel, Anselm Kiefer, Wadsworth Jarrell, Robert Gober, Louise Bourgeois, Martin Wong and Julia Wachtel. Art from the 21st century is represented by recent acquisitions of key works by artists such as Rachel Harrison, Anicka Yi, Jim Hodges, Gabriel Orozco, Jordan Wolfson, Katharina Fritsch, Kara Walker and Albert Oehlen. 

Contact the Museum's Media Relations Team:
(216) 707-2261