Top Menu

Post-War & Contemporary Art

(L to R): Willem de Kooning, Montauk 1, 1969; James Nares, STREET (film still), 2012

Post-War & Contemporary Art
On view now

The reinstallation of the Wadsworth Atheneum’s Contemporary Art collection—featuring work from 1945 to the present—opened 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 museum’s MATRIX series of contemporary art exhibitions. To celebrate this momentous occasion the reinstallation focuses especially on works by MATRIX artists.

Huntington Gallery includes 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.

Hilles Gallery features much loved masterworks 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 features James Nares’ 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, MATRIX 6, and MATRIX 143). The first wall drawing to enter the museum’s collection, it has long been off-view to visitors. The space also includes a selection of LeWitt sculptures from the collection.

(L): Willem de Kooning, Montauk 1, 1969, oil on canvas, The Ella Gallup Sumner and Mary Catlin Sumner Collection Fund, 1973.46; (R): James Nares, STREET (film still), 2012, high-definition video with sound, running time: 61 minutes, Purchased through the gift of Charles A. Goodwin, 2012.14.1