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Sol LeWitt, MATRIX Poster [detail], 1974, Color lithograph and paper, 1994.46.2, Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art_MATRIX web header


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.


The year 2015 marks the 40th anniversary of MATRIX! To celebrate this momentous occasion the museum’s reinstallation of Post-War and Contemporary art focuses especially on works by MATRIX artists.

A timeline of MATRIX exhibitions is below and also on view in the Connections Gallery on Avery 3. The documentation of this series is an important legacy for the museum and history of contemporary art.