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Nov 17, 2017. - Jan 31, 2019.

Multiple Modernisms

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Alexander Calder (American, 1898-1976), Totem, ca. 1970. Painted metal Gift of Walter P. Chrysler, Jr., 71.784 ©Alexander Calder Estate / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Click to enlarge.

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Nick Cave (American, b.1959)
Soundsuit, 2010
Mixed media
Museum purchase with funds from the Friends of African American Art and Walter P. Chrysler, Jr., by exchange, 2012.4
Photo by James Prinz. Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, N.Y.

Enjoy familiar pieces and see new works in Multiple Modernisms at the Chrysler Museum of Art.

This reinstallation of the Chrysler Museum’s McKinnon Galleries highlights pieces in the Museum’s permanent collection through an examination of differing narratives about the history of modern and contemporary art. The exhibition shows similar approaches between artists, many who worked simultaneously or successively. It also explores contradictory ideas influenced by politics and socioeconomics.

Multiple Modernisms pairs internationally renowned artists like Jackson Pollock and Georgia O’Keeffe with those of local or regional acclaim like Norfolk artist Vic Pickett. The exhibit also showcases work by female artists, artists of color and artists from other countries.

“I wanted this presentation to show the breadth and depth of the Museum’s collection. It was important to show there are alternate narratives to the history of contemporary art because not all artists or genres were or are embraced within the canon. Art history is fluid and constantly being revised. I wanted to highlight that,” -Kimberli Gant, McKinnon Curator of Modern & Contemporary Art.

Multiple Modernisms is guided by six themes including Sculpted Figures, The Gesture, Invoking Geometry, Refined Dynamism, Layered Perspectives and (Hyper) Reality. Sculpted Figures features three-dimensional interpretations of the human body. The Gesture presents works that emphasize the artist’s expressive mark on the canvas. In Invoking Geometry, viewers see images of shapes and patterns. Refined Dynamism focuses on works about movement within a restrained color palette, while Layered Perspectives presents artistic interpretations of major events, symbols, mythology, and society. (Hyper) Reality includes works presenting an extreme version of reality. “By organizing the exhibition by themes, viewers will see how artists were influenced by each other, could create similar or conflicting perspectives on the same event and experimented with the same techniques or ideas across time and geography,” said Gant.

Georgia O’Keeffe (American, 1887-1986)
Black Door with Red, 1954
Oil on canvas
Bequest of Walter P. Chrysler, Jr., 89.63
© The Georgia O'Keeffe Museum/ Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York