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Modern and Contemporary Art of the United States

On View:
Thursday, January 19, 2023 — Sunday, June 16, 2024


This exhibition, which will be on view for two years, proposes a revised narrative of modern and contemporary U.S. art. Together/Apart draws on the rich collections of the Frost Art Museum and the Wolfsonian, two dynamic, but distinctive institutions affiliated with Florida International University.

With more than 200,000 objects, the Wolfsonian FIU offers various collections strengths, including art and ephemera produced before 1950 in the United States. The Wolfsonian collection encourages reflection on urban and rural environments as well as industrial shifts that include transportation, architecture, and design. Works from the 20th and 21st centuries by Latinx artists as well as contemporary works by Thornton Dial, Hung Liu, and Lalla Essaydi in the Frost Art Museum’s collection of 6,500 objects will establish a more nuanced picture of art of the U.S. than traditional art historical surveys have offered.

The exhibition will be organized in three sections: Identity: Expressed, Imagined and Constructed; Re-Design: Expressing Identity though Form; and Place and Space: Where Identity Lives. Re-Design: Expressing Identity Through Form focuses on the use of symbols and form as tools of identity formation. The New York World’s Fair of 1939 celebrated a “world of tomorrow” centered on production and consumption, but Augusta Savage’s Lift Every Voice and Sing (represented in the exhibition by period ephemera) defined Black American identity around spirituality, community, and creativity.  Place and Space: Where Identity Lives explores how art and the built environment defined identity. WPA mural studies, intended for federal buildings across the country, promised a sense of belonging through collective labor and a shared sense of history, while architectural paintings by Cuban American artists such as Emilio Sanchez articulate a loss of place and community. Identity: Expressed, Imagined, and Constructed considers the portrait, from self-portraiture to posters that humanize the HIV/AIDS crisis.

The exhibition features 20th-century and contemporary artists and designers, including Berenice Abbott, Laura Aguilar, Milton Avery, Isabel Bishop, Mark Bradford, Squeak Carnwath, Jess T. Dugan, Agustín Fernandez, William Glackens, Hans Hofmann, Sargent Claude Johnson, Mike Kelley, Fritz Scholder, Lorna Simpson, Dinizulu Gene Tinnie, and Annie Tolliver.

Terra Foundation

Hans Hofmann, Out of This World, Gouache, 1945, Gift of Dr. Paul Lambert Schmitz, MET 87.01.01


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