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Re-seeing the Contemporary: Selected From the Collection at the Dallas Museum of Art

Sixty Works from the DMA Collection and Important Local Collectors Presented in a Dynamic New Context

This exhibition marks a return to celebrating the rich holdings that form the acclaimed collection of modern and contemporary art at the Dallas Museum of Art. Re-seeing the Contemporary, which also includes important loans from local collections, features surprising works, such as Steve Wolfe’s Untitled (Piano Music for Erik Satie), alongside more familiar icons such as Jackson Pollock’s Cathedral. Others on view include John Chamberlain’s Dancing Duke and Alan Saret’s Deep Forest Green Dispersion, two dramatic works of metal and paint installed side by side. This exhibition of sixty paintings, sculpture and works on paper is on view through April 3, 2011.

Re-seeing the Contemporary presents an imaginative powerful, and beautiful new way for visitors to look at our internationally recognized contemporary art collection,” said Bonnie Pitman, The Eugene McDermott Director of the Dallas Museum of Art. “The ability to tell new stories by revisiting the Museum’s rich holdings is one of the great gifts we can enjoy and share with others.”

Jeffrey Grove, The Hoffman Family Senior Curator of Contemporary Art and organizer of the exhibition, describes the installation as “more speculative than definitive,” explaining that the works are installed “in a roughly chronological sequence with each gallery encompassing either a span of time, reflecting select movements, or exploring ideas expressed in radically different ways over many decades.”

For instance, the Barrel Vault presents the early impulses of abstract expressionism from the 1940s onward through its later manifestations. Visitors will recognize highlights from the collection such as Mark Rothko’s Orange, Red and Red and Morris Louis’s Delta Kappa. The Stoffel Gallery focuses on the emergence of disparate languages in the early 1960s, reflecting a new culture of imagery tied to desire and consumption, and includes more conceptual works investigating language, ideas and process including works by Joseph Kosuth, Ed Kienholz and Carl Andre.

The Hanley Gallery focuses on works from the 1970s by artists who exploited a reductive visual vocabulary to explore how these forms could be fashioned to expressive ends as seen in works by Robert Mangold and Larry Bell. Works in the Lamont Gallery, from the 1980s to 90s, reflect the quizzical nature of those decades, when traditional painting and sculpture were transformed to create sometimes eccentric-looking works. Richard Tuttle’s Maroon Blue Egg from 1986 is highlighted in this gallery along with Peter Halley’s Untitled (Red and Purple Prisons).

Selections from the most recent decades populate the Rachofsky Gallery, which focuses on ideas of figurative representation and the persistence of abstraction that can also encompass narrative and identity. Artists featured in this section include Charles Ray, Christian Schumann and Ludwig Schwarz. Also included in the exhibition are two new acquisitions on view for the first time: a recent painting by acclaimed Canadian artist Karel Funk entitled Untitled #21 and Jack Whitten’s important painting from 1971, Slip Zone.

Throughout the duration of this exhibition, works will also be rotated in and out of the galleries to bring about further reconsiderations of the contemporary collection, which forms one of the cornerstones of the Dallas Museum of Art and is acclaimed as one of the most important contemporary collections in the United States.

Dr. Grove will discuss his installation of Re-seeing the Contemporary in a gallery talk on November 10 at 12:15 p.m. Additional gallery talks and lectures with guest speakers will be scheduled throughout the run of the exhibition. For details, please visit

About the Dallas Museum of Art

Located in the vibrant Arts District of downtown Dallas, Texas, the Dallas Museum of Art (DMA) ranks among the leading art institutions in the country and is distinguished by its innovative exhibitions and groundbreaking educational programs. At the heart of the Museum and its programs are its encyclopedic collections, which encompass more than 24,000 works and span 5,000 years of history, representing a full range of world cultures. Established in 1903, the Museum today welcomes more than 600,000 visitors annually and acts as a catalyst for community creativity, engaging people of all ages and backgrounds with a diverse spectrum of programming, from exhibitions and lectures to concerts, literary readings, and dramatic and dance presentations.

The Dallas Museum of Art is supported in part by the generosity of Museum members and donors and by the citizens of Dallas through the City of Dallas/Office of Cultural Affairs and the Texas Commission on the Arts.

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