1966
Josef Albers
Oil on fiberboard
30 3/4 x 30 3/4 inches

One of the most immediately recognizable and influential series of paintings produced in the twentieth century is Josef Albers's Homage to the Square. Beginning the series in 1950, at age 62, Albers was to produce more than a thousand Homage paintings and prints, in four different formats.(1) The works became widely known (one appeared on a 1980 United States postage stamp) and influenced two generations of hard edge and Minimalist art.

1967
Josef Albers
Oil on fiberboard
30 3/4 x 30 3/4 inches

One of the most immediately recognizable and influential series of paintings produced in the twentieth century is Josef Albers's Homage to the Square. Beginning the series in 1950, at age 62, Albers was to produce more than a thousand Homage paintings and prints, in four different formats.(1) The works became widely known (one appeared on a 1980 United States postage stamp) and influenced two generations of hard edge and Minimalist art.

1951
Josef Albers
Oil on fiberboard
30 3/4 x 30 3/4 inches
Year Acquired: 1980

One of the most immediately recognizable and influential series of paintings produced in the twentieth century is Josef Albers's Homage to the Square. Beginning the series in 1950, at age 62, Albers was to produce more than a thousand Homage paintings and prints, in four different formats.(1) The works became widely known (one appeared on a 1980 United States postage stamp) and influenced two generations of hard edge and Minimalist art.

1981
Carl Andre
Steel and copper
Steel squares: each 1/4 x 19 3/4 x 19 3/4 inches, copper slats: each 1/4 x 1 3/16 x 19 3/4 inches, overall: 1/4 x 40 1/2 x 374 inches

A central figure in the development of the movement known as Minimalism, Carl Andre creates art that involves the symmetrical arrangement of units of basic building materials, which he terms "particles" or "elements." Inspired by the elemental nature of Constantin Brancusi's sculpture from the early part of the twentieth century, Andre has pushed sculpture to a kind of ground zero.

1956
Francis Bacon
Oil on canvas
78 x 54 inches
Year Acquired: 2002

As the earliest surviving self-portrait, painted from memory when the artist was forty-seven years old, Self-Portrait, 1956 is a key work within Francis Bacon’s oeuvre. In this painting, Bacon depicts himself with the classic psychological impact that has come to characterize his portraits. He is isolated and hunched over, with asymmetrical features—the right side of his face is harshly raised by comparison with the left side, and the right eye is reduced to a crude circle.

2000
Stephan Balkenhol
Painted wood
Four figures, each 65 x 19 x 14 inches
Year Acquired: 2001

In 4 Figures, 2000, Stephan Balkenhol depicts four versions of the same rudimentary but realistically rendered modern Anglo man. Each figure is scaled down, and has an unevenly painted surface—the effect of using a broad paintbrush, which leaves much of the natural wood exposed. 4 Figures is characteristic of Balkenhol's work, visually and in its connections to the German woodcarving tradition and to sculpture's classical past. In this work the artist not only pays homage to the history of sculpture, but also critiques it with humor and irony.

1976
Georg Baselitz
Oil on canvas
98 1/2 x 75 inches
Year Acquired: 1994

You can lose the model, but you don’t lose the subject. The painting takes its course but Elke comes in and out of the picture. It’s complicated. I begin with an idea, but as I work, the picture takes over. Then there is the struggle between the idea that I preconceived in advance and the picture that fights for its own life . . . . You have to fight the conventions of the genre and the subject itself in order to make something new. The point of portraiture is to leave the portrait behind so that you can go forward.[1]

 

1995
David Bates
Plaster, metal and wood
39 x 12 3/4 x 23 3/4 inches
Year Acquired: 2002
1986-87
David Bates
Oil on canvas
96 x 78 inches
Year Acquired: 1987
1952
William Baziotes
Oil on canvas
40 1/4 x 60 inches
Year Acquired: 2000

The idea of a phantom is a strong presence in the works of William Baziotes, including the Modern Art Museum's Sea Phantoms, 1952. This painting characterizes his mature style of 1944 to 1962, a time when he created enigmatic landscapes with careful attention to spatial arrangements. Like his early work, Sea Phantoms was inspired by the Surrealists' automatic drawings, but in a subtler way.

1972
Bernd and Hilla Becher
Gelatin silver print, edition 4/5
24 x 20 inches
Year Acquired: 1995
1992
Bernd and Hilla Becher
Gelatin silver print
24 x 20 inches
Year Acquired: 1995
1965/printed 1993
Bernd and Hilla Becher
Gelatin silver print, edition 1/5
24 x 20 inches
Year Acquired: 1995
1984
Bernd and Hilla Becher
Gelatin silver print
24 x 20 inches
Year Acquired: 1995
1982
Bernd and Hilla Becher
Gelatin silver print
24 x 20 inches
Year Acquired: 1995
1973
Robert Bechtle
Oil on canvas
48 x 69 inches
Year Acquired: 1996
1968
Larry Bell
Glass and chrome
12 1/8 x 12 1/8 x 12 1/4 inches
Year Acquired: 1968

Larry Bell's glass cube manifests the "less is more" aesthetic that drove much twentieth-century geometric abstraction. Reducing compositional elements to a minimum is, however, a risky artistic endeavor; viewers often find the work simplistic, without visual interest, and nothing more than a modernist joke. Artists, on the other hand, have conceived reductivism as a means to distill form to a purer essence, to focus on a medium’s constituent elements, and to produce a distraction-free work that can induce a contemplative, even spiritual, attitude.

1970
Lynda Benglis
Acrylic foam
56 1/4 x 53 1/2 x 46 3/16 inches
Year Acquired: 1970

I felt I wanted to define for myself the organic phenomena; what nature itself would suggest to me in sculpture. — Lynda Benglis

1982
Ed Blackburn
Acrylic on canvas
61 7/8 x 83 3/4 inches
Year Acquired: 1992
1950
Cynthia Brants
Oil on canvas
38 x 24 inches
Year Acquired: 1951
1990-91
Deborah Butterfield
Unique Bronze
80 x 112 x 28 inches
Year Acquired: 1992
1966
Vija Celmins
Oil on canvas
16 x 26 1/8 in
Year Acquired: 1996

The Modern Art Museum's collection includes three key works by Vija Celmins, each of which reflects her acute sensitivity to adjustments in space, scale, and color. In the early 1960s Celmins focused on creating imagery of common domestic items, including pencils, erasers, combs, heaters, and lamps, approaching them with a style reminiscent of Edward Hopper's approach to people.

2000-01
Vija Celmins
Oil on linen, mounted on wood
31 x 38 inches
Year Acquired: 2002

The Modern Art Museum's collection includes three key works by Vija Celmins, each of which reflects her acute sensitivity to adjustments in space, scale, and color. In the early 1960s Celmins focused on creating imagery of common domestic items, including pencils, erasers, combs, heaters, and lamps, approaching them with a style reminiscent of Edward Hopper's approach to people.

1963
Dan Flavin
Warm white fluorescent light, edition 2/3
96 inches
Year Acquired: 2002

Although Dan Flavin is invariably described as one of the patriarchs of Minimalist sculpture—along with his colleagues Donald Judd, Sol LeWitt, Carl Andre, and Robert Morris—he has generally rejected the appellation "Minimalist" and even the term "sculpture" as too confining a designation, often pointing out that his works are ephemeral, temporary, and installed in relation to given architectural conditions.

1976
Gilbert & George
Photo piece, twenty-five panels
Overall 121 x 102 inches
Year Acquired: 1998
1961
Adolph Gottlieb
Oil on canvas
72 1/4 x 90 1/4 inches
Year Acquired: 1984

Paint quality is meaningless if it does not express quality of feeling.
— Adolph Gottlieb

1972
Nancy Graves
Acrylic and ink on canvas
102 1/16 x 72 inches
Year Acquired: 1985
1963
Philip Guston
Ink on paper
18 x 24 inches
Year Acquired: 1999

Philip Guston's fifty-year career stands as a unique allegory of the changing conditions of American art in the latter half of the twentieth century. Evolving an imagery that moved from "Symbolic Realism" to abstraction and back to a searching form of autobiographical figuration in the last decade of his life, Guston engaged each decade as if it needed to be seen anew and the meaning of the moment renegotiated.

1964
Philip Guston
Oil on canvas
69 x 78 inches
Year Acquired: 1999

Philip Guston's fifty-year career stands as a unique allegory of the changing conditions of American art in the latter half of the twentieth century. Evolving an imagery that moved from "Symbolic Realism" to abstraction and back to a searching form of autobiographical figuration in the last decade of his life, Guston engaged each decade as if it needed to be seen anew and the meaning of the moment renegotiated.

1968
Philip Guston
Acrylic on panel
30 x 32 inches
Year Acquired: 1999
1978
Philip Guston
Oil on canvas
75 x 108 inches
Year Acquired: 1999
1976
Philip Guston
Oil on canvas
80 x 116 inches
Year Acquired: 1994
1968-69
Richard Hamilton
Oil on canvas
26 1/2 x 33 1/4 inches
Year Acquired: 2004

In February 1967, Mick Jagger, the lead singer of the Rolling Stones, was arrested at a party in London on drug-related offenses. Arrested alongside Jagger was the well-known cultural guru Robert Fraser—Richard Hamilton’s art dealer—resulting in a high-profile, media-fueled event. When Jagger and Fraser arrived handcuffed in a police van at the courts for sentencing, press photographers attended in droves. One of the resulting photographs, shot through the van’s window by John Twine, was used by Hamilton in a series of six paintings he titled Swingeing London.

1999
Joseph Havel
Bronze
119 x 56 x 56 inches
Year Acquired: 2001

I'm interested in capturing the ordinary, whether it be an object or a momentary event. I want to make it permanent but make it seem like it isn't.(1) — Joseph Havel

2002
Callum Innes
Oil on canvas
97 1/2 x 93 1/2 inches
Year Acquired: 2003

This painting by Callum Innes began as a monochrome, with dense layers of black oil paint covering the middle section of a primed white canvas. What appears as a soft veil of color is actually the remains of a carefully unpainted block of canvas. Taking a turpentine-soaked brush, the artist allowed the solvent to run down the surface of one painted section, leaving a ghostly trail of paint and exposing the support underneath. Innes’s exposed paintings, a series he has explored since the early 1990s, take their specific titles from the color of paint used in their creation.

1968
Robert Irwin
Plastic, lighting
53 5/8 inches diameter
Year Acquired: 1969

Untitled dates from a crucial moment in Robert Irwin’s career when his perception of art, and of perception itself, were being reshaped. His concerns led him in 1966 to the convex disc format, which resulted in the body of work that gained him an international reputation. Irwin has explained that he adopted the circular shape because the traditionally rectilinear format of painting no longer made sense to him.

1963
Jess
Oil on canvas mounted on wood
29 3/4 x 33 inches

In 1949, after working for the Manhattan Project in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, between 1944 and 1946, Jess envisioned the earth being destroyed in the year 1975. This fear, undoubtedly part of a more pervasive anxiety experienced internationally following the devastation of World War II, inspired Jess to move to San Francisco and become an artist in an attempt to rediscover a sense of value in society. Montana Xibalba, an example from his Translation series, is part of a grand meditation on science, myth, and art.

1967
Donald Judd
Stainless steel and Plexiglas
Ten units, each 9 1/8 x 40 x 31 inches Overall 190 1/8 x 40 x 31 inches
Year Acquired: 1970

My work with the whole room began with part of it [the room]. In 1965, I made a work that extended from the floor to the ceiling. This extended the definition of space between the units to those below and above.  Donald Judd

1986
Ellsworth Kelly
Oil on canvas
122 x 356 inches (installed together)
Year Acquired: 1986
1973
Anselm Kiefer
Oil and charcoal on burlap
117 1/2 x 170 1/4 inches
Year Acquired: 1997
1983-97
Anselm Kiefer
Oil, emulsion, acrylic paint, clay, ash, earth, and dried sunflower on canvas
149 5/8 x 299 1/4 inches
Year Acquired: 2002

Since 1969 Anselm Kiefer has consistently returned to the book as subject matter. As a primary source of knowledge and a repository of world religions, books are a powerful and paradoxical symbol for the artist. Eventually Kiefer’s books became freestanding sculptures, massive symbols of the artist’s investigation of world knowledge through images. Book with Wings consists of a massive lead book supported on a steel lectern. The pages of the open book sprout two majestic wings.

1996
Anselm Kiefer
Emulsion, acrylic, and gold leaf on canvas
130 x 218 3/4 inches (330.2 x 555.6 cm)
1992-94
Anselm Kiefer
Lead, tin, and steel
74 3/4 x 208 5/8 x 43 3/8 inches
Year Acquired: 2000

Since 1969 Anselm Kiefer has consistently returned to the book as subject matter. As a primary source of knowledge and a repository of world religions, books are a powerful and paradoxical symbol for the artist. Eventually Kiefer’s books became freestanding sculptures, massive symbols of the artist’s investigation of world knowledge through images. Book with Wings consists of a massive lead book supported on a steel lectern. The pages of the open book sprout two majestic wings.

1967
Robert Mangold
Oil on masonite
72 x 72 inches
Year Acquired: 2003
1989
Sally Mann
Gelatin silver print, edition 8/25
20 x 24 inches
Year Acquired: 1998
1970-71
Brice Marden
Oil and wax on canvas
70 x 60 5/8 inches
Year Acquired: 1971
1965
Agnes Martin
Acrylic and graphite on canvas
72 1/16 x 72 1/8 inches
Year Acquired: 1993

Geometry has nothing to do with it. It’s all about finding perfection and perfection can’t be found in something so rigid as geometry. You have to go elsewhere for that, in between the lines.(1)
— Agnes Martin

1973
Agnes Martin
Portfolio of thirty screen prints
Each 12 x 12 inches
Year Acquired: 1977
1996
Agnes Martin
Pencil and acrylic on canvas
60 x 60 inches
Year Acquired: 2000

Geometry has nothing to do with it. It’s all about finding perfection and perfection can’t be found in something so rigid as geometry. You have to go elsewhere for that, in between the lines.(1)
— Agnes Martin

1986
Melissa Miller
Oil on linen, two panels
67 x 168 inches
Year Acquired: 1986
1981
Robert Motherwell
Acrylic on oil-sized canvas
88 x 120 1/8 inches
Year Acquired: 1985
1999
Ron Mueck
Silicone, acrylic, polyurethane foam, and fabric
25 1/4 x 17 x 16 1/2 inches
Year Acquired: 2000

Ron Mueck's Untitled (Seated Woman) will be on view at the Blanton Museum of Art in the exhibition Lifelike, June 23 - September 22, 2013.

2011
Nicholas Nixon
Gelatin silver print (4/50) (37 of on-going yearly series)
20 x 24
2007
Roxy Paine
Stainless steel
40 x 45 x 28 feet
Year Acquired: 2008
1960
Pablo Picasso
Oil on canvas
51 1/4 x 77 1/4 inches
Year Acquired: 1967
1976
Michelangelo Pistoletto
Bronze, mirror
120 x 84 x 47 inches
Year Acquired: 2001
1952
Jackson Pollock
Enamel on canvas
56 1/4 x 31 3/4 inches
Year Acquired: 1985

Of all the Abstract Expressionists working in New York in the 1940s and 1950s, Jackson Pollock was undoubtedly the most conspicuous. Even within a radical group that took abstraction to new heights, shifting the attention of the international art world from Paris to New York, Pollock’s mercurial personality and unique mode of painting stood out.

c. 1951
Jackson Pollock
Enamel, silver paint, and pebbles on illustration board
21 3/4 x 30 inches
Year Acquired: 1985

Of all the Abstract Expressionists working in New York in the 1940s and 1950s, Jackson Pollock was undoubtedly the most conspicuous. Even within a radical group that took abstraction to new heights, shifting the attention of the international art world from Paris to New York, Pollock’s mercurial personality and unique mode of painting stood out.

1977
Robert Rauschenberg
Combine painting, mixed media on five panels
Overall approximately 84 x 180 x 8 inches
Year Acquired: 1977

Robert Rauschenberg is typically described as a “protean” artist, and for good reason. Diversity, versatility, and inventiveness have defined his art. “Rauschenberg has created in a range of mediums, materials, and techniques probably wider and more varied than any other artist of this century.”(1) This breadth is embodied in Whistle Stop (Spread), 1977, with its inclusion of fabric, painting, drawing, transfer-prints, and real objects. In its juxtaposition and fusion of various forms, Whistle Stop relates to the “Combines” that Rauschenberg developed in 1954.

Lia
1944
Dickson Reeder
Oil on canvas
28 5/8 x 23 1/2 inches
Year Acquired: 1945
1969
Gerhard Richter
Oil on canvas
79 x 79 inches
Year Acquired: 2002
1992
Gerhard Richter
Cibachrome, edition 9/12
76 3/8 x 49 1/2 inches
Year Acquired: 1996
1964
Gerhard Richter
Oil on canvas
57 x 78 1/2 inches
Year Acquired: 1997

If there is a continuity in Richter’s art, it is to be found in a finely-tuned dialectic that counterposes the seemingly irreconcilable opposites of subjective expression and objective analysis, and the mechanical versus the handmade. Richter seldom works directly from a subject, preferring the mediation of a photographic image. A majority of the artist’s imagery (including many of his early abstractions) is derived from photographs, which he has kept in his “atlas,” a vast private archive of photographic images taken by Richter or clipped from newspapers and magazines.

1976
Susan Rothenberg
Acrylic and tempera on canvas
67 x 84 1/8 inches
Year Acquired: 1991
1989-90
Susan Rothenberg
Oil on canvas
79 5/8 x 95 1/8 inches
Year Acquired: 1997
1999-2001
Susan Rothenberg
Oil on canvas
91 1/2 x 112 inches
1957
Mark Rothko
Oil on canvas
66 x 61 3/4 inches
Year Acquired: 1970

A painting is not a picture of an experience; it is an experience. — Mark Rothko

1980
Ulrich Ruckriem
Texas red granite
Left: 36 3/8 x 43 x 43 1/4 inches, Right: 36 3/8 x 43 3/4 x 43 1/2 inches
Year Acquired: 1981
1987
Thomas Ruff
Ektacolor print, edition of 4
83 x 65 inches
Year Acquired: 1995
1964
Ed Ruscha
Oil on canvas
65 x 121 1/2 inches
1983
Sean Scully
Oil on canvas, two panels
Overall 115 x 96 inches
Year Acquired: 2002
1982
Sean Scully
Oil on canvas
114 x 97 3/4 inches
Year Acquired: 2002
1995
Sean Scully
Oil on canvas
114 x 180 inches
Year Acquired: 2002
1994
Sean Scully
Oil on canvas
108 x 162 inches
Year Acquired: 2002
1984
Sean Scully
Oil on canvas, three panels
102 x 134 inches
Year Acquired: 2002
2002
Richard Serra
Cor-ten steel
67 feet 10 inches x 21 feet 9 inches x 20 feet 10 inches
Year Acquired: 2002
1990
Andres Serrano
Cibachrome print, edition of 4
60 x 49 1/2 inches
Year Acquired: 1995
1948
Ben Shahn
Tempera on panel
36 1/8 x 48 1/8 inches
Year Acquired: 1969
1989
Cindy Sherman
Cibachrome print
65 11/32 x 49 13/16 inches
Year Acquired: 1995
2000
Ann Stautberg
Oil on black-and-white photograph, edition 1/3
68 x 90 inches
Year Acquired: 2001
1956
Clyfford Still
Oil on canvas
115 x 104 3/4 inches
Year Acquired: 1968

Among the small and elite group of American artists referred to by Time magazine as The Irascibles, and who made up the groundbreaking movement known as Abstract Expressionism in the 1940s and 1950s, Clyfford Still was arguably the most irascible and vociferous. Among a generation of American artists who were attuned and sensitive to the potential commercial and political exploitation of their art, Still was undoubtedly the most suspicious of institutional culture. He had little need for “middle men” to present his art and ideas.

1999
Thomas Struth
C-print, framed in two parts, edition 2/6
108 1/4 x 136 1/4 inches
2000
Erick Swenson
Mixed media
91 x 40 x 40 inches
Year Acquired: 2002

Erick Swenson’s Untitled, 2000 depicts a dramatic scene in which a seamlessly crafted, meticulously hand-painted figure resembling a dog or fawn is being swept upward from the ground by a billowing red and black cape hooked to its tail. The small, pale animal bares its teeth, adding tension to the moment, yet the story behind this strange event is undisclosed. Swenson’s scenes are the result of a hybrid of influences, including animation, movie stage sets, and natural history dioramas.

1997
Cy Twombly
Bronze
65 3/4 x 13 3/4 x 13 3/4 inches
Year Acquired: 1999
Undated
Bror Utter
Oil on canvas
Year Acquired: 1957
1951
Bror Utter
Watercolor on paper
15 1/4 x 18 inches
20th Century
Bror Utter
Oil on canvas
19.25 x 30 inches
Year Acquired: 1946
Undated
Bror Utter
Oil on canvas
20.25 x 24 inches
Year Acquired: 1949
1962
Jacques Villeglé
Ripped posters mounted on canvas
52 3/16 x 76 1/4 inches
Year Acquired: 2001
1995
Bill Viola
Video / Sound installation. Color video projection on large vertical screen mounted on wall in darkened space; amplified stereo sound. Production still.
168 x 258 x 306 inches
Year Acquired: 1995
1962
Andy Warhol
Acrylic on canvas
82 x 66 1/4 inches (208.3 x 168.3 cm)
Year Acquired: 1983

If you want to know all about Andy Warhol, just look at the surface of my paintings and films and me, and there I am. There’s nothing behind it. — Andy Warhol

Gun
1982
Andy Warhol
Synthetic polymer paint and silkscreen ink on canvas
72 x 92 inches
Year Acquired: 1998
1953
Charles T. Williams
Welded steel
19 1/4 x 36 1/4 inches
Year Acquired: 1954
1976-77
Jackie Winsor
Painted wood, wire, and cement
32 1/2 x 32 1/2 x 32 1/2 inches
Year Acquired: 1992
2001
Daisy Youngblood
Bronze
17 3/4 x 19 x 8 inches
Year Acquired: 2002