The Modern maintains one of the foremost collections of modern and contemporary international art in the central United States. Various movements, themes, and styles are represented, including Abstract Expressionism, Color Field painting, Pop art, and Minimalism, as well as aspects of New Image Painting from the 1970s and beyond, recent developments in abstraction and figurative sculpture, and contemporary movements in photography, video, and digital imagery.
Since the beginning of her career in the mid-1980s, Lorna Simpson has become known for her conceptual photographs and videos that question the nature of representation, and challenge historical and preconceived views of racial and sexual identity. Rooted in her longstanding interest in photography and photographic collage, Simpson’s recent paintings incorporate found imagery, often taken from AP photographs and vintage magazines, which the artist overpaints and divides across several panels.
Stanley Whitney investigates the intricate possibilities of color and form in the realm of abstract painting. Since the mid-1970s, Whitney has been known for his multicolored, irregular grids on square canvases. Taking the essentialist grid of minimalism as his cue, his configurations are loose, uneven geometric lattices comprised of vibrant stacked color blocks that vary in hue, shape, and the handling of the paint. Whitney also utilizes color as subject, and his paintings often refer to literature, music, places, and other artists, connections that are bolstered in his titles.
Artist Donald Sultan’s career began with his first solo exhibition in 1977 in New York City, when he was just 26 years old, and he rose to prominence in the 1980s. A painter, sculptor, and printmaker, Sultan is regarded for his ongoing large-scale painted still lifes featuring structural renderings of fruit, flowers, and other everyday objects, often abstracted and set against a rich, black background; but he is also noted for his significant industrial landscape series that began in the early 1980s entitled the Disaster Paintings, on which the artist worked for nearly a decade.
Katherine Bernhardt’s vibrant and youthful paintings hover between abstraction and figuration. Recently, she has been working on paintings in which she juxtaposes everyday objects, such as those in Windex cigarettes basketball, 2016, that float flatly atop lushly painted, solid grounds of color. Her subjects abound in popular and consumer culture and are depicted in a simplified, flat, gestural style that approaches a cartoonish quality.