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.

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.

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.

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.

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]

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.

1992
Bernd and Hilla Becher
Gelatin silver print
24 x 20 inches
Year Acquired: 1995
1972
Bernd and Hilla Becher
Gelatin silver print, edition 4/5
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
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.

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.

1978
Richard Diebenkorn
Oil and charcoal on canvas
100 1/8 x 93 1/8 inches
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 gen

1985
Nancy Graves
Bronze and stainless steel with polyurethane paint
92 3/4 x 70 x 31 1/2 inches

Nancy Graves established herself as an artist in the late 1960s with an exhibition of realistic, life-size camels. Fabricated out of wood, steel, burlap, polyurethane, animal hide, wax, and oil paint, these sculptures appeared to be taken directly from a natural history museum, and they asserted the artist’s interest in science and history. Graves returned to sculpture in the 1980s after a hiatus dedicated to painting, still interested in science and nature, but far from her camels of the late 1960s.

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

1996
Anselm Kiefer
Emulsion, acrylic, and gold leaf on canvas
130 x 218 3/4 inches (330.2 x 555.6 cm)
1961
Roy Lichtenstein
Oil on canvas
56 1/4 x 42 1/8 inches
Year Acquired: 1982

Roy Lichtenstein’s comics-based compositions rival Andy Warhol’s images of Campbell’s Soup cans and Marilyn Monroe as the best known and most influential examples of Pop art. Lichtenstein’s comic-book paintings, such as Mr. Bellamy, 1961, have attained such renown and familiarity that it is easily forgotten that they were produced only briefly (1961–65) and that, as part of his early Pop work, they provoked tremendous controversy.

1995
Richard Long
Cornish slate from Delabole
189 inches diameter
Year Acquired: 1996
1961
Morris Louis
Acrylic resin (Magna) on canvas
102 x 170 1/8 x 1 1/2 inches

Morris Louis is best known for his “stain” paintings, which he made by pouring a mixture of paint and turpentine directly onto unsized and unstretched canvases that he would then tilt and manipulate to create abstract shapes and fields of color. From 1954 to 1959 he used the stain method to create his Veil series, which marked the beginning of his mature style.

1959
Morris Louis
Acrylic resin (Magna) on canvas
100 5/8 x 143 inches
Year Acquired: 1986

Morris Louis is best known for his "stain" paintings, which he made by pouring a mixture of paint and turpentine directly onto unsized and unstretched canvases that he would then tilt and manipulate to create abstract shapes and fields of color. From 1954 to 1959 he used the stain method to create his Veil series, which marked the beginning of his mature style.

1977
Agnes Martin
India ink, graphite, and gesso on canvas
72 x 72 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

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

1986
Melissa Miller
Oil on linen, two panels
67 x 168 inches
Year Acquired: 1986
1961
Joan Mitchell
Oil on Canvas
119 3/8 x 79 7/8 x 1 3/4 inches
Year Acquired: 2012
2000
Bruce Nauman
DVD, edition of 40
Dimensions variable
Year Acquired: 2001
2007
Roxy Paine
Stainless steel
40 x 45 x 28 feet
Year Acquired: 2008
1976
Michelangelo Pistoletto
Bronze, mirror
120 x 84 x 47 inches
Year Acquired: 2001
1938
Jackson Pollock
Oil on canvas
40 x 24 inches
Year Acquired: 1985
1969
Gerhard Richter
Oil on canvas
79 x 79 inches
Year Acquired: 2002
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.

1992
Gerhard Richter
Cibachrome, edition 9/12
76 3/8 x 49 1/2 inches
Year Acquired: 1996
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
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
2003
Hiraki Sawa
DVD, edition 2/3, running time 8 minutes and 20 seconds
Dimensions variable
Year Acquired: 2003
1999
Sean Scully
Oil on linen, two panels
Overall 108 x 132 inches
Year Acquired: 2000
2002
Richard Serra
Cor-ten steel
67 feet 10 inches x 21 feet 9 inches x 20 feet 10 inches
Year Acquired: 2002
1969
Richard Serra
Antimony lead
51 3/16 x 76 3/4 x 76 3/4 inches
Year Acquired: 1999
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.

1997
Cy Twombly
Cy Twombly
65 3/4 x 13 3/4 x 13 3/4 inches
Year Acquired: 1999
1986
Andy Warhol
Synthetic polymer paint and silkscreen ink on canvas
108 x 108 inches
Year Acquired: 1998
1962
Andy Warhol
Acrylic on canvas
82 x 66 1/4 inches (208.3 x 168.3 cm)
Year Acquired: Collection of the Mo

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

2001
Daisy Youngblood
Bronze
17 3/4 x 19 x 8 inches
Year Acquired: 2002