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.

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.

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
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
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

1947
Bill Bomar
Oil on masonite
25.5 x 29 1/2 x 2 inches
Year Acquired: 1947
1950
Cynthia Brants
Oil on canvas, three panels
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.

1974
John Chamberlain
Welded painted steel
29 x 45 x 38 inches
Year Acquired: 1975

John Chamberlain's use of auto parts as a material suitable for sculpture, and his use of compression as a technique, came to define the signature elements of the artist's work beginning in the late 1950s. In Scull's Angel, what at first appears as an explosion of violent, uncontained energy is in fact a unitary field of tightly knit, baroque folds of steel.

1978
Dan Flavin
Fluorescent lights and metal fixtures, Ed. 2/5 (only 3 every produced)
Overall: 48 x 48 x 2 in. (121.92 x 121.92 x 5.08 cm)
Year Acquired: 2010
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 rej

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

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.

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.

1976
Philip Guston
Oil on canvas
80 x 116 inches
Year Acquired: 1994
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
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.

2012
Jenny Holzer
9 LED signs with blue diodes
.85 x 120 x 576 inches
Year Acquired: 2012
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.

1963-64
Alain Jacquet
Oil on canvas
90 3/4 x 55 1/2 inches
Year Acquired: 2001

Between 1962 and 1964, Alain Jacquet created his Camouflage series, to which Camouflage Botticelli (Birth of Venus), 1963–64, belongs. For this piece Jacquet reproduced Sandro Botticelli’s important Renaissance painting(1) of a curvaceous, nude Venus with flowing golden hair, posed on a floating cockle shell, and he overlaid it on a gas pump that bears the word “Shell,” complete with the oil corporation’s scallop-shaped logo.

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

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.

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.

1967
Robert Mangold
Oil on masonite
72 x 72 inches
Year Acquired: 2003
1970-71
Brice Marden
Oil and wax on canvas
70 x 60 5/8 inches
Year Acquired: 1971
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

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

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

1960
Henry Moore
Bronze with bronze base
50 x 113 x 54 inches
Year Acquired: 2002
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.

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.

1969
Gerhard Richter
Oil on canvas
79 x 79 inches
Year Acquired: 2002
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
1971
Lucas Samaras
Cor-ten steel
21 3/4 x 22 x 15 7/8 inches
Year Acquired: 1971
1979
Sean Scully
Oil on canvas, two panels
84 x 84 inches
Year Acquired: 2002
1995
Sean Scully
Oil on canvas, three panels
114 x 180 inches
Year Acquired: 2002
1996
Sean Scully
Oil on canvas, three panels
96 x 144 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
1948
Ben Shahn
Tempera on panel
36 1/8 x 48 1/8 inches
Year Acquired: 1969
1951
Bror Utter
Watercolor on paper
15 1/4 x 18 inches
Undated
Bror Utter
Oil on canvas
Year Acquired: 1957
Undated
Bror Utter
Oil on canvas
20.25 x 24 inches
Year Acquired: 1949
20th Century
Bror Utter
Oil on canvas
19.25 x 30 inches
Year Acquired: 1946
1962
Jacques Villeglé
Ripped posters mounted on canvas
52 3/16 x 76 1/4 inches
Year Acquired: 2001
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

1953
Charles T. Williams
Welded steel
19 1/4 x 36 1/4 inches
Year Acquired: 1954