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Contemporary Art

Loosely defined as the art of today or the art of our lifetime, the term “contemporary art” is usually used more specifically to describe artworks created since the 1980s or 1990s. For collection purposes, the Frye Art Museum currently delineates the scope as 1990 to the present. In the more general sense, the Frye has collected and exhibited contemporary—or contemporaneous—art since its opening in 1952. This commitment to the art and culture of the present was catalyzed by Museum founders Charles and Emma Frye, who amassed a collection of paintings made within their own lifetimes and often purchased works directly from living artists. Over the last seven decades, directors of the Museum have each brought their own interests and interpretations to bear on the Frye’s engagement with contemporary art and thereby shaped a distinctive collection. Prior to the tenure of Elsa “Midge” Bowman (Director, 2004–09), and often counter to dominant trends in art of the time, the Frye’s leadership focused exclusively on exhibiting and collecting representational art, citing Charles and Emma Frye’s preferences for figurative and landscape painting. Under Bowman’s direction, the exhibitions program at the Frye expanded into areas like video art and performance that questioned and upended the definition of representational art. In 2008, the Museum’s mission was revised to embrace art in its myriad forms. The Frye’s contemporary art collection has grown significantly since that time, reflecting the diversity of the institution’s engagement with local, national, and international artists working today.

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Title Artist Medium Date
Alice™ (you don’t have to think about it)   Joseph, Kahlil   Digital video (color, sound); 18:41 min.  2016 
An Agnostic Manifesto   Hazleton, Lesley   Text installation  2015 
Avatar: Fanon & Decca   Ingram, C. Davida   Digital video (color, sound); 19:23 min.  2015 
Be the First To Review The B83   Fisk, Steve   Four-channel audio installation  2015 
Cuckoo Crow: Hatchling   Degenerate Art Ensemble   DVD video (color, silent); 14:44 min.  2007 
Cuckoo Crow: Transformation   Degenerate Art Ensemble   Digital video (color, sound); 7:14 min.  2011 
Dawn in Luxor   Joseph, Kahlil   16mm film transferred to two-channel digital video (color, sound); 4:1 min.  2016 
Ecdysis   Butler, Ishmael   Audio, 24:51 min.  2015 
Eclipse Tower 1   Crowell, Web and Stacey Levine   Digital video of stop-motion animation (color, sound); 3:43 min.  2015 
El Sisifo (The Sisyphus)   Valenzuela, Rodrigo   Three-channel digital video (color, sound); 12 min.  2015 
Frank in the 3rd Dimension   Woodring, Jim   3-D digital video (color, silent); 5:15 min.   2015 
From Sea to Dawn   Haerizadeh, Ramin, Rokni Haerizadeh, Hesam Rahmanian   Digital video (color, silent); 6:21 min.  2016 
Occasional Poems   Zaher, Maged   Text installation  2015 
Ode to Octavia Part 12: (Sparkles)...Recollections of the Wraith   The Black Constellation   Digital video (color, sound); 4:49 min.  2012 
Prole   Valenzuela, Rodrigo   Digital video (color, sound); 8:48 min.   2015 
Sonnet Manifesto   Mullin, Paul   Text installation  2015 
Still Lives: Exposure   Lee, Susie J.   Digital video (color, silent); 30 min.  2010 
Strange Business   Nestler, Rose   Two-channel digital video (color, silent): 20 min.  2017-18 
This Is Who We Are   Wokoma, Inye   Two-channel digital video (color, sound): 16:13 min.   2016 
Tsunami Capable Tide Stations > West Coast   Pan, DK   Digital video (color, sound); 38:58 min.  2015 

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