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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
Pumpkin People   Wyeth, Jamie   Oil on panel  1991 
Basket of Flowers - Summer '91   Powell, Rosalyn Gale   Oil on canvas  1991 
Ogle's Samovar   Hama, Take   Oil on cotton  ca. 1992 
Prayer Before the Night   Pander, Henk   Oil on linen  1992 
Mann bitt av en slange (Man Bitten by a Snake)   Nerdrum, Odd   Oil on canvas  ca. 1992-93 
Bear Icon   Morgan, Leslie   Oil and copper leaf on linen  1993 
Hercules at the Crossroads   Ligare, David   Oil on linen  1993 
Cherry Pie   Fischer, George   Oil on canvas  1993 
Still Life with Kumquats   Aponovich, James   Oil on canvas  1993 
Side Road Landscape, 1994   Beckman, William   Oil on canvas  1994 
La Clairière (The Meadow)   Whitten, Richard C.   Oil and copper leaf on panel  1994 
Cat Bates of Monhegan   Wyeth, Jamie   Oil on panel  1995 
Physical Plant   Allik, William   Oil on panel  1996 
Voices of the Ancestors: People of the First Man   Pattison, Harry   Oil on canvas  1997 
IRT #7   Assael, Steven   Oil on canvas  1997 
Sea Breeze   Poskas, Peter   Oil on panel  1997 
The Wait   Mothner, Carol   Egg tempera on panel  1998 
Giglio Sunday   Safranek, Doug   Egg tempera on panel  1998 
Fire   Zwerling, Lisa   Oil on linen  1998 
Gallery with Triptych   Washburn, Stan   Oil on canvas  1998 
Untitled   McCurdy, Robert   Oil on canvas  1999 
My Mother   Beckman, William   Oil on panel  2000 
Family Tides   Spencer, Mark   Oil on canvas  2000 
History Lesson   Bartlett, Bo   Oil on canvas  2002 
Portrait of Mrs. Greathouse   Gish, Del   Oil on linen  2004 

Your current search criteria is: Portfolio is "Contemporary Art" and [Objects]Object Type is "Painting".

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