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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
To a Flame   White, Anthony   PLA (plastic) on panel  2019 
Untitled   Yamahira, Ko Kirk   Acrylic and graphite on partially unwoven canvas with wood  2019 
Untitled (Badlands)   Aranda, Juventino   Oil on wool Pendleton blanket  2018 
Snowflake Drawing #5 (Double Lotus Pod)   Mitchell, Jeffry   Graphite, ink, carbon transfer, and watercolor on paper  2018 
Dress for Success   Nestler, Rose   Leather, thread, batting, grommets, hooks   2018 
this trembling turf (the shallows)   Peters, Mary Ann   White ink  2018 
Chemically Tanned   Bremner, Alison   Latex paint on deer hide with horsehair  2017 
Waves Floater   Britto, Romero   Acrylic paint and oil pen on canvas  2017 
If Marco Polo Brought the Pasta Meme to Europe from China, He didn't Need to be a Pasta Chef but all he Had to do was to Disperse the Meme in the Environment and Other Humans Infected by it, Would Express it in their Behaviour   Haerizadeh, Rokni   Gesso, watercolor and ink on printed paper  2017-18 
Strange Business   Nestler, Rose   Two-channel digital video (color, silent): 20 min.  2017-18 
Untitled #041220   Reskala, Georgina   Gelatin silver print  2017 
Emollients: Ingram's, Marinello's, Purola, Velvatone   Bruch, Cris   Blown glass  2016 
From Sea to Dawn   Haerizadeh, Ramin, Rokni Haerizadeh, Hesam Rahmanian   Digital video (color, silent); 6:21 min.  2016 
Alice™ (you don’t have to think about it)   Joseph, Kahlil   Digital video (color, sound); 18:41 min.  2016 
Dawn in Luxor   Joseph, Kahlil   16mm film transferred to two-channel digital video (color, sound); 4:1 min.  2016 
Our Blood Is In These Stones: Ama-Ibi Wokoma   Wokoma, Inye   Digital print  2016 
Our Blood Is In These Stones: Daye Wokoma   Wokoma, Inye   Digital print  2016 
Our Blood Is In These Stones: Versa Ruff   Wokoma, Inye   Digital print  2016 
Our Blood Is In These Stones: Yirim Seck   Wokoma, Inye   Digital print  2016 
This Is Who We Are   Wokoma, Inye   Two-channel digital video (color, sound): 16:13 min.   2016 
The Pig Went Down to the Harbor and Wept #6   Woodring, Jim   Acrylic ink on paper  2016 
Sketch for The Pig Went Down to the Harbor and Wept #3   Woodring, Jim   Pencil and acrylic ink on paper  2016 
Specular Reflections   Berk, Leo Saul   Glass spheres, black pond dye  2015 
Wind Jangle   Berk, Leo Saul   Aluminum, fishing line, weights  2015 
Eidolon   Bruch, Cris   Aluminum composite  2015 


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