Crossroads: Carnegie Museum of Art’s Collection, 1945 to Now


Carnegie Museum of Art
July 19, 2018 – December 31, 2019

Crossroads takes its title from Bruce Conner’s 1976 film, a hypnotic collage of atomic bomb blasts at Bikini Atoll. Artists offer powerful responses to the forces shaping our world; eight chapters champion their voices:

A New Horizon—A shifting global order following World War II and new artistic freedoms prompted artists of the 1950s to respond with innovative forms of abstraction in painting and sculpture.

Call of the Wild—In the late 1940s, a loose-knit band of Northern European painters and poets called CoBrA (shorthand for Copenhagen, Brussels, Amsterdam) experimented with art that was mischievous, playful, and irreverent. The gallery reintroduces CMOA’s extensive, rarely exhibited CoBrA collection.

More Than Minimal—Though Minimalist works of the 1960s and 1970s may seem cold and impersonal, behind each is a story of touch, perception, and lived experience, lending a human dimension to otherwise simplified forms.

Night Poetry—Borrowing its title from a 1962 painting by the Pittsburgh-born artist Raymond Saunders, this dreamlike gallery summons rarely seen works from the darker recesses of the collection.

Artists’ Cinema—Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, the museum served as a hub for a vibrant local film community. This gallery features a rotating program of important and under-recognized works from the museum’s collection.

Less Than Half the Picture—The turmoil of the 1980s prompted widespread debate about the value and role of art in society. A new generation of artists embraced politically charged ways of working in response to the most vital issues of the day.

The Persistence of Painting—From the rise of the Internet to the ubiquity of digital cameras, today’s complex visual environment has pushed a centuries-old medium in unpredictable directions.

Free Radicals—How do artists locate themselves in our complex world? How do they redress historical omissions? How do they embody forms of resistance and protest? And how do they challenge tradition and the status quo?

Curator: Eric Crosby

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