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Reverberations: Contemporary Art and Modern Classics

Dec 22 2022 – Ongoing

Seattle Art Museum

Third Floor Galleries

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Each new generation of artists responds to and builds on the art of earlier periods. Bringing together artworks that bridge decades, Reverberations seeks to spark a hum between historical works and those by artists working today. Organized in thematic groups, Reverberations introduces a different topic in each gallery, ranging from landscape and lyrical abstraction to the use of the body in addressing psychological, social, and political concerns. As you move through the modern and contemporary galleries, you will encounter harmonies and dissonance as younger artists stake their claim. In turn, works from earlier decades will acquire new meaning and new layers of relevance.

This installation draws from SAM’s growing collection and incorporates many works acquired in recent years, by artists including Margarita Cabrera, Dana Claxton, Senga Nengudi, Rashid Johnson, Woody De Othello, Jenny Saville, Sarah Sze, and Naama Tsabar. Many works are on view for the first time. Among the modern classics, viewers will find works by Francis Bacon, Alberto Giacometti, Franz Kline, Joan Mitchell, Mark Rothko, and David Smith on view. The museum’s ongoing commitment to building a collection with equity and diverse points of view can be seen when perusing the galleries.

Headdress–Shadae, 2019, Dana Claxton (Hunkpapa Lakota (Sioux), born 1959), LED firebox with transmounted chromogenic transparency. 60 1/2 x 40 1/2 x 7 in. (153.7 x 102.9 x 17.8 cm.), Richard E. Lang and Jane Lang Davis Acquisition Fund for Global and Contemporary Art, 2022.2, © Dana Claxton. Image courtesy of the artist.

Seattle Art Museum respectfully acknowledges that we are on Indigenous land, the traditional territories of the Coast Salish people. We honor our ongoing connection to these communities past, present, and future.

Learn more about Equity at SAM