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New at the Nasher

From the Collection

July 19, 2007 – July 06, 2008
Hong Lei, Speak, Memory of Butterflies (detail), 2005. Chromogenic print, 37 1/8 x 47 1/8 inches (94.3 x 119.7 cm). Collection of the Nasher Museum. Museum purchase.
A beautiful 1975 painting by Barkley L. Hendricks anchors the entrance wall for New at the Nasher. The museum purchased the work in anticipation of the solo exhibition, Barkley L. Hendricks: Birth of the Cool. Photo by Peter Paul Geoffrion.

New at the Nasher, the museum’s first exhibition of contemporary work from the collection, showcased recent acquisitions and loans in a lively two-part installation, on view for an entire year. Visible from the entrance was the 1975 painting Bahsir (Robert Gowens), a rare work by Barkley L. Hendricks that depicts one subject from three different angles.

The exhibition opened with works by Christian Boltanski, Ólafur Eliasson, David Hammons, Paul Pfeiffer, Kara Walker and Eve Sussman, among others. In the spring of 2008, the second had works by William Cordova, Dario Escobar, Hong Lei, Sol LeWitt and Ed Ruscha.

Early Collection Focus: Artists of Color

Hong Lei, Speak, Memory of Butterflies, 2005. Chromogenic print, 37 1/8 x 47 1/8 inches (94.3 x 119.7 cm). Collection of the Nasher Museum. Museum purchase.
Hong Lei, Speak, Memory of Butterflies, 2005. Chromogenic print, 37 1/8 x 47 1/8 inches (94.3 x 119.7 cm). Collection of the Nasher Museum. Museum purchase.

New at the Nasher revealed the museum’s articulated collection strategy. The director and curators, with advice from the national Board of Advisors, identified collection goals with an emphasis on global, emerging artists of color. The museum would acquire meaningful works that address important issues – and also stand the test of time. From the beginning, the Nasher Museum has not waited for artists to be recognized by the art market. This first collection exhibition showed that the museum has been consistently ahead of the curve in its collection practice.

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