Exhibition: "The New Art: A Controversial Collection Fifty Years Later"
In 1968, the Oklahoma Art Center, OKCMOA’s predecessor, purchased the 150-piece permanent collection of the Washington Gallery of Modern Art, the first art museum in the nation’s capital dedicated to the collection of contemporary art. That decision proved deeply consequential for the Oklahoma City arts community, first as it led the Art Center to divide into two separate art museums that were not reunited until 1989, and today as it ensures that this city maintains major collections of Abstract Expressionism, Post Painterly Abstraction, Color Field Painting, and Pop Art. “The New Art: A Controversial Collection Fifty Years Later” honors this extraordinary collection on this milestone anniversary, presenting longstanding Museum highlights by Ellsworth Kelly, Richard Diebenkorn, Grace Hartigan, Sam Gilliam and Robert Indiana, among many others. Also included are more rarely shown examples from Morris Louis, Juan Gris, David Smith and Kenzo Okada. In this collection of 20th-century masterpieces, museum-goers will discover the history of one of the nation’s most important modern art institutions and will be reintroduced to the “new art” that has lost none of its power to challenge, enlighten and confound 50 years later.