Contemporary America

From the skyscapes to shoelaces — art as diverse as our contemporary culture.

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Desert to Suburb, framing the American Dream
Desert to Suburb, framing the American Dream

Building the American dream in the California desert.

The American Revolution as a world war: Kenseth Armstead’s <em>Surrender Yorktown 1781</em>
The American Revolution as a world war: Kenseth Armstead’s Surrender Yorktown 1781

How can we begin to correct the lies of history? Artist Kenseth Armstead suggests a poetic solution.

Disillusionment in 1970s America: Duane Hanson’s <em>Executive</em> (originally titled, <em>Another Day</em>)
Disillusionment in 1970s America: Duane Hanson’s Executive (originally titled, Another Day)

Museum visitors often mistake this sculpture for a real person

American Kabuki
American Kabuki

Teraoka draws on Japan's brilliant history of art and kabuki theatre to create beauty from heartrending tragedy

Light, time, and transcendence in James Turrell’s <em>Skyscape</em>
Light, time, and transcendence in James Turrell’s Skyscape

A viewing station for sunrise and sunset, Turrell’s work manipulates light, time, and perception.

The Culture Wars and Richard Serra’s <em>Tilted Arc</em>
The Culture Wars and Richard Serra’s Tilted Arc

Who should be the arbiter of taste—the person on the street, the artist, the courts?

Carrie Mae Weems, <em>Untitled (Woman Feeding Bird)</em>, from <em>The Kitchen Table Series</em>
Carrie Mae Weems, Untitled (Woman Feeding Bird), from The Kitchen Table Series

Weems confronts identity, family, and the myth of home in this iconic series of photographs.

Nari Ward, <em>We the People</em> (black version)
Nari Ward, We the People (black version)

Hundreds of shoelaces form just three words. Here, the artist takes an abstract idea and makes it immediate.