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Baltimore Museum of Art reopens newly renovated contemporary wing; first phase of $24.5M renovation
Visitors exploring the Baltimore Museum of Art's newly renovated Contemporary Wing. Photo: Stephen Spartana.

BALTIMORE, MD.- The Baltimore Museum of Art yesterday unveiled an exciting new look at the art of our time when it reopened its newly renovated contemporary wing, completing the first phase of a $24.5 million renovation leading up to the Museum’s 100th anniversary in 2014. Visitors discovered 16 refreshed and revitalized galleries showcasing masterworks by Robert Rauschenberg and Andy Warhol alongside more than a dozen new acquisitions created by established and emerging artists working today. Highlights of the project include a major architectural intervention by artist Sarah Oppenheimer; three new exhibitions; a new black box gallery for light, sound and moving image works; two new interactive galleries; and the museum’s first mobile art guide for the collection.

“The reopening of the contemporary wing is an important milestone for the BMA, as it is the first completed phase of the Museum’s renovation, which will provide a more dynamic and engaging experience for our audiences,” said Museum Director Doreen Bolger. “We look forward to welcoming our visitors into a transformed environment that will create thought-provoking encounters with contemporary art.”

A Great Collection of Contemporary Art
More than 100 objects—including paintings, sculpture, photography, works on paper, and video—are presented thematically in galleries improved with state-of-the art lighting and new interiors. The BMA’s contemporary wing, which opened in 1994, houses a significant collection of American art from the last six decades with major late paintings by Warhol, as well as works by Grace Hartigan, Jasper Johns, Donald Judd, Glenn Ligon, Bruce Nauman, and Anne Truitt. The museum also holds an outstanding group of works by influential international artists such as Olafur Eliasson, Thomas Hirschhorn, and Franz West, and artists whose work makes a profound social statement, including David Hammons, General Idea, Zoe Leonard, Josephine Meckseper, and Felix Gonzalez-Torres.

Exciting New Acquisitions
Among the many acquisitions making their debut this fall are The Shallow Sea (2010), a haunting sound installation by Turner Prize-winning artist Susan Philipsz; Random Walk Drawing (Eye Chart) (2011), a vibrant mixed-media sculpture composed of intricate areas of digitally cut paper and everyday objects by Sarah Sze; and a series of photographs and videos from Oliver Herring’s Areas for Action (2011) project. Other recent additions to the collection include works by Walead Beshty, Guyton\Walker, Elad Lassry, Julie Mehretu, R.H. Quaytman, Rirkrit Tiravanija, and Nari Ward. These works will be presented to show how the newest of the new art relates to evolving traditions of modern and contemporary art.

“The BMA is known for its extraordinary commitment to contemporary art and artists, and in reimagining the wing, we wanted our audiences to be exposed to artists expressing a wide array of styles, points of view, and experiences,” said Kristen Hileman, the BMA’s Contemporary Art Curator. “Our new acquisitions, paired with our outstanding core collection, encompass works by some of the most important voices of the 20th and 21st centuries.”

New Interactive Galleries & BMA Go Mobile
Two new interactive galleries encourage visitors to create, share, and connect with contemporary art, ideas, and artists in innovative and unexpected ways. The Big Table is a gathering space with creative activities inspired by artistssuch as Ed Ruscha and Bruce Nauman who use language to create powerful works of art. Artist talks, demonstrations, and art-making activities will also take place there thisspring. Open Studio highlights one artist’s ideas and creative process, focusing first on Sarah Oppenheimer’s fascinating two-part architectural intervention with a time-lapse video of its installation, video interviews with the artist, working drawings, and models. The first mobile art guide for the collection, BMA Go Mobile, launches with rich information and fresh perspectives on more than 100 objects in the contemporary collection, as well as exclusive video and audio commentary by artists, curators, and othersin Baltimore’s creative community. This personalized and portable mobile website can be accessed from iPhones, Android, and Blackberry smartphones. iPod Touches will also be available for Museum visitors to use during their visit.

New Exhibitions & Site-Specific Installations
A series of innovative, exciting, and diverse contemporary art exhibitions and programs focuses on emerging and midcareer artists, giving visitors opportunities to experience a variety of new and cutting-edge perspectives every four months. The museum’s Front Room gallery will present international and multidisciplinary solo artist shows and thematic exhibitions and the new Black Box gallery will feature light, sound, and moving image works. A gallery dedicated for lightsensitive contemporary works on paper also presents changing exhibitions of important and rarely shown prints, drawings, and photographs. The following exhibitions and projects debuted in conjunction with the November 18

Sarah Oppenheimer
November 18 – ongoing
Architectural intervention

The BMA is the first major museum to commission and acquire a site-specific installation by award-winning artist Sarah Oppenheimer. For this dramatic two-part work, the artist has cut through the floor, ceiling, and walls between the 2nd and 3rd floors of the contemporary wing and also through the wall between the contemporary and Cone wings to connect visitors and periods of art history using meticulously crafted mirrored and aluminum sculptural forms. Oppenheimer (American, born 1972) has exhibited at venues in the U.S. and Europe and is a visiting critic at Yale University.

Front Room: Zwelethu Mthethwa
November 18, 2012 – February 10, 2013

The Front Room exhibition in the first gallery of the contemporary wing features eight stunning color portrait photographs by acclaimed artist Zwelethu Mthethwa. Selections from three of his most compelling series include large-scale images of South African youths in elaborate church uniforms, interior portraits of South Africans that show aspects of their domestic life, and laborers amidst the stark landscape of the sugar cane industry. Mthethwa (South African, born 1960) has had more than 35 solo exhibitions at galleries around the world and was included in the 2005 Venice Biennale.

Black Box: Allora & Calzadilla
November 18, 2012 – February 3, 2013

The BMA’s new black box gallery debuts with a special presentation of this recently acquired 11-minute video (2008) set in post-Hurricane Katrina New Orleans. The film depicts alternating scenes of the lower Mississippi River Delta wetlands and a resident of the Ninth Ward “playing” a set of window blinds in an abandoned house, creating an inconstant flutter of light in the darkened space. Jennifer Allora (American, born 1974) and Guillermo Calzadilla (Cuban, born 1971) are a renowned artist collaborative who represented the U.S. in the 2011 Venice Biennale.

On Paper: Drawings from the Benesch Collection
November 18, 2012 – February 10, 2013

A new dedicated space for the BMA’s renowned holdings of contemporary prints, drawings & photographs opens with 10 outstanding drawings from the 1960s and 70s by contemporary masters Jasper Johns, Philip Guston, Lee Bontecou, Claes Oldenburg, Antoni Tàpies and others. The first exhibition is from the museum’s Thomas E. Benesch Memorial Collection, a group of more than 140 outstanding drawings by international contemporary artists.

November 18, 2012 – May 5, 2013
Site-specific installation

Baltimore-based street artist Gaia has created two mural-sized artworks for one of the contemporary wing’s newly created architectural spaces. For this unique indoor project, he has taken inspiration from the museum’s iconic Vahine no te Vi (Woman of the Mango) painting by Paul Gauguin and created portraits of individuals living in the Museum’s neighboring Remington community. Gaia (American, born 1988) is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art known for his distinctive hand drawn images of animals and human figures.

BMA Renovation
In addition to the new presentation of the contemporary wing, the BMA’s $24.5 million renovation includes the reinstallation of its American and African collections, and improvements to the lobby to enhance the visitor experience. The renovation will also provide the museum with greater flexibility in the presentation of both its collection and exhibitions, facilitating more dynamic and engaging encounters with art at the BMA. The project is expected to be completed during the museum’s 100th anniversary in 2014.

Last Week News

November 19, 2012

London's Wellcome Collection exhibition views death through artists' eyes

First exhibition in Australia dedicated to the Neo-Impressionists opens at the National Gallery of Victoria

Photograph of the Royal Family at Balmoral goes on display in Diamond Jubilee exhibition

Drawing's fundamental role as a catalyst and vehicle for change in art explored at Tate Liverpool

"Letters from Los Angeles: Text in Southern California Art" opens at Jack Rutberg Fine Arts

American artist Spencer Finch presents a series of new works at Lisson Gallery in Milan

Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco and Musée de Louvre announce major accord

Baltimore Museum of Art exhibition focuses on three decades of Matisse's dancers

1895 Cameo Morgan dollar highlights Heritage Auctions' U.S. Coins Signature Auction

Global cultural influences converge in new Jeffrey Gibson exhibition at Marc Straus

Jade hardstone carvings and Chinese ceramics, paintings and calligraphy on offer at Bonhams

Solo exhibition by artist and designer Mark Hearld opens at Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Parrish Art Museum opens new building in Water Mill with Malcolm Morley exhibition

Jonathan Yeo's first portfolio of prints, featuring some of his most iconic sitters, on view at Eleven

Exhibition of installation, sculpture and collage by Jennifer Catron and Paul Outlaw at Allegra LaViola Gallery

Art goes on tour during Sweden's Nationalmuseum renovations

Cooper-Hewitt launches Object of the Day to expand collection access

Indianapolis Museum of Art open solo exhibition of commissioned works by local artist Lauren Zoll

Rare Parker Brothers A1 Special shotgun tops Bonhams fall arms sale in San Francisco

November 18, 2012

France's Musee d'Orsay opens major show of 19th century paintings at new museum in China

Topography: An exhibition of new work by Michal Rovner on view at The Pace Gallery

Ed Ruscha's richly diverse investigations of the book as a subject explored in new exhibition at Gagosian

Rosso Fiorentino's captivating Holy Family is the centerpiece of new exhibition at The Morgan

Collection of maps of China, Japan and Asia featured in Swann Galleries' December 6 auction

MoMA exhibition focuses on the transformation of Japan's capital into a center of the Avant-Garde

Donations arrive from all sectors of the art community to support hurricane recovery efforts for art galleries

Allentown Art Museum exhibits works by Abstract Expressionist painter Franz Kline

Autumn auctions at Koller Geneva: Design, Art Déco and Art Nouveau still strong

The ICA Boston presents the first major U.S. museum retrospective devoted to the art of the 1980s

New Possibilities: Abstract paintings from the seventies on view at The Piper Gallery

Exhibition of new work by Josiah McElheny opens at White Cube Mason's Yard

New series of minimalist sculptural configurations that play with colour by Amy Stephens at Poppy Sebire

New world records set for Weisse, Rosati and an Italian bronze at Clars November 2012 Fine Art Sale

Milwaukee Art Museum acquires Taryn Simon photograph symbolic art thanks to community benefactor

Indian royal carriage comes to auction: Maharaja of Mysore's 1825 State Carriage to be sold

David Kordansky Gallery opens first exhibition of new paintings by Jon Pestoni

The Circle Gallery presents the latest works of photographer, producer and painter, Dik Nicolai

Babe Ruth baseball and important collection of baseball cards to feature at Kaminski Auctions

November 17, 2012

Original Rubens "Mary Magdalene in mourning with her sister Martha" found in museum

National Gallery of Art acquires major works across media by Ligon, Castle, Fornari, Asselijn, Tripe, and more

Ground-breaking technology allows a virtual autopsy to be undertaken on one of British Museum's mummies

North American premiere of "Roads of Arabia" unearths hidden history of ancient Arabian peninsula

Major Smithsonian exhibition examines the impact of the Civil War on American art

The Morgan Library explores the life and work of legendary author Beatrix Potter

Museum of Modern Art hosts Meta-Monumental Garage Sale by Martha Rosler

PAFA debuts over 200 works by modern and contemporary female artists from the Linda Lee Alter Collection

James Bond villains headline new exhibit at D.C.'s International Spy Museum

William Turnbull, one of the major figures of post-war British art, died on 15 November

1933 King Kong and 1928 Mickey Mouse movie posters eye records in Heritage Auctions' event

Hans Makart's "Abundantia": The Depiction of Abundance and Fertility at Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen

Charlie Chaplin hat, cane and other Hollywood memorabilia to go under the hammer

Milan cathedral launches adopt-a-gargoyle campaign

Site-specific installation by Rachel Feinstein on view at Gagosian Gallery in Rome

Wrong Abbey Road: Station draws lost Beatles fans

RISD Business: Sassy signs and sculptures by Alejandro Diaz opens at the RISD Museum

Pocket watch owned by Italian chief of police who guarded the Pope offered for sale at Bonhams

ING Discerning Eye exhibition prizes announced

New York man accused of fake $11M Jasper Johns sculpture scheme

November 16, 2012

Chinese art star Yue Minjun brings 'laughing men' to the Fondation Cartier in Paris

Mummified dog, found in 1953, undergoing analysis by Mexican archaeologists

Legendary Aztec Emperor Moctezuma II's feather head-dress restored in Vienna

An unprecedented eight Caravaggio paintings on view together for the first time in California

Secrets of a Hans Holbein portrait revealed after 400 years at the Royal Collection

Scientists in the Czech Republic rule out mercury poisoning of Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe

Queen Victoria Eugenie of Spain bracelet fetches $3.4 mn at Sotheby's Geneva auction

Phillips de Pury & Company announces highlights from its November Latin America Auction

Collection of 300 Vodou artifacts in new exhibition at Canadian Museum of Civilization

Royal Academician Gillian Ayres exhibition opening today at Alan Cristea Gallery

French-Moroccan artist Latifa Echakhch opens exhibition at Kunsthaus Zurich

Exhibition of new and recent works by Jannis Kounellis opens at Blain/Southern in Berlin

Marc Asnin chronicles the life of his uncle Charlie in new exhibition at Steven Kasher Gallery

Contemporary art market roars in New York

Fabric of Identity: Works from the IMMA Collection at the Roscommon Arts Centre

One bidder buys all to keep Muhlenberg family treasures together and in the process sets auction record

Sculpture of Churchill and Roosevelt top London Sales of Modern British Art this week at Bonhams

Valencian Institute for Modern Art opens retrospective of Antoni Miró

Extremely rare World War II German Enigma machine sells at Bonhams for over £80,000

November 15, 2012

$40.4 million painting by abstract expressionist Franz Kline sets record at Christie's New York

Guggenheim opens last exhibition in Berlin; Shows masterpieces of Impressionism and Classic Modernism

First comprehensive retrospective of artist George Bellows in nearly half a century on view at Metropolitan

New York's Chelsea: The hub of the global contemporary art market flooded - literally

New Banksy book from St. Martin’s Press offers an eye-opening glimpse of the enigmatic figure

Sotheby's to sell three views of Constantinople by Ivan Konstantinovich Aivazovsky

Images of People: Figurative works from the collection on view at Museum Frieder Burda

Exhibition at the Getty Center includes late Renaissance drawings by Italian, Dutch, and French masters

Retrospective spanning the length of Wayne Thiebaud's career on view at Acquavella Galleries

Archduke Joseph Diamond fetches record $21.5 million at Christie's sale in Geneva

Collection from the New Britain Museum of American Art on view at Nassau County Museum of Art

Baltimore Museum of Art launches innovative new mobile art guide on more than 100 objects

Photographic and free-writing installation by Cig Harvey on view at The Robin Rice Gallery

Associated Press photographer Walt Zeboski dies at age 83

Iconic film car, 'Rain Man' 1949 Buick Roadmaster Convertible, may bring six figures at Heritage Auctions

Rare Yongzheng blue and white vase to be sold at Bonhams in December

Works of art using a single color is focus of exhibition at Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago

Hans P. Kraus Jr. Fine Photographs: 19th-Century Photographs from Paris to Petra on view at Paris Photo

Rare Salvador Dali jewelry to be offered at Clars in December

Howard Terpning's Plunder from Sonora brings $962,500 to lead Heritage Auctions' sale

November 14, 2012

Seminal, large-scale masterpiece by Rothko fetches $75.1 million at Sotheby's in New York

Auction of works from the Andy Warhol Foundation fetches over $17 million at Christie's New York

Rule Britannia: Details of Christie's Modern British Art Evening Sale in December announced

Tate takes a look at the dynamic relationship between performance and painting from 1950 to the present day

The Duc D'orléans Breguet Sympathique will lead Sotheby's Important Watches & Clocks Sale

Four paintings stolen from the Pretoria Art Museum found in South Africa cemetery

Christie's France to offer the Henri-Georges & Ines Clouzot Collection in December

Irish Museum of Modern Art announces donation of a set of fifty-two Mexican prints

Auction of David Stickelber Estate at Leslie Hindman Auctioneers exceeds high estimate

Louvre, High, Crystal Bridges, and Terra Foundation announce multi-year American Art collaboration

Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago announces new Marilyn and Larry Fields Curator Naomi Beckwith

Viking hoard of swords form cutting edge of Bonhams Arms & Armour Sale in London

Bonhams Hong Kong to offer The Paul Braga Collection of snuff bottles on 24 November

The Book of Kells by Bernard Meehan published by Thames & Hudson

Locust Projects presents "Soul Manufacturing Corporation" by Chicago-based artist Theaster Gates,

Ricardo Rendón's first solo exhibition in New York opens at Vicky David Gallery

Cantor Arts Center presents acclaimed Christian Marclay work Video Quartet

A record-breaking watch auction at Christie's Geneva

A re-discovered monumental 1851 exhibition center piece Surtout de Table emerges from history at auction

Laumeier Sculpture Park receives major work by Ernest Trova as gift from Estate of Grace Brod

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- New Rembrandt found after being bought at London auction

2.- Exhibition at Fotohof focuses on groups in society who are at risk of marginalisation

3.- John Brennan collection of Rock n Roll memorabilia offered at RR Auction

4.- A Bob Dylan guitar fetches $495,000 at auction

5.- Exhibition in San Francisco focuses on the latter half of René Magritte's career

6.- 'Mad' king Ludwig II of Bavaria lost gift to composer Richard Wagner gets rare show

7.- New Royal Academy of Arts opens in celebration of its 250th anniversary

8.- Researchers uncover Anne Frank's 'dirty jokes'in her diary

9.- New York art sales near $3 billion in two weeks as uber-rich hunt trophies

10.- Berlin's Ethnological Museum returns grave-plundered artefacts to Alaska

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