HARTFORD, CT.- The Wadsworth Atheneum
s MATRIX contemporary art program returns in February with an exciting roster of emerging artists from around the world. Selected by the Wadsworths new curator of contemporary art, Patricia Hickson, artists Kitty Kraus, Justin Lowe, and Kim Schoenstadt will present solo exhibitions in the museums dedicated MATRIX gallery in 2010. The MATRIX series re-launch kicks off with an installation of mirrored lightboxeswhich will emit dizzying beams of light to transform the gallery spacecreated by German sculptor Kitty Kraus, opening on February 4, 2010. Later in the year, Justin Lowe (June 2010) and Kim Schoenstadt (October 2010) will create site-specific installations at the Wadsworth that will engage with the museums 170-year history and its relationship with the local community.
The Wadsworth was the first to embrace the idea of contemporary art in an encyclopedic museum through its MATRIX program, which began in 1975 as a series of single-artist exhibitions that have showcased more than 150 artists, providing many with their first solo museum exhibition in the United Statesincluding Adrian Piper, Louise Lawler, Janine Antoni, and Dawoud Bey. Many MATRIX artists, such as Sol LeWitt, Willem de Kooning, Christo, Andy Warhol, Cindy Sherman and Gerhard Richter, are now considered seminal figures in contemporary art.
The museums Director, Susan L. Talbott, explains that, The MATRIX program enables us to exhibit art of the moment, which ensures that the museums encyclopedic collection stays relevant into the future. It also allows us to be nimble and react to the quickly changing contemporary landscape.
Patricia Hickson, the newly appointed Emily Hall Tremaine Curator of Contemporary Art, says, Kitty Kraus, Justin Lowe, and Kim Schoenstadt are three remarkable young artists whose work is distinctive and new, yet still strongly influenced by the history of art. They will build on the tradition of MATRIX artists who have been inspired by the Wadsworths long history of engaging with contemporary artists, dating back to the museums inception in the 1840s.
Hickson joined the Wadsworth from the Des Moines Art Center, where she was the institutions curator and program manager for the Des Moines Art Center Downtown. Hickson has previously held curatorial positions at the Williams College Museum of Art, the San Jose Museum of Art, and the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston.