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IMA Unveils New Contemporary Art Galleries

INDIANAPOLIS.-With its commitment to present the art of our time in engaging and thought-provoking ways, the Indianapolis Museum of Art (IMA) is proud to announce that its ambitious new contemporary art galleries and programs were unveiled on November 20, 2005. With the installation of the permanent collections and a program of special exhibitions, projects and events, contemporary art will be an exciting and new experience at the IMA. The contemporary galleries are one of the newest ventures in the expansion of the IMA - a project that was initiated in May 2005 and will continue through December 2006.

"The IMA is proud to be active in showcasing the best of the world's contemporary art," said Lisa Freiman, Curator of Contemporary Art at the IMA. "The works that make up these new galleries are just a glimpse of the amazing and enriching programs to come in the next few months at the newly expanded IMA."

At 25,000 square-feet, the contemporary galleries now offer 66 percent more display space than before the museum's expansion, allowing the IMA to create an open and spacious presentation appropriate to the scale and content of much contemporary art. The new galleries will optimize the visitor's experience of - and interaction with - the IMA's rapidly growing permanent collection - which includes installations, paintings, sculpture, photography, works on paper, video and studio glass. Sixteen new acquisitions will be unveiled - never before shown at the IMA - and include works by Laylah Ali, Ghada Amer, Jean Arp, Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons, Rudolf de Crignis, Do-Ho Suh, Kojo Griffin, Jawshing Arthur Liou, Andre Masson, Kenneth Noland, Stefana McClure, Michal Rovner, Fred Sandback and others.

The new contemporary galleries will be bigger and brighter, allowing a much more open and spacious presentation of contemporary art in a setting featuring light wood floors and soaring white walls, with natural light and views of the IMA grounds in select locations.

Numerous spaces have been designed to showcase specific works under ideal conditions, such as Nam June Paik's raucous video sculpture Who's Your Tree? and Robert Irwin's Untitled cast acrylic sculpture that uses light to create the illusion of circles floating in space.

Contemporary art at the IMA is a wide-ranging program which now includes: the permanent collections galleries; Forefront exhibitions by artists including Ernesto Neto and Amy Cutler; the Off the Wall program featuring works by international emerging artists such as assume vivid astro focus (Eli Sudbrack); special projects such as Felix Gonzalez-Torres' "Untitled" (For Jeff); upcoming large-scale exhibitions including Elusive Signs: Bruce Nauman's Works with Light and Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons: Everything Is Separated by Water; site-specific commissions such as Sol LeWitt's Wall Drawing No. 652 and Kay Rosen's Never Odd or Even; and numerous large-scale outdoor sculptures including Robert Indiana's Numbers. In the future, works installed in the Virginia B. Fairbanks Art & Nature Park will add significantly to the scope of the IMA's contemporary art offerings. A number of other featured artists have also already been directly involved with the installation of their work at the newly expanded IMA, including Ellsworth Kelly and James Turrell.

The IMA's collection of art (since 1945) came into existence as a separate collection in 1985, although the Museum did acquire contemporary work prior to that time, largely through the efforts of its Contemporary Art Society, a donor interest group founded in 1962. In the years before the contemporary collection was separately established, acquisitions were simply incorporated into other areas, such as the American or European collections.

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