The Collection in Context

May 22, 2016 — Aug 14, 2016

This summer, experience your art museum’s collection like never before.

The Collection in Context brings together the finest works in GRAM’s permanent collection with select loans from the Whitney Museum of American Art and exclusive private collections, rarely on public view. The exhibition will feature many of GRAM’s exciting new acquisitions and works of art never seen in Grand Rapids, such as Andy Warhol’s Marilyn Monroe and Jun Kaneko’s Large Dango, alongside beloved classics by Alexander Calder, Mary Cassatt, Richard Diebenkorn, Paul Gauguin, and more. Important temporary loans round out the exhibition, including photography by Cindy Sherman, prints by Elizabeth Catlett, and new work from Anila Quayyum Agha.

The Collection in Context rearranges and remixes art work from different time periods, styles, and media to present new and unexpected ways of looking, learning, and responding to art. Art can inspire such varied, personal, and beautiful responses, depending on our own unique experiences and perspectives. The Collection in Context celebrates this variety of perspectives within our own community. A special element of the exhibition is the diverse interpretations of artwork by Grand Rapids community members, which will be featured in writing throughout the exhibition. A broad cross-section of individuals have participated in this effort, including artists, students, educators, spiritual leaders, historians, and activists. GRAM is excited to present its collection in this new way, and we hope you’ll share your own reactions, opinions, and responses to the works featured in The Collection in Context.

Chief Curator, Ron Platt, has arranged the exhibition into four distinct thematic groupings:

The Evolving Landscape presents paintings and works on paper that embody humankind’s evolving relationship with the natural world and the changing ways we depict the natural world in art.

Faith and Its Symbols includes works of art that incorporate the symbols and icons of the world’s major faiths: Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism. These collected works demonstrate the inter­con­nect­ed­ness of faith and symbolism and give insight into the cultures in which each object was produced.

Nature-based Abstraction showcases abstract sculpture, painting, and decorative objects inspired by nature.

Representing Women includes works featuring female subjects that reveal society’s changing attitudes toward women over the past two centuries.

Support for this exhibition is generously provided by:
James and Mary Nelson
Dirk Hoffius
Greg and Meg Willit
Donald Battjes, Jr.