Recent Exhibitions

Opened in 2019

Opened in 2018:

Opened in 2017:

For information on exhibitions that opened before January 2017, please contact the public relations office.

About the Exhibitions

1969 Turns 50

April 12–July 21, 2019

This exhibition showcases diverse works of art linked by the year of their creation, 1969. That year bore witness to some of the most transformative events in modern history, including the first moon landing, the escalation of the Vietnam War and resulting protests, the election of Richard Nixon to the U.S. Presidency, Woodstock and “Abbey Road,” the Stonewall Riots, and the Soviet takeover of Czechoslovakia. Some works are abstractions, some documentation; others are somewhere in between. 1969 Turns 50 is a new way of looking at the work of a wide variety of artists from a distinctive moment in history.

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shown: Romare Bearden
American, (Charlotte, NC, 1911 – 1988, New York, NY)
Gospel Song, 1969, American Collage, Mixed media on board, 40 x 30 in. (101.6 x 76.2 cm), Marion Stratton Gould Fund, 70.18


Lessons of the Hour—Frederick Douglass

March 3–May 12, 2019
MAG is pleased to announce the world premiere of Lessons of the Hour, a ten-screen installation by artist Isaac Julien. The work is inspired by episodes in the life of Frederick Douglass (1818–1895), the visionary African American abolitionist and freed slave, and by the issues of social justice that shaped his life’s work. Lessons of the Hour—Frederick Douglass is the second exhibition in MAG’s “Reflections on Place” series of media art commissions informed by the history, culture, and politics of the City of Rochester, New York.
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shown: Isaac Julien, Lessons of the Hour, 2019. Courtesy the Artist, Metro Pictures New York, and Victoria Miro London/Venice


Work in Progress with Sarah C Rutherford

Sarah C. Rutherford

Through April 14, 2019
New work by Sarah C. Rutherford, Her Voice Carries | Prelude is now on view in the Hurlbut Gallery. This work is part of her #HerVoiceCarries series, an art project on view throughout Rochester, featuring Rochester women who are changing their individual and collective worlds.
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Jaromír Funke detail

Modern Czech Photography: A Portfolio

December 13, 2018–March 31, 2019

The portfolio Modern Czech Photography (Moderní česká fotografie) is a rare and powerful body of work by some of the most important mid-century Czech photographers. Featuring such masters as Jaromír Funke and Josef Sudek, giants in the history of modernism, the portfolio holds special historic importance because it was published in 1943, during World War II and the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia. The portfolio is a recent gift to MAG by the museum’s director, Jonathan Binstock, and his wife, Ann. learn more shown: Jaromír Funke (Czech, 1896-1945) Untitled, from the series ‘Time Persists’ (detail) 1932, printed no later than 1943. Gift of L. Ann and Jonathan P. Binstock in honor of Marisol and Moreton Binn.


Waterloo Bridge

Monet’s Waterloo Bridge: Vision and Process

October 7, 2018–January 6, 2019

This small but powerful focus exhibition of Claude Monet’s “Waterloo Bridge” series includes the stellar example from MAG’s collection along with seven others borrowed from North American sister institutions. Monet saw the paintings both individually and as an ensemble that, collectively, expressed his sense of the essential subject—the atmosphere and colors of the fog-bound landscape of the Thames. The concurrent experience of viewing several of the series will create a special dialogue between the visitor and the works of art. An exciting aspect of this exhibition is the opportunity to work closely with conservation lab at Buffalo State University. Newly-developed photographic technologies that allow close examination of the surface of the picture will make it possible to decipher more about how Monet altered his canvases from their initial rendering in London to his obsessive reworking of the canvases upon his return to France. Learn more shown: Claude Monet, Waterloo Bridge, Veiled Sun (detail) 1903


Roy Lichtenstein detail

Seeing in Color and Black-and-White

October 7, 2018–January 6, 2019

Developed as a companion to Monet’s Waterloo Bridge: Vision and Process, this exhibition features artists such as Josef Albers, Victor Vasarely, and Jesús Rafael Soto, who chose abstraction over representation to reveal the mechanics of human vision and make viewers aware of how they see. Learn more shown: Roy Lichtenstein, Cathedral #2 (detail) 1969


Passover Matzos

Fabric of Survival: The Art of Esther Nisenthal Krinitz

August 17–December 2, 2018

Esther Nisenthal Krinitz was 12 in 1939 when the Nazis came to her Polish village. She remembers every detail through a series of exquisitely embroidered fabric collages. Her art is an eyewitness account of tragedy and healing. Listen in to the Rochester Jewish Film Festival interview on Connections with WXXI’s Evan Dawson. Learn more Shown: Passover Matzos, (detail) Embroidery and fabric collage, 1998.


Bruce Nauman: No, No, New Museum

August 3–October 14, 2018

Bruce Nauman’s No, No, New Museum is an iconic work of video art from the 1980s by one of the medium’s most influential practitioners. Its exhibition at MAG is made possible by a partnership with Art Bridges—arts patron Alice Walton’s effort to share outstanding works of American art with museums across the country. learn more shown: Bruce Nauman (American, b. 1941) No, No, New Museum, 1987 Videotape (color, sound), 62 minutes © Art Bridges

No No New Museum

The Surreal Visions of Josephine Tota

July 15–September 9, 2018

Josephine Tota was a first-generation Italian immigrant who spent much of her adult life working as a seamstress in Rochester. In her early seventies, she discovered painting as a means to transform a difficult past into harrowing, self-referential images. Channeling the world around and within her through the legacy of religious art and the language of Surrealism, she produced a decade’s worth of visionary images in the privacy of her home before succumbing to dementia. Fourteen tempera paintings from Memorial Art Gallery’s permanent collection form the core of the exhibition, augmented by approximately 70 from private lenders.

A full-color catalog documents Tota’s contribution to the realm of authentic outsider art and is available for sale in THE STORE @ MAG. Learn more shown: Josephine Tota, Untitled (Self-portrait), 1987
Nancy Jurs shown: Nancy Jurs, Artist Statement (My Life Has Gotten So Busy, It Now Takes Up All of My Time), 2008

My Life Has Gotten So Busy That It Now Takes Up All of My Time

July 15–September 9, 2018

My Life Has Gotten So Busy that It Now Takes Up All of My Time is an exhibition of sculptural installations and photographs by Rochester-based artist Nancy Jurs that focuses on self-portraiture, autobiography, and personal narrative. Jurs is well known as a potter who trained at Rochester Institute of Technology’s School for American Craftsmen. Less known are her sculptures and installations that employ found, unaltered objects, which evoke personages or anthropomorphic visions, and her manipulated photographs. These works of art represent a surprising and compelling conceptual thread throughout Jurs’ career. Learn more


Photo by Larry Merrill shown: Larry Merrill, Untitled

Wards of Time: Photographs of Antiquities by Larry Merrill

April 20–August 5, 2018

Wards of Time: Photographs of Antiquities by Larry Merrill includes a selection of images from an ongoing series by Rochester photographer Larry Merrill. In this work, Merrill directs our gaze, magnifying and abstracting the texture and tonal variations of ancient sculptures that signify the accrual of time. As part of the series, Merrill visited the Memorial Art Gallery’s collection and photographed 3rd century BCE miniature sculpted Egyptian heads, which will be on view adjacent to their photographs. Merrill’s photographs offer a reflection on time and decay, on the museum artifact, on history, and on our own mortality. Learn more


Media Arts Watch

Bill Viola: Martyrs–Earth, Air, Fire, and Water October 11, 2017–July 22, 2018
Bill Viola Martyrs 2014

Martyrs is overtly rooted in art historical and religious iconography. Viola said: “The Greek word for martyr originally meant ‘witness.’ In today’s world, the mass media turns us all into witnesses to the suffering of others. The martyrs’ past lives of action can help illuminate our modern lives of inaction. They also exemplify the human capacity to bear pain, hardship, and even death in order to remain faithful to their values, beliefs, and principles. This piece represents ideas of action, fortitude, perseverance, endurance, and sacrifice.” learn more shown: Bill Viola Earth Martyr, 2014; Wind Martyr, 2014; Fire Martyr, 2014; Water Martyr, 2014 Color high-definition video on a flat-panel display mounted vertically on wall 42 3/8 x 24 1/2 x 2 5/8 in. (107.6 x 62.1 x 6.8 cm) 7:10 minutes Photos: Kira Perov


NOSFERATU The Undead

NOSFERATU (The Undead)

April 22–June 17, 2018

NOSFERATU (The Undead) is the first of three exhibitions to be presented as part of “Reflections on Place,” a series of media art commissions inspired by the City of Rochester and curated by world-renowned authority on the moving image John G. Hanhardt. Experience Javier Téllez’ new installation, which explores the history of cinema and the medium of film itself to address the subject of mental illness. Learn more


Rosalyn Engelman

Rosalyn Engelman: Beauty is Everywhere

December 21, 2017 – April 8, 2018

Rosalyn Engelman (American, born 1938) is a painter, sculptor, and installation artist. She works with a variety of materials and produces art with a striking range of expressive content. In all of her work, Engelman is searching for beauty, hope, and transcendence. This exhibition features five works from Engelman’s 2003–04 “Echo Sonata” series, which she created following numerous trips to Japan with her husband between 1975 and 1999. Engelman is a University of Rochester alumna, and currently lives and works in New York, NY. Learn more


Wendell Castle Remastered

October 8–December 31, 2017
extended by popular demand to January 7, 2018

This exhibition is the first to showcase the digitally crafted works of Wendell Castle, acclaimed figure of the American art furniture movement. It will feature approximately 40 works of art, including several historically important examples that inspired his latest achievements. learn more Both films featured in this exhibition are open-captioned.  shown: Wendell Castle Remastered, Long Night (detail), 2011, photo by Adrien Millot Courtesy of Friedman Benda Gallery and Wendell Castle. Wendell Castle Remastered at the Memorial Art Gallery is an adaptation of the exhibition originally presented at the Museum of Arts and Design, New York, in 2015.


Kiyochika & Japan, Transformed: Prints from the Arthur R. Miller Collection

August 24–December 10, 2017

The exhibition Kiyochika and Japan, Transformed showcases over 30 color woodblock prints by Kobayashi Kiyochika (1847-1915), who witnessed firsthand the transformation of Japan when it opened to the West after centuries of isolation. These prints, drawn from the extraordinary collections of University of Rochester alumnus Arthur R. Miller, emphasize the complexities of modern and traditional life in late-19th century Japan. Kiyochika’s work is characterized by his innovative use of light and shadow as well as his juxtapositions of subject matter, both old and new, in his rapidly changing world. learn more

Kobayashi Kiyochika
shown: Kobayashi Kiyochika, Three Geisha: Kayo of Kyoto, Hitotsuru of Osaka, and Kokichi of Tokyo c. 1878. Collection of Arthur R. Miller.

Charles Atlas: Here she is… v1

June 30 – September 17, 2017

This single-channel video installation features Lady Bunny, an iconic drag performer. She speaks on politics and current events, dances and lip-syncs. She is a vivid presence, especially considering the wall-size scale of the video. learn more shown: Here she is…v1 (detail) 2015. © Charles Atlas; Courtesy of the artist


Rainforest IV

r-flx-2019
September 7–Sunday, September 10, 2017 Opening Performance 6 pm on Thursday, September 7

Rainforest IV is an immersive audio installation created by the Eastman Audio Research Studio (EARS) at the Eastman School of Music, under the direction of Oliver Schneller, with assistance from Allen Topolski, Associate Professor of Art at the University of Rochester. Rainforest is a sonic environment made of handmade, uniquely designed sculptural objects suspended in space and fitted with electric transducers, turning them into resonant sound objects. At this special opening event, Missy Pfohl Smith, Director of the University of Rochester’s Dance and Movement Program, Anne Harris Wilcox, and Rose Pasquarello Beauchamp will improvise a performance to which the musicians will sonically respond. Originally conceived by sound artist and pianist David Tudor in 1973, Rainforest IV is a sonic environment made of handmade, uniquely designed sculptural objects suspended in space and fitted with electric transducers, turning them into resonant sound objects. shown: Installation of Rainforest IV (1973), L’Espace Pierre Cardin, Paris, 1976. Photograph by Ralph Jones (American, b. 1951) © 1976 Ralph Jones. All rights reserved. Image courtesy of Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles. Materials generously donated by Metalico Rochester.


The Power of the Female Gaze

Harriet 1975
May 19–August 13, 2017

In honor of New York Women’s Suffrage Centennial in 2017, this exhibition explores the power of the female gaze in creating potent and complex images of mothers, thinkers, vixens, heroes, creators, warriors, and agitators. learn more shown: Elizabeth Catlett, Harriet, 1975


Reflections on Place & Culture: Downey, Gower, Kluge

Hard Times and Cultures
April 7–June 18, 2017
The Media Arts Watch gallery will be transformed into a screening room with works projected onto the walls by Terence Gower, Juan Downey, and Alexander Kluge. learn more shown: Juan Downey, Hard Times and Culture (still)

Meleko Mokgosi: Pax Kaffraria

Full Belly II 2014
RoCo: February 3–March 19, 2017
MAG: February 19–May 7, 2017

See six Pax Kaffraria “chapters” at MAG; one chapter at Rochester Contemporary Art Center (RoCo). Mural-sized narratives of southern African culture. learn more shown: Fully Belly II, 2014 (detail)


Robert Rauschenberg: Making History

Surface Series #53
January 30 – April 30, 2017

Rauschenberg responded to the rise of mass-media culture during the 1950s and 1960s, by actually making mass media his artistic medium. learn more shown: Surface Series #53 (from Currents), 1970. ©Estate of Robert Rauschenberg / Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY.


Light Spill: An Installation by Gibson + Recoder

Gibson and Recoder
January 13-March 26, 2017

As Gibson’s and Recoder’s work suggests, film is not only about images, storytelling and entertainment, but also possesses mechanical, and sculptural dimensions. learn more


M. C. Escher: Reality and Illusion

Photo of M. C. Escher
November 13, 2016–January 29, 2017
in the Grand Gallery

Includes early figure drawings, lesser-known book illustrations, detailed Italian landscapes, the “tessellations” for which he became famous, and several examples of his signature architectural fantasies in which stairways seem to go nowhere or to mysteriously circle back upon themselves. learn more Back to top


Bodies In Space

Bruce Nauman
October 7-December 31, 2016

Bodies in Space was the inaugural art exhibition of MAG’s Media Arts Initiative. learn more


Courtly Pleasures: Indian Miniatures from the Permanent Collection

Priests Worshipping the Image of Shri Nathaji
September 9-December 31, 2016
in the Lockhart Gallery

learn more Pictured: Indian, Priests Worshipping the Image of Shri Nathaji, ca. 1820. Opaque watercolor, ink, gold, silver paint.

Afghan War Rugs:
The Modern Art of Central Asia

31-WarRug-web
August 21–October 16, 2016
in the Grand Gallery

learn more Pictured: Western Afghanistan, War Rug. Knotted wool. Back to top
Unknown African American Soldier with Cannon

War Memoranda: Photography, Walt Whitman, and Renewal by Binh Danh and Robert Schultz

August 21–October 16, 2016 in the Grand Gallery learn more Pictured: Binh Danh and Robert Schultz, detail of Unidentified African American soldier with cannon backdrop. Chlorophyll print, resin. Courtesy of the artists. Back to top

Keith Haring: Apocalypse

June 10–August 28, 2016 in the Lockhart Gallery learn more Pictured:Keith Haring, Apocalypse , 1988. Serigraph. Gift of Sharon and Neil Norry, and Lewis Norry and Jill Katz Norry. Back to top

Robert Polidori: Chronophagia

polidori-neworleans-web May 22–July 24, 2016 in the Grand Gallery learn more Pictured: Robert Polidori, 2732 Orleans Ave., New Orleans, LA (2005). Collection of the artist. Back to top

#MAGcaptionthis

marsh-icecream

#MAGcaptionthis

April 29–May 29, 2016 in the Lockhart Gallery Pictured: Reginald Marsh, Ice Cream Cones (1938). Gift of a Friend of the Gallery. Back to top

Inspiring Beauty: 50 Years of Ebony Fashion Fair

IB-Grawe January 31–April 24, 2016 in the Grand Gallery & Lockhart Gallery learn more Pictured: Tilmann Grawe (France), cocktail dress, 2003-04. Photo courtesy Johnson Publishing Company, LLC. Back to top

Marcel Dzama: Une Danse des Bouffons (A Jester’s Dance)

UneDanse_still_13-web December 10, 2015–January 24, 2016 in the Lockhart Gallery learn more Pictured: Video still courtesy David Zwirner, NY/London. Back to top Carl Peters drawing of hands

Art for the People: Carl W. Peters and the Rochester WPA Murals

October 18, 2015–January 3, 2016 in the Grand Gallery learn more Pictured: Carl W. Peters, Study of Hands (ca. 1940). Back to top RH012, 1/8/08, 1:52 PM, 8C, 6000x8000 (0+0), 100%, straight 6 sto, 1/12 s, R42.3, G29.7, B74.2

Rick Hock: Codices

November 11–January 3 in the Hurlbut Gallery learn more Pictured: Detail of Duchamp Codex (1980s). Polaroid transfer print. Private collection, courtesy Visual Studies Workshop. Back to top 91.9.21

Jacob Lawrence: The Legend of John Brown Portfolio

August 28–November 29, 2015 in the Lockhart Gallery learn more Pictured: Jacob Lawrence, After John Brown’s capture, he was put to trial for his life in Charles Town,Virginia (now West Virginia).
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65th Rochester-Finger Lakes Exhibition

July 26–September 13, 2015 in the Grand Gallery learn more Pictured: Spring Flowers, Jellybeans by Kate Timm of Sterling, Cayuga Co.
96.57.7

In Search of Shadows

May 8–August 16, 2015 in the Lockhart Gallery learn more Pictured: Luciano Guarnieri, Lesser Town Square (1969). Estates of Maurice R. and Maxine B. Forman.
Gispert-web

The Human Touch: Selections from the RBC Wealth Management Art Collection

April 26–June 28, 2015 in the Grand Gallery learn more Pictured: Luis Gispert, Living Room (from Urban Myths, PT 1) (2003). C-print.
Back to top Stone Gate ceramic by Wayne Higby

Infinite Place: The Ceramic Art of Wayne Higby

January 25–March 29, 2015 in the Grand Gallery learn more Pictured: Stone Gate (2007). Collection of the artist. Back to top Robert Kirschbaum's The 42 Letters

Robert Kirschbaum’s The 42-Letter Name

December 12, 2014–April 26, 2015 in the Lockhart Gallery learn more Pictured: Robert Kirschbaum, letterpress and relief print from The 42-Letter Name (2009). Gift of the artist. Back to top NCCIL-Golden Books show, 2007-09-07.

Golden Legacy: 65 Years of Golden Books

October 19, 2014–January 4, 2015 in the Grand Gallery learn more Pictured: Gertrude Elliot, Two Little Gardeners (1951). © Random House, Inc. Back to top infinity-web-1

Infinity Boxes by Matt Elson

October 19, 2014–January 4, 2015 in the Grand Gallery and exhibition galleries learn more Pictured: Matt Elson, Infinity Box No. 2: You and Me Together (2012). Courtesy of the artist. Back to top print from Yoshitoshi's Thirty-Six Ghosts

New Ghosts for A New Age: Yoshitoshi’s New Forms of 36 Ghosts

Japanese Prints from the Arthur R. Miller Collection August 29–November 30, 2014 in the Lockhart Gallery learn more Pictured: Tsukioka Yoshitoshi, Kiyohime Changing into a Serpent at Hidaka River (1890). Back to top

6th Rochester Biennial

July 13–September 21, 2014 in the Grand Gallery learn more Back to top Action, from The Glove by Max Klinger

Visions in Black and White: The Graphic Work of Max Klinger

May 16–August 17, 2014 in the Lockhart Gallery learn more Pictured: Action (Handlung), from A Glove (Ein Handschuh). Knapp Fund. Back to top Print

Matisse as Printmaker: Works from the Pierre and Tana Matisse Foundation

April 6–June 8, 2014 in the Grand Gallery learn more Back to top alex_matisse-charger

Alexander Matisse: New Ceramics

April 6–June 8, 2014 in the Grand Gallery learn more Pictured:  Charger (2013). Collection of Dr. and Mrs. William Eby. Back to top school23-1

Collaborations: Works by Students at Francis Parker Elementary School #23 in Classes at MAG

April 24–May 10, 2014 in the Lucy Burne Gallery learn more Back to top Llalla Pallooza

Eduardo Paolozzi’s General Dynamic F.U.N.

January 31–May 4, 2014 in the Lockhart Gallery learn more Pictured: Eduardo Paolozzi, Llalla Pallooza… Image fades but memory lingers on. Back to top Kano-web

Redefining the Multiple: 13 Contemporary Japanese Printmakers

January 19– March 16, 2014 in the Grand Gallery learn more Pictured: Shunsuke Kano, B&B_06 (2008). Courtesy Ewing Gallery of Art & Architecture. Back to top takagi japanese form

New Beginnings

Japanese Prints of the 1950s, 60s, and 70s

January 19– March 16, 2014 in the Grand Gallery learn more Pictured: Shiro Takagi, Japanese Form (Tomoe) (1964). Marion Stratton Gould Fund. Back to top 64.86

Connoisseurs Around the Corner: Gifts of Art from MAG’s Founding Family

September 6, 2013–January 19, 2014 in the Lockhart Gallery learn more Pictured: Charles Demuth, Zinnias (1915). Gift of Gertrude Herdle Moore and Isabel C. Herdle in memory of their father, George L. Herdle. Back to top work by emily miah stewart in memory theatre 2013 exhibition

Memory Theatre 2013

October 9–December 29, 2013 in the Grand Gallery learn more Pictured: Emily Miah Stewart, Memory Map of Joe’s Pond (2004). Private collection. Back to top lempert-hazlett-cw-show

Creative Workshop Living Memory Alumni Show: Part II

September 24–October 24, 2013 in the Lucy Burne Gallery (Creative Workshop) Learn more Pictured: Works by Creative Workshop alumnus Daniel Lempert and former head of ceramics Alex Hazlett. Back to top Rochester-Finger Lakes 2013 masthead

64th Rochester-Finger Lakes Exhibition

July 14–September 8, 2013 in the Grand Gallery Learn more Back to top woodcut by Kiki Smith from portfolio Mortal

Mortal: A Portfolio of Woodcuts by Kiki Smith

May 24–August 18, 2013 in the Lockhart Gallery Learn more Pictured: Kiki Smith, woodcut from the portfolio Mortal (2007). Gift of the Gallery Council. Back to top

Eugen Bracht, Morning Star

It Came From the Vault: Rarely Seen Works from MAGs Collection

March 17-June 9, 2013  in the Grand Gallery Learn more Pictured: Eugen Bracht Morning Star, ca. 1900 Back to top Three Master by John Marin

Becoming Modern: Armory Show Artists at MAG

January 25–May 12, 2013 in the Lockhart Gallery Learn more Pictured: John Marin, Three Master (1923). Gift of a Friend of the Gallery. ©2012 Estate of John Marin / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York Back to top painting by Creative Workshop alumnus Richmond Futch Jr.

Creative Workshop Living Memory Alumni Show: Part I

April 15–May 9, 2013 in the Lucy Burne Gallery (Creative Workshop) Learn more Pictured: In Transition is by Richmond Futch Jr., who got his start as a Creative Workshop student. Back to top works by winslow homer and loraine cooley from art reflected

Art Reflected: The Inspiration of 100 Years

February 10–April 21, 2013 throughout the galleries Learn more Pictured: Winslow Homer, The Artist’s Studio in an Afternoon Fog (1894) and the new work it inspired, a bracelet by Loraine Cooley, Webster, NY. Back to top