HINDSIGHT / INSIGHT: Reflecting on the Collection

On view in the Main Gallery
Curated by Mary Statzer, Curator of Prints and Photographs UNM Art Museum

Hindsight/Insight: Reflecting on the Collection highlights over 50 artworks acquired since the museum was founded in 1962. This is the first in an ongoing series of exhibitions and programs celebrating the University of New Mexico Art Museum’s dedication to developing a teaching collection.

The exhibition focuses primarily on international art movements of the 1960s and 70s including Pop, Minimalism, Conceptual Art and California Funk. Visitors will discover the museum’s rich holdings from this era by artists such as Robert Arneson, Joan Brown, Bruce Conner, Bridget Riley, Robert Ryman, and De Wain Valentine.

Also on view are modernist works by artists who have strong connections to the university and New Mexico. The selections by Rebecca Salsbury James, Raymond Jonson, Georgia O’Keeffe, Agnes Pelton, Florence Miller Pierce and Horace Towner Pierce acknowledge the contributions these artists made to New Mexico’s artistic heritage.

Though the art historical importance of the objects in Hindsight/Insightis noteworthy, this exhibition encourages critical thought and conversation on the role of university museums and the practice of art collecting. It is an exhibition that asks where art objects come from, why they look the way they do and how they earned their place within the museum walls.

Special Installation

Black and White Photography from the 1960s and 70s
Summer & Fall 2019
On view in the Van Deren Coke Gallery

On the left side of the gallery, Lewis Baltz’s seminal portfolio, The new Industrial Parks near Irvine, California, depicts the familiar commercial architecture of the Western United States. The complete portfolio of 51 photographs is on display. The suburban built environment was a new subject for photography. Baltz and several contemporaries, including Robert Adams and Joe Deal (UNM MA 1974 and MFA 1978), pictured postwar sprawl and raised questions about its environmental and economic impact.

Baltz’s depopulated images are contrasted with portraits by leading photographers of the 1960s and 70s: Diane Arbus, Imogen Cunningham, Danny Lyon, Bill Owens, and Garry Winogrand. Many of these artists were photojournalists whose newspaper and magazine work gained acceptance as fine art. The subjects of their portraits reflect their roots in photojournalism. These portraits depict Civil Rights activists and feminist protesters, a family of four, a person who is transgender, and members of the suburban workforce. This small selection of images alludes to profound shifts in American life and culture.