The BMA’s newly renovated contemporary wing has been open for a while now. But unless you really keep up with these things or regularly walk/drive/skateboard past the giant banners hanging outside the museum declaring “NEW” and “CONTEMPORARY,” you might have missed all the hullaballoo. And it’s hull worth ballooing over, if that’s a thing. Sure, sure, the renovated contemporary wing features works from the 20th century artists you’d expect—Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, Andy Warhol, Franz West, et al. But remember the Guerrilla Girls poster campaign that asked, “Do women have to be naked to get into the Metropolitan Museum of Art?” It cited the statistics that women represented less than five percent of the artists in the modern art wing, but more than three-fourths of the nudes. The last time they did this count was last year. Nothing has changed. So here’s another reason to love Baltimore: The newly renovated contemporary wing visibly includes works by women, artists of color, and artists whose work actually makes social statements that respond to today’s issues. Now that’s a contemporary art collection.
Some of the new acquisitions include work from 21st-century artists such as Guyton\Walker, Josephine Meckseper, Sarah Sze, and Rirkrit Tiravanija. One of the latest additions to the collection is a dramatic site-specific installation by award-winning artist Sarah Oppenheimer. There’s so much to take in at the the newly renovated BMA that we can’t possibly describe it all here. But find a day when the weather is lousy, walk right in (it’s free, after all) and soak it up.
For hours and information about specific exhibitions, visit www.artbma.org.
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