The Material Impulse in Global Contemporary Art Explored in Exhibition of Large-Scale Work Made Over Last Decade


A Material Legacy: The Nancy A. Nasher and David J. Haemisegger Collection of Contemporary Art will be on view at the Princeton University Art Museum July 30 - October 30, 2016.

PRINCETON, NJ--The innovative use of materials by many of the most exciting artists working today is the subject of an illuminating exhibition of approximately of 35 large-scale works that offer a real-time glimpse into the varied practices of artmaking over the last decade. The artists included are the descendants of avant-garde artists who emerged a century ago and embraced industrial metals, manufactured objects and other nontraditional materials in the creative process.

A Material Legacy: The Nancy A. Nasher and David J. Haemisegger Collection of Contemporary Art will be on view at the Princeton University Art Museum from July 30 through October 30, 2016. The exhibition is drawn entirely from the Nancy Nasher and David Haemisegger Collection and marks the first time that selections from it have been on public view.

“This fresh and diverse collection of work by major contemporary artists offers a powerful vision of current artistic practices and discourse across the globe,” said James Steward, who is the Museum’s Nancy A. Nasher–David J. Haemisegger, Class of 1976, Director. “This is an important occasion on which to discover many of today’s most important artists, often working at exceptional scale, and we are honored to share Nancy and David’s vision as collectors with our visitors.”

Nancy Nasher and David Haemisegger (both Princeton Class of 1976) have continued a family tradition by amassing a significant collection of contemporary art. They are the daughter and son-in-law of Raymond D. and Patsy T. Nasher, legendary art collectors, patrons, benefactors and philanthropists. While Raymond and Patsy assembled one of the world’s great collections of modern sculpture, now substantially housed in the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas, Nancy and David have focused primarily on contemporary art, including painting, sculpture, drawing and multimedia works.

A Material Legacy features work by artists including Anthony Caro, Edmund de Waal, Mark di Suvero, Teresita Fernández, Liam Gillick, Katharina Grosse, Mark Grotjahn, Damien Hirst, Howard Hodgkin, Alfredo Jaar, Anish Kapoor, Christian Marclay, Kerry James Marshall, Iván Navarro, Ken Price, Matthew Ritchie, Julian Schnabel, Richard Serra, Ursula von Rydingsvard, Kara Walker, Rachel Whiteread and Kehinde Wiley.

Through a dynamic mix of two- and three-dimensional works of art, the exhibition reveals the various ways in which the featured artists manifest a material tendency—for example, in the precise calculations of the painted-wood piece Open Cube Structure (1928–2007) by Sol LeWitt, the surface brilliance and technical bravura of Anish Kapoor’s stainless steel sculpture Full Moon (2014), the historically resonant and politically charged drawing Object Lesson in Empire Building (2014) by Kara Walker and the exuberant confrontation of Kehinde Wiley’s painting Naomi and Her Daughters (2013).

A Material Legacy: The Nancy A. Nasher and David J. Haemisegger Collection of Contemporary Art is organized in partnership with the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University and is curated by Marshall N. Price, Ph.D., Nancy Hanks Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at Duke’s Nasher Museum.

This exhibition is made possible with generous loans from the Nancy A. Nasher and David J. Haemisegger Collection.

A Material Legacy: The Nancy A. Nasher and David J. Haemisegger Collection of Contemporary Art is organized by the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University in collaboration with the Princeton University Art Museum.  The exhibition at Princeton has been made possible with generous support from William S. Fisher, Class of 1979, and Sakurako Fisher; the Virginia and Bagley Wright, Class of 1946, Program Fund for Modern and Contemporary Art; Stacey Roth Goergen, Class of 1990, and Robert Goergen; Susan and John Diekman, Class of 1965; the Anne C. Sherrerd, Graduate School Class of 1987, Art Museum Fund; the Allen R. Adler, Class of 1967, Exhibitions Fund; and the Sara and Joshua Slocum, Class of 1998, Art Museum Fund.  Additional support has been provided by the Partners of the Princeton University Art Museum.

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About the Princeton University Art Museum

With a collecting history that extends back to the 1750s, the Princeton University Art Museum is one of the leading university art museums in the country, with collections that have grown to include over 97,000 works of art ranging from ancient to contemporary art and spanning the globe.

Committed to advancing Princeton’s teaching and research missions, the Art Museum also serves as a gateway to the University for visitors from around the world. Intimate in scale yet expansive in scope, the Museum offers a respite from the rush of daily life, a revitalizing experience of extraordinary works of art and an opportunity to delve deeply into the study of art and culture.

The Princeton University Art Museum is located at the heart of the Princeton campus, a short walk from the shops and restaurants of Nassau Street. Admission is free. Museum hours are Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Thursday 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.; and Sunday 1 to 5 p.m. The Museum is closed Mondays and major holidays.

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