Present Generations: Creating the Scantland Collection of the Columbus Museum of Art

Present Generations:

Creating the Scantland Collection of the Columbus Museum of Art

On View
6.25.21–5.22.22

 
 
Artists: Felipe Baeza, Cristina BanBan, Greg Breda, Coady Brown, Lucy Bull, Jonathan Lyndon Chase, Somaya Critchlow, Julie Curtiss, Jadé Fadojutimi, Derek Fordjour, Louis Fratino, Jerrell Gibbs, Aaron Gilbert, Jenna Gribbon, Lauren Halsey, Alexander Harrison, Angela Heisch, Jammie Holmes, Deana Lawson, GaHee Park, Hilary Pecis, Devan Shimoyama, Emily Mae Smith, Vaughn Spann, Claire Tabouret, Ambera Wellmann, Robin F. Williams
 
Featuring work by some of the most exciting and thought-provoking artists practicing today, Present Generations comprises the first wave of promised gifts that will inaugurate the Columbus Museum of Art’s Scantland Collection. With vivid paintings as well as photographic and sculptural installations, the works by 27 artists in Present Generations show the creative exuberance of contemporary art practice as it also grapples with questions of visibility and identity among other urgent and underlying social concerns.
 
The Scantland Collection is one of the most dynamic young private collections of contemporary visual art in North America. From its position in Columbus, Ohio, the Collection is committed to a broad perspective on the creative energies of this moment; its intention is to form an evolving and wide-ranging picture of art in the mid-21st century. With a growing list of promised gifts to the Columbus Museum of Art, the Scantland Collection ensures that its ambitious program to collect the art of the present will remain part of its community for generations to come.
 
The Columbus Museum of Art’s renowned collection of modern painting is largely comprised of once-private collections of contemporary art. Gifted in 1931, the Ferdinand Howald Collection included significant works by Charles Demuth, Arthur Dove, Marsden Hartley, Diego Rivera, as well as Europeans Georges Braque, Henri Matisse, and Pablo Picasso. CMA went on to acquire the Sirak Collection of Impressionism and European Modernism, the Schiller Collection of American Social Commentary Art, 1930–1970, and a major collection of the New York Photo League. Extending the Schiller Collection’s commitment to the relationship between art and society, the Scantland Collection joins these with the aim of becoming the next significant pillar of the Museum’s permanent collection.
 
Many of the works in Present Generations have stylistic roots within the Museum’s modernist collection as well. Enigmatic paintings by Coady Brown, Julie Curtiss, Aaron Gilbert, and Gahee Park, for example, recall those by Magic Realist painters such as Paul Cadmus and George Tooker. Louis Fratino looks to artists like Demuth and Charles Sheeler in his work, while the painting by Jerrell Gibbs is directly inspired by works of Matisse in CMA’s collection.
 
In addition to lush abstractions and ecstatic figurative paintings, Present Generations also includes powerful photographic and sculptural works by Derek Fordjour, Lauren Halsey, and Deana Lawson. As throughout the exhibition, these works engage historical forms and narratives as a way of acting upon and being alive to the present moment. As part of the Scantland Collection of the Columbus Museum of Art, these works will continue to generate excitement, reflection, and creative response.

Aaron Gilbert, Love Still Good (detail), 2021, oil on canvas. Courtesy of Aaron Gilbert and P·P·O·W, New York

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