Upcoming Exhibitions

Image: Pearlie Irby Pettway. Diamond in Square. c. 1950. The Baltimore Museum of Art: Gift of the Souls Grown Deep Foundation; and purchase with exchange funds from the Pearlstone Family Fund and partial gift of The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc., BMA 2020.34. © 2020 Pearlie Irby Pettway / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

She Knew Where She Was Going: Gee's Bend Quilts and Civil Rights

March 10 — August, 2021

Gee’s Bend, Alabama, is home to generations of extraordinary Black craftswomen whose quilts represent a crucial chapter in the history of American Art. Since the mid-1800s, women of Gee’s Bend have transformed worn clothes, sacks, and other fabric remnants into patterns that surpass the boundaries of the genre. Born out of necessity, the quilts provided warmth for family and friends while bearing witness to shared knowledge passed down among quilting groups and female lineages. But, in 1966, at the height of Civil Rights activism, the quilters transformed their artistic practice into collective action by founding the Freedom Quilting Bee. This cooperative championed the vision and production of Gee’s Bend quilters in national auctions and commercial partnerships, empowering the quilters and reworking systems of American quilting.


Image: Lisa Yuskavage. Tit Heaven 21. 1992. Private Collection. © Lisa Yuskavage. Courtesy the artist and David Zwirner

Lisa Yuskavage: Wilderness

From March 28, 2021 — September 19, 2021

Lisa Yuskavage: Wilderness, co-organized with the Aspen Art Museum, brings together more than 15 lush paintings that show the artist’s expansive treatment of landscape through dexterously crafted compositions that tantalize the eye and beguile the mind. Over a career now spanning 35 years, Yuskavage has produced paintings that are ebulliently colorful, unabashedly explicit, and epic in ambition—and yet elusory in their meaning. Since roughly 2007, the vastness of nature has played a significant role in her most ambitious large-scale paintings. Rather than simply depicting landscape elements, her expansive canvases imagine entire worlds that are both highly detailed and vague in implication, inviting viewers to consider the mysterious societies she has conjured.


Image: Sharon Lockhart. <em>Podwórka</em> (still). 2009. The Baltimore Museum of Art: Purchased as the gift of an Anonymous Donor, BMA 2017.64. © Sharon Lockhart

Sharon Lockhart: Perilous Life

From March 28, 2021 — September 19, 2021

This exhibition features film, photography, and sculpture that bookend American artist Sharon Lockhart’s 10-year engagement with a group of children in Poland. The film Pódworka (2009) marks Lockhart’s first encounter with the Polish landscape and the children who inhabit it. A series of fleeting interludes within city life in Łódź, Pódworka is both a study of a specific place and an evocation of children’s resourcefulness. Among the children Lockhart met was a young girl, Milena, who became a friend and collaborator over the next decade. It was through Milena’s desire to tell her own story that Lockhart began working with a group of young women in the Center for Sociotherapy in Rudzienko, where she created a series of workshops and projects empowering them to find their own voices.


Image: Tschabalala Self. Two Women. 2019. Rubell Museum. © Tschabalala Self

Tschabalala Self: By My Self

From March 28, 2021 — September 19, 2021

Over the past five years, Tschabalala Self has emerged as one of the most significant artists reinventing figurative painting. In By My Self, the BMA presents 13 paintings, from 2016 to the present, alongside two related sculptures that reveal the depth, intricacy, and singularity of Self’s formal strategy and techniques for investigating the iconographic significance of the Black female form in contemporary culture. Among the featured works are a new suite of three paintings of a female couple created in response to Henri Matisse’s sculpture Two Women (1907–08; originally titled Two Negresses) in the BMA’s collection.


Image: Echo Map I

Now Is The Time: Recent Acquisitions to the Contemporary Collection

From May 2, 2021 — July 18, 2021

Informed by the BMA’s core values of equity, diversity, and justice, the Contemporary Department has added an impressive array of new artists and works to the Museum’s collection. Acquired using the proceeds from the deaccessioning of seven works in 2018, the new works forge new pathways and tell stories that we are committed to sharing—from Baltimore-based artists and those who capture a Southern vernacular to more expansive narratives about American identity and global migration.


Image:  Joan Mitchell. Sunflowers. 1990-1991. Private Collection. © Estate of Joan Mitchell

Joan Mitchell

From March 6, 2022 — August 14, 2022

This retrospective will explore the full arc of Joan Mitchell’s artistic practice, from her exceptional New York paintings in the early 1950s to the majestic, large-scale multi-panel works made in France later in her career. Co-organized with the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the exhibition features rarely shown paintings and works on paper from public and private collections in the U.S. and Europe. The exhibition moves through focused suites of work, following Mitchell's cyclical way of working, in which subjects and gestures appear and resurface years later. A selection of projects created with and for writers like Frank O’Hara and Jacques Dupin will underscore the role of poetry in her life and work; others signal themes including her relationships with music and the artists of the 19th century. Additionally, the exhibition will feature transitional works that unfold her process and emphasize the role of Mitchell’s exquisite small paintings, pastels, and works on paper. An accompanying catalog will provide a sweeping scholarly account of the artist’s career.