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Expanded Painting in the 1960s and 1970s

Through Fall 2021

Explore radical innovations in painting that testify to a pursuit of freedom and expression in the midst of a period marked by social and political unrest in the United States and abroad. From Alma Thomas’s mosaic-like painting of flowers to Sam Gilliam’s suspended, draped canvas, these works speak to an upending of barriers—be they artistic, ideological, racial, or rooted in gender stereotypes. By rethinking and systematically probing conventions associated with the painted canvas, these works ultimately speak to the desire for a deeper, more fundamental connection to nature, the body, movement, and light.

Main Building

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Free with museum admission

Pay What You Wish admission on 1st Sunday of the month & every Wednesday night

Image Gallery

Get a sneak peek at works in this installation.


This installation has been made possible with support from the museum’s endowment, through the Daniel W. Dietrich II Fund for Excellence in Contemporary Art.


Amanda Sroka, Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art
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Educational Resource
Educational Resource
Learn more about Alma Thomas’s painting Hydrangeas Spring Song.
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