Recent Acquisitions: Modern and Contemporary Drawings and Prints

June 25 through October 3, 2021
Drawing of abstract hat shape with black lines, and gray blue wash.

Nearly twenty years ago, the Morgan decided to expand its collection of drawings and prints into the modern era. The goal was to assemble works that reflect the changing form, function, and definition of drawing from the beginning of the twentieth century to the present.
Showcasing the continuous vigor of this initiative, this exhibition presents a selection of artworks acquired during the last five years. At its core is an exceptional group of prints by American artist Martin Puryear, created between 2001 and 2014. Exuding the same elegance and refinement as his sculptures, they reveal Puryear’s formal imagination and singular attention to craft.
Other highlights range from a rare 1916 pastel by American modernist Morton Schamberg to a sensuous 2016 watercolor by Kenyan artist Wangechi Mutu. The exhibition calls attention to the broad variety of techniques that modern and contemporary artists have embraced. A traditional pencil study by Paula Rego, for instance, is juxtaposed to experimental approaches such as altered inkjet prints by Guillermo Kuitca and a watercolor that Sam Gilliam created by folding and manipulating the sheet.

The large number of works made in the last thirty years attests to the vitality of the medium of drawing today and to the Morgan’s engagement with contemporary art. Most of the works in the exhibition have been acquired as direct gifts or with contributed funds. This presentation is a tribute to the extraordinary generosity of our donors and benefactors.

Recent Acquisitions: Modern and Contemporary Drawings and Prints is made possible by Thomas J. Reid and Christina M. Pae.

Martin Puryear, Phrygian, 2012, Softground etching, drypoint, aquatint, and spitbite aquatint with chine collé, Image: 24 x 18 inches; sheet: 35 x 28 inches, Anonymous gift in honor of Katharine J. Rayner, 2021.17, © Martin Puryear, Courtesy Matthew Marks Gallery