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Unfolding Tales: Selections from the Contemporary Collection

DATES August 01, 2011 through March 08, 2015
  • Unfolding Tales, Selections from the Collection
    The works of art in these galleries use the formal elements of color, line, and shape to suggest narratives that reveal themselves directly or disclose themselves more subtly over time. The selection shows that the languages of figuration and abstraction are equally capable of telling tales and evoking the untold. The stories they call forth are shaped by literature, history, film, and current events, as well as sights and sounds encountered in daily life and nocturnal dreams. Together, the works present a wide range of contemporary media and materials, sometimes unconventional.

    Unfolding Tales highlights recent acquisitions and presents them alongside notable works that have entered the collection over the past four decades. In its collecting of contemporary art, the Museum now focuses on works of the twenty-first century, which has seen the rise of Brooklyn as one of the most vibrant centers of cultural production in the world. Williamsburg, Greenpoint, and Dumbo—now established artists’ enclaves—have given way to Red Hook, Bed-Stuy, the Gowanus Canal, Bushwick, and Sunset Park as frontiers that offer artists prospects for affordable studio spaces. The Brooklyn Museum began collecting recently created works of art in the mid-nineteenth century. Unfolding Tales demonstrates the Museum’s continuing commitment to living artists and to collecting distinctive art of our time.