Why Contemporary Art Matters

Contemporary art is powerful in its ability to capture the “now.” Today’s world is fast and filled with easily accessible information — between the constant 24-hour news cycle and the seemingly infinite content available on social media platforms, our society is inundated with information. The artists of our time cut through the noise and offer a pause to explore and contemplate major current events and societal issues through rich visual experiences.

All art of the past was at one time considered contemporary art! And so, the art produced now in the early 21st century, will eventually become art of the past. It will also mean something completely different to those viewing it in the future. No one else at any point in the future will engage with art in the same way as today, making it an entirely unique opportunity. By engaging with the art of your time, you are encouraged to be curious, ask questions, draw connections, be inspired, and be part of a larger cultural dialogue.

The exhibitions on view this season at CMA offer exciting and thought-provoking work from a broad range of artists. From photography and film to painting and performance, the artwork on display shows the multitude of ways artists are conveying their messages today. The Columbus Museum of Art is thrilled to offer a full slate of contemporary art experiences in 2023 including Wendy Red Star: A Scratch on the Earth.


Special exhibitions

Wendy Red Star: A Scratch on the Earth
On view April 21-September 3

Organized by the Newark Museum of Art Wendy Red Star: A Scratch on the Earth is the most comprehensive exhibition of the artist’s work to date. An enrolled member of the Apsáalooke (Crow) Tribe, Red Star works across disciplines to explore the intersections of Native American ideologies and colonialist structures, both historically and in contemporary society.

Red Star draws on pop culture, conceptual art and aspects of reservation life to push the boundaries of photography with self-portraiture, photo-collage and altered historical photographs. She often incorporates photography with textiles and fashion as bearers of tradition, using humor and materiality to confront the often-offensive ways in which Crow culture has historically been represented and perceived, bringing her unique perspective on American history to life.

A centerpiece of the exhibition is a new multi-media installation, Monsters, co-directed by Red Star and Amelia Winger Bearskin, artist and Google VR JUMP Start creator. The five-minute video is screened in a simulated sweat lodge and documents the Montana landscape in a 360-degree format, leaving the viewer immersed in aspects of Crow mythology related to the land.

*Admission to Wendy Red Star: A Scratch on the Earth and Lesley Vance: always circled whirling is general admission + $8.

Visit columbusmuseum.org to plan your visit today.

Gina Osterloh: Mirror Shadow Shape
On view now through October 8

Basic Matters: Substance in Contemporary Art
On view now through May 21

PRESENT ’23: Building the Scantland Collection of the Columbus Museum of Art
On view starting June 8

Lesley Vance: always circled whirling
On view April 21-September 3