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Jasper Johns. Painting with Two Balls. 1971. The Baltimore Museum of Art: Gift of Mary and Paul Roberts, Baltimore, BMA 2018.126. © 2018 Jasper Johns/Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY
Jasper Johns. Painting with Two Balls. 1971. The Baltimore Museum of Art: Gift of Mary and Paul Roberts, Baltimore, BMA 2018.126. © 2018 Jasper Johns/Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY

BALTIMORE, MD (February 13, 2019)—The BMA is presenting an exhibition of 35 postwar graphics by some of the most significant modern and contemporary artists working in the United States thanks to a generous gift from Baltimore philanthropists Mary and Paul Roberts. Featuring works by Richard Diebenkorn, Jasper Johns, Elizabeth Murray, and Barnett Newman, Front Room: The Mary and Paul Roberts Collection celebrates a group of prints, drawings, and photographs remarkable for its range and quality. The exhibition also honors the legacy of Mary Roberts, who passed away in November 2018. The exhibition is on view in the BMA’s Contemporary Wing April 3 through June 30, 2019.

“The Roberts were perceptive and intelligent collectors who built their highly refined collection over five decades,” said BMA Senior Curator of Contemporary Art Kristen Hileman. “We are immensely grateful for their generous gift that enhances the BMA’s substantial contemporary holdings, allowing us to deepen our representation of a diverse array of artists who have had enormous impact on 20th-century art.”

As long-time participants in the museum’s Prints, Drawings & Photographs Society and Friends of Modern and Contemporary Art, the Roberts favored elegant compositions, bold uses of color, and works that pose questions about the nature of art and representation. Their holdings comprise works by esteemed artists from Germany, Mexico, and the United States and reveal the ways that some of the 20th century’s most influential painters, sculptors, and conceptual artists have translated their approaches and ideas in print-making, drawing, and photography. The exhibition includes artists who pursued a minimal aesthetic like Donald Judd, Ellsworth Kelly, John McLaughlin, Sol LeWitt, Agnes Martin, and Frank Stella, as well as contemporary figures who examine the intersections among artistic form, global politics, and personal identity, in particular Martin Puryear, Ellen Gallagher, Gabriel Orozco, and Glenn Ligon. Prints by A.R. Penck and Gerhard Richter—two of postwar Germany’s most acclaimed artists—are also among the works.

Front Room: The Mary and Paul Roberts Collection is curated by BMA Senior Curator of Contemporary Art Kristen Hileman.

About the Baltimore Museum of Art

Founded in 1914, the Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA) inspires people of all ages and backgrounds through exhibitions, programs, and collections that tell an expansive story of art—challenging long-held narratives and embracing new voices. Our outstanding collection of more than 95,000 objects spans many eras and cultures and includes the world’s largest public holding of works by Henri Matisse; one of the nation’s finest collections of prints, drawings, and photographs; and a rapidly growing number of works by contemporary artists of diverse backgrounds. The museum is also distinguished by a neoclassical building designed by American architect John Russell Pope and two beautifully landscaped gardens featuring an array of modern and contemporary sculpture. The BMA is located three miles north of the Inner Harbor, adjacent to the main campus of Johns Hopkins University, and has a community branch at Lexington Market. General admission is free so that everyone can enjoy the power of art.

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