Chitra Ganesh. Away from the Watcher. 2014. The Baltimore Museum of Art: Purchased as the gift of an Anonymous Donor. 2014. BMA 2014.29
Chitra Ganesh. Away from the Watcher. 2014. The Baltimore Museum of Art: Purchased as the gift of an Anonymous Donor. 2014. BMA 2014.29

Twenty-six narrative prints, many set in fictional worlds, are on view for the first time at the Baltimore Museum of Art in On Paper: Alternate Realities. The exhibition, open September 21, 2014-April 12, 2015, brings together American artists from across the country who have playfully exaggerated and reimaged the visual language of popular culture. The works consider larger societal issues while exploring myths, folk lore, religious stories, and fairy tales.

Among the prints featured are two complete portfolios by Raymond Pettibon and Trenton Doyle Hancock, as well as newly acquired works by Wangechi Mutu, Amy Cutler, Chitra Ganesh, Toshio Sasaki, Iona Rozeal Brown, and William Villalongo. At the center of the exhibition is an eight-panel, accordion bound work titled El Regreso del Caníbal Macrobiótico (The Return of the Macrobiotic Cannibal) (1998) by Enrique Chagoya. The colorful combination of woodcut, color lithograph, and chine-collé printing juxtaposes images of American comic book characters, Catholic iconography, medical illustrations, Mayans in overcoats, and alien spaceships.

On Paper will be presented in the revitalized contemporary wing’s third-floor gallery dedicated to the presentation of the BMA’s renowned holdings of prints, drawings, and photographs. This is the third exhibition from the Museum’s Thomas E. Benesch Memorial Collection, a group of more than 140 outstanding drawings by international contemporary artists.

Curated by Associate Curator of Prints, Drawings & Photographs Ann Shafer.

BMA Contemporary Wing

The BMA’s renovated contemporary wing features more than 100 objects—including paintings, sculpture, photography, works on paper, and video—presented thematically in galleries improved with state-of-the art lighting and new interiors. The contemporary wing, which opened in 1994, houses a significant collection of American art from the last six decades with major late paintings by Andy Warhol, as well as works by Jasper Johns, Donald Judd, Glenn Ligon, Bruce Nauman, and Anne Truitt. The museum also holds an outstanding group of works by influential international artists such as Olafur Eliasson, Thomas Hirschhorn, and Franz West, and artists whose work makes a profound social statement, including General Idea, Zoe Leonard, Josephine Meckseper, and Felix Gonzalez-Torres. Two new interactive galleries, The Big Table and Open Studio, encourage visitors to create, share, and connect with contemporary art, ideas, and artists. The first mobile art guide for the collection, BMA Go Mobile, includes fresh perspectives on more than 100 objects in the contemporary collection, as well as exclusive video and audio commentary by artists, curators, and others in Baltimore’s creative community.

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 97,000 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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