Past Exhibitions

A complete list of exhibitions from 1979-2011 is available here

September 24, 2016 to January 8, 2017

Wisconsin Triennial 2016

This year's Wisconsin Triennial will open with a reception beginning at 6 pm on Friday, September 23. The exhibition will be on view in the museum's lobby, State Street Gallery, Imprint Gallery, main galleries, and rooftop sculpture garden through January 8, 2017. A cornerstone of MMoCA's exhibition programming, the Triennial captures the richness and variety of artistic expression across the state, and showcases significant themes being addressed within the contemporary art world.

June 4, 2016 to August 21, 2016

Our Good Earth

Drawn from the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art’s permanent collection, Our Good Earth is an exhibition that features a wide range of artworks in many media. The exhibition addresses the varied concerns of modern and contemporary artists for the natural world: from realist landscapes to abstraction, Conceptual art to Pop art, Our Good Earth illuminates how artists reveal the marvels of nature, express compassion for the fragile beauty of flora and fauna, and caution against threats to the natural world.

May 28, 2016 to September 4, 2016

Claire Stigliani: Half-Sick of Shadows

From May 28 through September 4, MMoCA will present Claire Stigliani: Half-Sick of Shadows, an exhibition featuring a new body of work by Brooklyn-based artist Claire Stigliani. Stigliani is known for her mixed-media drawings that fuse together references to fairytales, autobiography, and pop culture to interrogate contemporary notions of femininity. For her solo show at MMoCA, the artist is moving beyond the two dimensional surface of her luminous drawings by rendering them as three-dimensional, miniaturized sets, which Stigliani then uses to create stop-motion videos. 

May 14, 2016 to November 6, 2016

Compassionate Eye: The Art of Frances Myers

In tribute to Frances Myers (19362014), the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art presents an overview of her highly personal art that was grounded in a mastery of craft. Myers was an innovative printmaker as well as arts educator of distinction and great influence. For twenty-five years she taught generations of students in the Art Department of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, many of whom went on to distinguished careers in American academia.

April 29, 2016 to August 28, 2016

All‐Licensed Fool: Animations by Allison Schulnik and Wong Ping

On April 29, the Madison Museum of Contemporary art will open AllLicensed Fool: Animations by Allison Schulnik and Wong Ping, the first thematically curated exhibition to be presented in the museum’s Imprint Gallery. Wong Ping (b. Hong Kong, 1984) and Allison Schulnik (b. San Diego, 1978) both utilize experimental animation to create loose narratives set within beautifully strange worlds.

February 6, 2016 to May 22, 2016

Frank Stella Prints: A Retrospective

For over fifty years, Frank Stella has created a significant body of abstract art comprised of paintings, reliefs, sculptures, drawings, and prints. Frank Stella Prints: A Retrospective details the artist’s remarkable career as a printmaker. It presents, as evidence, over 100 prints that make apparent how his highly experimental endeavors have redefined the traditional print.

January 22, 2016 to April 24, 2016

William Kentridge: The Heart has Its Own Memory

From January 22 through April 24, 2016, MMoCA will present two films by South African artist William Kentridge. On loan from the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Felix in Exile (1994) and History of the Main Complaint (1996) are the fifth and sixth works, respectively, in Kentridge’s animated film series titled 9 Drawings for Projection, which address the history of South Africa's shift from apartheid to post-apartheid society.

December 5, 2015 to April 17, 2016

Curious Worlds: The Art of Ellen Lanyon

Drawing from its rich holdings of Chicago School art, MMoCA presents an exhibition devoted to the work of Ellen Lanyon, a celebrated painter and printmaker who grew up in Chicago and graduated from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1948. Lanyon’s work embodies a unique combination of the surreal and fantastic imagery characteristic of the Chicago-based Monster Roster of the 1950s, and the eccentric figuration and meticulous detail favored by the Chicago Imagists, whose work dominated the Chicago art scene in the later 1960s and 70s.

September 19, 2015 to January 10, 2016

Kim Schoen: Have You Never Let Someone Else Be Strong?

The inaugural exhibition in MMoCA's new Imprint Gallery, a space dedicated to presenting multimedia artwork, will be by L.A.-based artist Kim Schoen. Have You Never Let Someone Else Be Strong? Schoen’s first solo museum exhibition, will be on view to the public starting September 19, with an opening reception and artist-led roundtable discussion on Friday evening, September 18.

September 12, 2015 to January 3, 2016

Taking Their Place: Recent Acquisitions in Context

In celebration of the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art’s ten-year anniversary in its striking Cesar Pelli-designed building, MMoCA will present Taking Their Place: Recent Acquisitions in Context, on view September 12 through January 3. Drawn exclusively from the museum’s permanent collection, Taking Their Place highlights more than 50 works in various media that have entered MMoCA’s collection within the past decade, several of which are on display for the first time.

August 22, 2015 to November 8, 2015

Natasha Nicholson: The Artist in Her Museum

The work and world of Natasha Nicholson will be on view in Natasha Nicholson: The Artist in Her Museum at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, August 22 through November 8. Nicholson is known for her assemblages and involvement in the contemporary resurgence of Cabinets of Curiosities. This exhibition is a rare opportunity for visitors to view the work of an artist who, by her own admission, never leaves the role of artist, collector, and observer.

June 6, 2015 to April 17, 2016

Death in Venice: Warrington Colescott and Thomas Mann

A leading American printmaker and satirist, Warrington Colescott continues the tradition of Francisco Goya, William Hogarth, and Honoré Daumier. Residing in Wisconsin and long-affiliated with the Department of Art at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, he is widely known for his innovative use of intaglio techniques. In 1970, Aquarius Press (Baltimore, Maryland; New York) invited him to submit a list of texts he might wish to illustrate for a deluxe livre d’artiste—a tradition of matching author and artist that originated in Paris in the late nineteenth century.

June 6, 2015 to August 23, 2015


Coordinates draws upon the museum’s permanent collection to examine the use of number in modern and contemporary art. The word “coordinates” refers to a set of numbers that locates a point on a plane or in space. Its function is determinative. Numbers are for counting, measuring, labeling, coding, and theorizing on reality.

May 16, 2015 to July 19, 2015

Wisconsin Pastorale: The Early Paintings of Lois Ireland

In this exhibition, the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art presents a selection of Lois Ireland’s Wisconsin landscape paintings. Ireland, born in Waunakee, Wisconsin and spending the majority of her life in the state, is known for her regionalist scenes of the 1940s and 50s. In 1942, at the age of fourteen, she caught the attention of John Steuart Curry, the first artist-in-residence at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Curry encouraged her to study art and brought her into the newly-formed Wisconsin Regional Art Program.

March 28, 2015 to May 10, 2015

Young at Art 2015

Organized biennially, Young at Art presents works of art by Madison Metropolitan School District students in kindergarten through grade 12. The exhibition is the result of a long-standing collaboration between MMoCA and the school district’s Fine Arts Department. Each of Madison’s public school art teachers is invited to submit up to three works of art for the exhibition; these may include individual works as well as those made collaboratively.

February 7, 2015 to May 17, 2015

Eric and Heather ChanSchatz: 22nd Century

In February 2015, MMoCA will present an in-depth and multifaceted exhibition by Eric and Heather ChanSchatz, New York-based artists whose work has been shown across the United States and internationally. The artists’ first major museum survey, this exhibition will present large-scale paintings created in conjunction with international communities, including American soldiers in Iraq, coal miners in Pennsylvania, Cairo citizens in the Arab Spring, and stateless children in Thailand.

December 6, 2014 to March 15, 2015

Narayan Mahon: Lands in Limbo

In December 2014, the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art will present the first museum exhibition showcasing Narayan Mahon’s photographic journey through the unrecognized countries of Abkhazia, Northern Cyprus, Transnistria, Nagorno Karabakh, and Somaliland. With a selection of photographs from each of the artist’s five geographically-based series, Narayan Mahon: Lands in Limbo explores the day-to-day realities of living in countries that remain unacknowledged by the larger international community.

September 14, 2014 to January 4, 2015

From Here to There: Alec Soth's America

One of the most compelling voices in contemporary photography, Alec Soth captures offbeat images that uncover narratives of the American experience. From Here to There: Alec Soth’s America, the artist’s first major traveling survey in the United States, will be on view at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art from September 13, 2014 through January 4, 2015. This exhibition, which was organized by the Walker Art Center in Soth’s hometown of Minneapolis, explores 15 years of Soth’s career, from 1995 to 2010.

August 23, 2014 to November 9, 2014

Jason S. Yi: A Fragile Permanence

A site-specific exhibition by Jason S. Yi will be on view in the State Street Gallery and lobby of the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art from August 23 to November 9, 2014. Jason S. Yi: A Fragile Permanence draws on phenomenology, contemporary installation, and the art historical tradition of landscape painting. From the spiritual significance of East Asian mountain peaks to the rugged sublimity of the American West, Yi taps into cultural mythologies of landscape as a point of departure to address visual perception, physical experience, and cognitive uncertainty.

August 16, 2014 to May 31, 2015

StoryBook: Narrative in Contemporary Art

StoryBook explores how stories are communicated in contemporary art. To illustrate the diversity of narrative methods, the exhibition draws upon works from MMoCA’s permanent collection by such artists as Robert Barnes, Richard Bosman, Roger Brown, Warrington Colescott, Todd Hido, and Erik Weisenburger, among others. Like the contemporary novel and related literary forms, contemporary art has sustained, challenged, and expanded traditional narrative structures.

May 24, 2014 to August 24, 2014

Turn Turn Turn

Turn Turn Turn is an anthology of life’s joys and sorrows as visualized in modern and contemporary art. Inspired by the lyrical language of Ecclesiastes 3, which meditates on the circular nature of time as reflected in the seasons, the exhibition addresses the ongoing cycle of changing circumstances in the course of human events. Its title is taken from Turn! Turn! Turn! (To Everything There is a Season), a song Pete Seeger wrote in the late 1950s and whose lyrics came from the third chapter of Ecclesiastes in the King James Version (1611) of the Bible.