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December 2, 2017 – July 29, 2018

Jane Hammond, Irregular Plural II, 1995. Oil and paper collage on shaped canvas, 73 x 87 1/2 inches. Collection of the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art. Gift of Lillian Heidenberg. © Jane Hammond, New York.

In 1912, when Picasso and Braque glued newspaper clippings onto their cubist still-lifes they unwittingly ushered in a new era of wordplay into the history of modern art. The written word was abstracted from the structure of language and introduced as a graphic, artistic element. From the fragmented “word salads” of the Dadaists to the speech balloons of mid-century Pop art, artists have frequently used language, often ironic or enigmatic, to enhance the resonance of their work. In his screenprint Sin (1970), Ed Ruscha transforms the word into a mountainous object that looms over a trompe l’oeil rendering of an olive. According to Ruscha, “words are pattern-like, and in their horizontality they answer my investigation into landscape. They’re almost not words—they are objects that become words.” Art/Word/Image examines the use of language in art through selections from the permanent collection including works by Robert Cottingham, Bruce Nauman, Fred Stonehouse, and John Wilde.


Vielen Dank, Jonathan. Artist: Sally Behr. Date: 1978. Medium: mixed media.

Vielen Dank, Jonathan


Sally Behr

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Dukes Conversion. Artist: Harry Bouras. Date: 1962. Medium: welded steel in center of wood triptych, panels painted and stenciled.

Dukes Conversion


Harry Bouras

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Paris Separates. Artist: Patrick Caulfield. Date: 1973. Medium: screenprint.

Paris Separates


Patrick Caulfield

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Your Day in Court. Artist: Warrington Colescott. Date: 1971. Medium: Drypoint, etching, aquatint, woodcut, & soft-ground etching, w roulette, vibrograver, letterpress plate, & relief rolls through stencils.

Your Day in Court


Warrington Colescott

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M. Artist: Robert Cottingham. Date: 1975. Medium: graphite.



Robert Cottingham

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Declaration. Artist: William Dole. Date: 1968. Medium: collage.



William Dole

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Trou Verge. Artist: Jean Dupuy. Date: 1984. Medium: green and red paint on cloth.

Trou Verge


Jean Dupuy

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Baseball Cap. Artist: Vernon Fisher. Date: 1978. Medium: altered photographs.

Baseball Cap


Vernon Fisher

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Irregular Plural II. Artist: Jane Hammond. Date: 1995. Medium: oil and paper collage on shaped canvas.

Irregular Plural II


Jane Hammond

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Clear Vision. Artist: Bruce Nauman. Date: 1973. Medium: lithograph and screenprint.

Clear Vision


Bruce Nauman

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ZZZIT. Artist: Jim Nutt. Date: 1970. Medium: acrylic on metal (double-sided).



Jim Nutt

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Sin. Artist: Edward Ruscha. Date: 1970. Medium: screenprint.



Edward Ruscha

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Scratched in Sand. Artist: David Russick. Date: 1992. Medium: acrylic on canvas.

Scratched in Sand


David Russick

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I Thought I Was in Paradise. Artist: Hollis Sigler. Date: 1995. Medium: oil on canvas with painted frame.

I Thought I Was in Paradise


Hollis Sigler

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AAIEEE!. Artist: Ray Yoshida. Date: 1996. Medium: collage.



Ray Yoshida

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