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November 4, 2017 – May 6, 2018

Ed Paschke, Suture, 1985. Oil on linen, 42 x 80 inches. Collection of the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art. The Bill McClain Collection of Chicago Imagism.

BIG presents over thirty large-scale, modern and contemporary artworks from MMoCA’s permanent collection, including works by Sam Gilliam, Ellsworth Kelly, Robert Rauschenberg, and Jennifer Steinkamp. Historically, large-scale art was reserved for mural paintings in the narrative tradition, but soon artists adopted large canvases to capture new and big ideas—particularly the Abstract Expressionists in the 1950s. This shift to a larger scale demanded galleries and museums adjust their spaces and viewers alter their way of engaging with the work. Through these large works, artists created a physical experience that demanded the viewer’s attention.