Past Exhibitions

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

September 2, 2017 to November 12, 2017

Chele Isaac: the understory

Chele Isaac is a Madison-based artist who combines moving images and sound to create fully immersive, multimedia environments. Through a careful balance of texture, tone, and repetition, Isaac weaves together elliptical cinematic narratives that eschew traditional storylines and function instead to elicit feelings of the uncanny.

The understory, a seven-channel installation projected in the round, explores interstitial moments, overlooked details, and tenuous connections that investigate the indifference of nature and one's relationship to our changing environment. 

August 11, 2017 to December 3, 2017

Rashaad Newsome: ICON

Rashaad Newsome is a New York based artist whose multidisciplinary practice combines collage, video, music, computer programming, and performance. On view in the museum’s Imprint Gallery, this exhibition focuses solely on the video-based component of the artist’s larger practice, and highlights works that showcase his engagement with the dance phenomenon of voguing.

June 17, 2017 to December 17, 2017

Sonja Thomsen: in the space of elsewhere

Milwaukee-based artist Sonja Thomsen brings her photographic way of seeing to MMoCA’s lobby and Icon in a new commissioned installation titled in the space of elsewhere. Mobilizing the properties of light and time, she created an immersive environment that plays with the way light and shadow interact with the museum’s soaring architectural features.

June 10, 2017 to October 15, 2017

Taking Sides

“A poet’s work is to name the unnamable, to point at frauds, to take sides, start arguments, shape the world, and stop it from going to sleep.”  - Salman Rushdie, 1989

Taking Sides explores the tradition of social critique in modern and contemporary art. Drawn from the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art permanent collection, its title is taken from a quote of Salman Rushdie, the renowned novelist and essayist.

May 20, 2017 to August 6, 2017

Digital Aura

Stemming from a shared interest in fostering a dynamic local arts scene through creative collaboration, Madison Museum of Contemporary Art (MMoCA)  and Arts + Literature Laboratory (ALL) have created a partnership to grow audiences and increase the presentation of digital-based arts throughout the city. The inaugural joint project between MMoCA and ALL is Digital Aura, an exhibition of single-channel video works on view at MMoCA from May 20 through August 6, and at ALL from May 5 through July 29. 

May 6, 2017 to August 13, 2017

Kambui Olujimi: Zulu Time

The Madison Museum of Contemporary presents a solo exhibition of new work by Kambui Olujimi, a Brooklyn native whose multi-disciplinary practice calls attention to the assumptions that underlie our understanding of the world at large. In Kambui Olujimi: Zulu Time, the artist explores, among other concerns, the interlocking systems of power and invisible hierarchies that impact our daily lives.

February 11, 2017 to April 23, 2017

Young at Art

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 Arts Education 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 11, 2017 to May 14, 2017

Do Ho Suh

Do Ho Suh (b. 1962, Seoul, South Korea) is internationally acclaimed for meticulous, mesmerizing sculptures and installations that relate to his personal experiences living in both Eastern and Western cultures. Suh's move from South Korea to the United States in 1991 to attend the Rhode Island School of Design inspired his focus on the house as a primary subject.

December 2, 2016 to November 12, 2017

Reconfigured Reality: Contemporary Photography from the Permanent Collection

Reconfigured Reality: Contemporary Photography from the Permanent Collection, drawn from the museum’s permanent collection, presents an overview of developments since 1970 that have helped define contemporary photography. From the time it was commercially introduced in 1839, photography has undergone continuous technical and conceptual changes—from the first daguerreotypes to today’s digital prints.

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.