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Art after 1950

Collection presentation

In the 1950s, enlarging the collection of modernist works and branching out into contemporary art emerged as a central objective of the Kunstmuseum’s collection-building program. A donation from the Schweizerische National-Versicherungs-Gesellschaft, a major insurer, enabled the museum to buy four works by exponents of Abstract Expressionism for the collection in one fell swoop. This acquisition of contemporary American art put the Kunstmuseum Basel on the map as one of the leading progressive art museums of the time.

The presentation at the Neubau takes the legendary 1959 purchase as its point of departure to illuminate foci of our collection of art of the second half of the twentieth century. Iconic works by the Abstract Expressionists and the Minimalists are contextualized with more rarely seen treasures and new acquisitions. Arranged in loosely chronological order, the exhibition in eight rooms features artists with similar interests in materials, creative techniques, or themes.

Works by:

Shusaku Arakawa

Richard Artschwager

Carl André

John Baldessari

Georg Baselitz

Lynda Benglis

Joseph Beuys

Bill Bollinger

Lee Bontecou

Jonathan Borofsky

Alexander Calder

Eduardo Chillida

Sari Dienes

Dan Flavin

Sam Francis

Sam Gilliam

Guerrilla Girls

Shirley Jaffe

Jasper Johns

Donald Judd

On Kawara

Martin Kippenberger

Imi Knoebel

Sol LeWitt

Maria Lassnig

Roy Lichtenstein

Mario Merz

Bruce Nauman

Kenneth Noland

Claes Oldenburg

Blinky Palermo

Sigmar Polke

Jackson Pollock

Charlotte Posenenske

Robert Rauschenberg

Gerhard Richter

Ulrike Rosenbach

Dieter Roth

Mark Rothko

Kilian Rüthemann

Jan J. Schoonhoven

Richard Serra

Frank Stella

Clyfford Still

Mark Tobey

Cy Twombly

Andy Warhol

Lynette Yiadom-Boakye