With Testing Testing, the Ackland Art Museum highlights ways in which art made since 1960 has tested possibilities both within and beyond conventional boundaries of art-making. Through experimentation, innovation, and skill, artists have assessed the potential not only of new materials in new combinations, but also of traditional modes such as figuration and abstraction.
The largest presentation of the Ackland’s relatively unknown collection of modern painting and sculpture to date, the exhibition includes works by approximately 50 artists, including José Bedia, Sanford Biggers, Anthony Caro, Carlos Cruz-Diez, Thornton Dial, Barkley Hendricks, Rachel Howard, Annette Lemieux, Al Held, Hung Liu, Takashi Murakami, Kenneth Noland, Richard Nonas, Jules Olitski, Tony Oursler, Nam June Paik, Philip Pearlstein, Ken Price, Sean Scully, George Segal, Yinka Shonibare, Lorna Simpson, Do-Ho Suh, Stella Waitzkin, John Wesley, H.C. Westermann, and others.
Rather than offering a historical survey of developments, Testing Testing presents stimulating and evocative groupings, crossing cultures and chronologies. The bringing together of signature works, several important new acquisitions, and some surprises from storage affords the Museum the opportunity to test what a large-scale, long-term installation of modern and contemporary art at the Ackland might look like. Visitors are in turn invited to test their curiosity, imaginations, and responses when encountering an astonishingly diverse array of powerful, beautiful, puzzling, and liberating work.