Art of Today: Contemporary Collections from Chicago


Since the late 1960s, contemporary art has sought to challenge boundaries and engage a world that is rapidly becoming culturally diverse, technologically developed, and globalized. In the United States, Chicago serves as an important center for this kind of art. By working with Chicago-based artists, gallery owners, and collectors, Grand Valley State University has purposefully developed a collection of contemporary art over the last 15 years.

Drawn from GVSU’s collection and enhanced with additional loans from Chicago, Art of Today celebrates Grand Valley’s desire to share compelling imagery with the community. The exhibition brings together more than 40 paintings, prints, drawings, photographs, sculptures, and mixed media. This curation includes both bold and minimalistic works exploring simplicity in design, our relationship to the environment, and the intersection of pop culture and art by artists Alex Katz, Ellsworth Kelly, David Nash, and Takahashi Murakami. Other artists, such as Tony Fitzpatrick, Jane Hammond, Erika Rothenberg, and Kara Walker, provide challenging imagery that examines the meaning of identity, race, culture, and sexuality.

paper sculpture of clown suit with screen printed images on it

“Clown Suit,” (detail) by Jane Hammond, 1995. Sewn paper with 24 Color Lithograph, Silkscreen and Collage. GVSU Permanent Collection, Gift of William Lieberman, in memory of Byron Cohen, for his support and passion for contemporary art (2013.79.1).

etching of mike tyson on one knee

8-Count, by Tony Fitzpatrick, 1992. Etching on paper 12/25. GVSU Permanent Collection, Gift of the Janet Fleisher Investment Corporation (2017.12.76).

silhouette of person's profile looking up with microphone on cable hanging above mouth

Phone Sex, by Erika Rothenberg, 1991. Wood, cable, and metal. GVSU Permanent Collection, Gift of Richard (2009.6.2a-b).

Graphite/pencil portrait marred with streaks and symbols made with orange, yellow, red, brown, black crayon.

Fire or Obstinacy, by Arnulf Rainer, 1970. Wax crayon on photograph. GVSU Permanent Collection, Gift of Zolla/Lieberman Gallery (2008.482.1).


Art of Today is part of the 2019 GVSU Fall Arts Celebration. To find out more about GVSU Programs, our collectors, and artwork in the GVSU Permanent Collection check out the following resources:

text that reads fall arts celebration 2019

Hours and Location

GVSU Art Gallery
1121 Thomas J. and Marcia J. Haas Center for Performing Arts
Grand Valley State University
Allendale MI, 49401

M - F 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM 
THUR 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM 

Admission is free and open to the public.


For special accommodation, please call:

For exhibition inquires, please email:

For learning and engagement opportunities, please email: