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'Untitled (Cadmium)' by Jean-Michel Basquiat

Modern and Contemporary Art

Modern and contemporary art at the High Museum traces the development of innovative visual languages since 1945 that have influenced how people perceive, understand, and interpret the world, its histories, and human experience.

Modern artists in the decades following World War II expanded on avant-garde forms in the first half of the century by exploring new perspectives and modes of expression. Toward the end of the century, contemporary artists rejected the singular point of view of a movement or style and began to treat art as a form of critical inquiry. Contemporary art has since assumed a multiplicity of forms to express varied experiences.

Modern and contemporary art at the High Museum provides a broad overview of the art of our time with outstanding examples of work by seminal artists, those just entering the canon, and emerging artists. The collection prominently features multiple works by artists such as Radcliffe Bailey, Alex Katz, and Ellsworth Kelly as well as a growing collection of significant individual works by artists including Michaël Borremans, Alfredo Jaar, Anish Kapoor, KAWS, Julie Mehretu, Judy Pfaff, Sarah Sze, and Kara Walker, with a special focus on work by African American artists.