Contemporary Collection to Open at Nasher Museum

Contemporary art from Nancy Nasher and David Haemisegger goes on display Feb. 18

Nasher Materials Hodgkin

Howard Hodgkin, Where Seldom is Heard a Discouraging Word, 2007–08. Oil on wood. Nancy A. Nasher and David J. Haemisegger Collection. Image courtesy of the artist and Gagosian Gallery, New York, New York. © Howard Hodgkin.

Highlights from a vast contemporary collection amassed over the past decade by Duke Law graduate Nancy Nasher and her husband, David Haemisegger, of Dallas go on public view for the first time at the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke.

“A Material Legacy: The Nancy A. Nasher and David J. Haemisegger Collection of Contemporary Art” explores two distinct legacies -- one of artists’ innovative use of materials, the other of philanthropy and collecting. The exhibition features 35 works of art made mostly in the past 10 years by international artists, and opens Thursday, Feb. 18. 

Large-scale sculptures by Huma Bhabha, Anthony Caro, Tony Cragg, Edmund de Waal, Anish Kapoor, Sol LeWitt and Rachel Whiteread are juxtaposed with paintings and drawings by Damien Hirst, Mark di Suvero, Julian Schnabel, Richard Serra, Kara Walker and Kehinde Wiley, among many others.

“There’s never been a show quite like this in our area, with such exquisite examples of a variety of artistic processes by so many ‘blue chip’ artists. The galleries are smashing,” said Sarah Schroth, Mary D.B.T. and James H. Semans Director of the Nasher Museum. “Nancy Nasher and David Haemisegger have been extremely bold in their choices. We can’t wait for visitors to see this collection.”

Nasher Materials Hundley

Elliott Hundley, eyes that run like leaping fire, 2011. Wood, soundboard, ink-jet print on Kitakata, string, pins, paper, photographs, plastic, wire, and found embroidery, Nancy A. Nasher and David J. Haemisegger Collection. Image courtesy of the artist, Regen Projects, Los Angeles, California, and Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York. © Elliott Hundley. Photo by Joshua White.

In “A Material Legacy,” visitors will discover a wide range of materials and textures, Schroth said. For example, Italian artist Giuseppe Penone juxtaposes white marble with acacia thorns in his 2006 work, “Pelle di marmo e spine d'acacia – Marta.” Another example, a 2011 sculpture by American ceramicist Ken Price, a painted bronze composite titled “Ceejay,”, has “a perfectly glazed matte surface of an amazing purple color,” Schroth said.

Monumental sculptures from the exhibition have transformed the Nasher Museum’s front lawn and Great Hall: a 12-foot-long sculpture by Katharina Grosse and three 15-foot water tower sculptures by Chilean artist Iván Navarro.

Nasher Materials Grosse

Katharina Grosse, Untitled, 2013. Acrylic on fiberglass reinforced plastic. Nancy A. Nasher and David J. Haemisegger Collection. © Katharina Grosse und VG Bild-Kunst Bonn.

“A Material Legacy” recognizes a legacy of patronage that began with the founding benefactors of the Nasher Museum, Raymond and Patsy Nasher. In Dallas, they ensured educational art experiences for the public when establishing NorthPark (1965), a shopping center filled with masterpieces from their collection, and the Nasher Sculpture Center (2003), an art museum dedicated to sculpture. Daughter and son-in-law Nancy Nasher (Duke Law ’79) and David Haemisegger continue this philanthropic spirit through their oversight of NorthPark and support of the Nasher Sculpture Center and the Nasher Museum of Art. 

The exhibition is on view through June 26 at Duke before traveling to the Princeton University Art Museum. 

Nasher Materials Navarro

Iván Navarro, BED (Water Tower), Ladder (Water Tower), and ME/WE (Water Tower) from the project This Land is Your Land, 2014. Neon, wood, painted steel, galvanized steel, aluminum, mirror, one-way mirror, and electric energy. Nancy A. Nasher and David J. Haemisegger Collection. Photo by J Caldwell.

“A Material Legacy” is organized by Marshall N. Price, Nancy Hanks Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art. The exhibition is accompanied by a 90-page fully illustrated catalogue, available in the Nasher Museum Store and distributed by Duke University Press.

Free programs and events will complement the exhibition, including the annual Rothschild Lecture by artist Alfredo Jaar on March 2 at 7 p.m.; Family Day events; public library talks; sketching in the gallery; a teacher workshop and more. 

“A Material Legacy” is made possible through the loaning of works from the Nancy A. Nasher and David J. Haemisegger Collection and with the support of the Nancy Hanks Endowment, Katie Thorpe Kerr (T’04) and Terrance I. R. Kerr, and Kelly Braddy Van Winkle (T’99) and Lance Van Winkle.

Nasher Material Hirst

Damien Hirst, Beautiful Superheroes Painting (with Butterflies), 2007. Butterflies and household gloss on canvas. Nancy A. Nasher and David J. Haemisegger Collection. © Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved, DACS, London / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York, New York 2015. Photo by Prudence Cuming Associates Ltd.

The Nasher Museum, at 2001 Campus Drive at Anderson Street on the Duke campus, is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday; 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Thursday; and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday. The museum is closed Mondays. 

Admission (except for ticketed exhibitions) is $5 for adults, $4 for seniors and members of the Duke Alumni Association with an ID card, $3 for non-Duke students with identification and free for children 15 and younger. Admission (except for ticketed exhibitions) is free to all on Thursday nights. Admission is free to Duke students, faculty and staff with a Duke ID, and to Nasher Museum members.

Below: Dan Walsh, Cycle X, 2013. Pencil and acrylic on canvas, 70 x 70 inches (177.8 x 177.8 cm). Nancy A. Nasher and David J. Haemisegger Collection. Image courtesy of the artist and Paula Cooper Gallery, New York, New York. © Dan Walsh. Photo by Steven Probert.

nasher material walsh