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Feb 10 - Aug 4, 2024

Carolina Aranibar-Fernández: Oleaje

Oleaje [Groundswell] features new large-scale installation works by Bolivian-born artist Carolina Aranibar-Fernández that map and memorialize the rippling effects of a coercive global trade industry.

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Feb 3 - Jul 21, 2024

Dorothy Fratt: Color Mirage

Color Mirage is the first major U.S. museum exhibition on the prolific, yet underrecognized, American painter Dorothy Fratt.

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Sep 23, 2023 - Jul 28, 2024

Roelof Knol: the space in between

In this new immersive installation, emerging Dutch artist Roelof Knol creates a playful, interactive, audiovisual experience that invites the viewer to explore their relationship between digital and physical spaces.

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Sep 22, 2023 - Aug 25, 2024

Kenaim Al-Shatti: Dreams Don’t Have Time

In this new large-scale video installation, Kenaim Al-Shatti transforms physical space into a colorful, dreamlike environment, wherein you can immerse yourself.

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Sep 22, 2023 - Aug 25, 2024

Roelof Knol: paper shapes

Roelof Knol’s dynamic small-scale installation paper shapes responds when viewers interact with it by placing shapes within the projection.

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Dec 14, 2018 - Aug 1, 2024

Janel Garza: Environ

As the title suggests, the new mural unveiled at SMoCA, Environ was designed to reflect multiple features that directly surround the space.

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Aug 10, 2024 - Jan 5, 2025

Exploding Native Inevitable

Exploding Native Inevitable is an exhibition of the work of twelve contemporary Indigenous artists and two collaboratives, accompanied by a program of dance, film, music, performance, readings, storytelling, and video by Indigenous artists from a land we now call America.

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Aug 10, 2024 - Mar 23, 2025

poetics of dissonance 

Situated on the cusp of another pivotal election, poetics of dissonance presents eighteen artists from the SMoCA collection whose work navigates the tumultuous landscape of socio-political discourse.

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Aug 17, 2024 - Jan 19, 2025

Brains and Beauty: At the Intersection of Art and Neuroscience 

Brains and Beauty: At the Intersection of Art and Neuroscience is a visual exploration of neuroaesthetics, the new and rapidly expanding field of research that combines neuroscience and psychology to study the neural processes of aesthetic experience. 

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Aug 24, 2024 - Jan 19, 2025

Cybele Lyle: Floating Seeds Make Deep Forms 

Floating Seeds Make Deep Forms is a site-specific installation that responds to deserts in the North American Southwest as non-places—liminal expanses for ambiguity within a regenerative ecosystem.

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Feb 22 - Aug 24, 2025


transfeminisms is a major survey touring show that brings to light a multiplicity of urgent, pressing, and ongoing issues faced by women and queer and trans people across the globe.

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May 1 - May 31, 2024

Roadside Attraction: Challenging Reality Now @SMoCA 

ArtFarm Phoenix is an artist collective with the goals of creating exhibition opportunities for artists and supporting initiatives that make art accessible to everyone.

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Mar 27 - Jun 23, 2024

Tiffany Trenda: Beyond Performance 

Beyond Performance is an ongoing series of images by Tiffany Trenda that ventures into the realm of performance art and artificial intelligence.

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Sep 23, 2023 - Jan 7, 2024

Earth and Sky

The exhibition highlights artworks primarily from SMoCA’s Collection that touch on how humans inhabit, construct, or perceive various environments.

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Sep 16, 2023 - Jan 7, 2024

Christina Fernandez: Multiple Exposures

Multiple Exposures presents a survey of the work of Christina Fernandez, a crucially important Los Angeles-based artist, who has spent more than 30 years in an exploration of gender, labor, migration, and her Mexican American identity through photographic storytelling.

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May 12 - Aug 6, 2023

Visions ’23

Visions is a year-long invitational visual arts program that has been provided to Valley teens for 24 years. In collaboration with six high schools, students attended monthly workshops conducted by professional artists, toured universities, and connected with exhibitions offered by SMoCA.

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Mar 4 - Aug 27, 2023

Language in Times of Miscommunication

This exhibition presents artworks that use various forms of language to critically examine the complexities of social reality during times of rampant miscommunication.

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Nov 4, 2022 - Feb 16, 2023

The Air Around Us 

The Air Around Us is an arts and engineering initiative that aspires to increase the visibility of poor air quality conditions across the Phoenix metropolitan area.

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Oct 29, 2022 - Jan 14, 2024

Phillip K. Smith III: Three Parallels

Southern California artist Phillip K. Smith III creates a site-specific, commissioned work that highlights changes in perception as related to light, color, time, and space.

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Oct 22, 2022 - Apr 30, 2023

Inside Job: Staff Selections from the SMoCA Collection  

Inside Job offers unique perspectives on the SMoCA Collection by those who work most closely with it. Through personal stories and anecdotes, Scottsdale Arts staff members encourage visitors to explore the human connections we make with contemporary art.  

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Oct 1, 2022 - Feb 12, 2023

In Our Time: Selections from the Singer Collection

In Our Time is a focused look at 27 global contemporary artists from the Iris and Adam Singer Collection.

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Apr 16 - Oct 9, 2022

Teresa Baker: Capturing Space

Capturing Space features large-scale mixed media wall works by Los Angeles-based Mandan/Hidatsa artist Teresa Baker.

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Feb 26 - Oct 9, 2022

Brad Kahlhamer: Swap Meet

New York City-based Native American artist Brad Kahlhamer draws his inspiration from the ethnographic experience of fieldwork at swap meets throughout the Southwest, fueling an artistic practice in varying mediums of painting, drawing, sculpture, installation, performance, and music.

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Feb 12 - Sep 4, 2022

Beverly McIver: Full Circle

This survey exhibition presents more than 50 works that demonstrate the diversity of Beverly McIver’s thematic approach to painting over 25 years.

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Oct 30, 2021 - Apr 10, 2022

Pixel-by-Pixel: Interventions by Luke Murphy

Luke Murphy subverts and liberates technology through repurposing and recontextualizing it to reveal its innate humanity.

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Oct 30, 2021 - Apr 3, 2022

SMoCA Collection / Recent Acquisitions

A selection of the newest works acquired for the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMoCA) collection within the past year.

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Sep 11, 2021 - Jan 23, 2022

Forever Becoming: Young Phoenix Artists

Forever Becoming: Young Phoenix Artists presents new work by artists under, or near, the age of 30 who are based in Phoenix, Arizona. The works in this exhibition speak to the resilience and determination of a new generation of artists who expose the complexities of becoming within the rapidly evolving ethos of today. This exhibition […]

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Sep 4, 2021 - Jan 23, 2022

Mimi O Chun: It’s all cake

New York-based artist Mimi O Chun’s soft sculptures act as moments in which we are most accurately able to glimpse ourselves and the world in which we live.

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May 8, 2021 - Jan 30, 2022

Voice-Over: Zineb Sedira

In her solo-exhibition Voice-Over, Sedira creates a new iteration for SMoCA of Standing Here Wondering Which Way to Go, an installation first shown at the Jeu de Paume in Paris in 2019. Zineb Sedira will be the first artist of African descent to represent France at the 2022 Venice Biennale.

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May 8 - Oct 17, 2021

And It’s Built on the Sacred

And It’s Built on the Sacred is an installation by Jacob A. Meders (Mechoopda/Maidu) that reflects on the gentrification of Indigenous land and the handling of unwanted Euro-American religious objects.

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Feb 20 - Aug 22, 2021

Division of Labor: Women Shifting a Transnational Gaze

The Museum invites Arizona-based artists M. Jenea Sanchez and Gabriela Muñoz to participate in a critical engagement with the SMoCA Collection, a first in the Museum's history.

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Feb 20 - Aug 22, 2021

Diedrick Brackens: ark of bulrushes

ark of bulrushes presents a new body of work by artist Diedrick Brackens that includes handwoven tapestries and sculptural weavings.

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Oct 3, 2020 - Jan 17, 2021

Urban Mapping: Public Space Through the Lens of Contemporary Iranian Artists

An exhibition that explores aspects of the Iranian experience through photography and video art by ten artists focusing on using urban space as a nexus of social communication and political transformation.

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Oct 3 - Dec 3, 2020

Nina Katchadourian Monument to the Unelected

Created specifically for the Museum's 10th anniversary exhibition Seriously Funny, Nina Katchadourian’s installation Monument to the Unelected takes the form of signs resembling those typically displayed on street corners during political campaigns.

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Oct 3, 2020 - Apr 18, 2021

BEYOND: Works by Nellie King Solomon and Barbara Stauffacher Solomon

For the exhibition at SMoCA, and for the first time, the work of mother and daughter artist is shown in proximity.

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Oct 3, 2020 - Apr 18, 2021

Gohar Dashti | Land/s

Influenced by human-geographical narratives, Land/s questions the physicality of borders within nature and instead attempts to make connections between two versions of “home.”

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May 31, 2020 - Oct 17, 2021

Kristin Bauer: Untitled Gestures #4 and #5

Multimedia artist Kristin Bauer’s new series of text installations—Untitled Gestures (2020)—are poetic phrases that aim to facilitate a feeling of human connection within an atmosphere of concern about physical contact.

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Mar 10 - Jun 11, 2020

Intersection Series: Person and Dog/High Rise Building, 2002

John Baldessari artwork currently on loan to the Museum.

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Feb 15, 2020 - Jan 17, 2021

Unapologetic: All Women, All Year

This yearlong collection show that highlights powerful works by women artists in conjunction with the national platform Feminist Art Coalition (FAC) is now available to view online.

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Feb 1 - Sep 6, 2020

Design Transfigured/Waste Reimagined

An exhibition of international designers that position environmental concerns and sustainability at the center of their process.

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Nov 7, 2019 - May 25, 2020


Squidsoup returns to SMoCA with a site-specific artwork that uses a networked data system to connect hundreds of lights and audio sources, creating a responsive data swarm around the Museum.

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Oct 26, 2019 - Jan 19, 2020

Counter-Landscapes: Performative Actions from the 1970s – Now

Counter-Landscapes: Performative Actions from the 1970s – Now presents a group of artists working in both natural and urban environments whose work exploits the power of place to address issues of social, environmental, and personal transformation.

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Jun 8 - Oct 6, 2019

Mutual Reality: Art on the Edge of Technology

This exhibition presents the multiple ways in which we, as users, interact with an artwork and the response or output the artwork provides in return.

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Jun 8 - Oct 13, 2019

Back Round by Aakash Nihalani

This season, artist Aakash Nihalani brings an all-new work to SMoCA Lounge, transforming the space into a large interactive installation for the public.

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May 25 - Oct 13, 2019

Divergent Materiality: Contemporary Glass Art

Divergent Materiality: Contemporary Glass Art highlights contemporary glass artists—both masters and emerging—whose innovative approaches to using glass have advanced the medium’s discourse within contemporary art.

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May 18 - Oct 13, 2019

southwestNET: Shizu Saldamando

SMoCA premieres new work by artist Shizu Saldamando as part of the eighteenth iteration of a series that presents mid-career artists from the Southwest region of the United States and Mexico. Sponsored by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.

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Feb 16 - May 19, 2019

Now Playing: Video 1999 – 2019

To launch a yearlong 20th anniversary celebration, SMoCA premieres Now Playing: Video 1999-2019, an exhibition featuring video art sampled from the last 20 years.

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Oct 27, 2018 - Feb 3, 2019

Double Agents: Carla Fernández and Pedro Reyes

Double Agents: Carla Fernández and Pedro Reyes is a collaborative exhibition that envisions an alternative future. The exhibition features recent works by two of Mexico’s most prominent artists who happen to be partners in life. For the first time ever they work on an artistic collaboration in the form of protest posters, accompanied by individual works […]

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Oct 27, 2018 - Feb 3, 2019

Video Works: M. Jenea Sanchez

SMoCA is excited to be screening three videos by local artist M. Jenea Sanchez, this fall in SMoCA Lounge. Growing up on the border, M. Jenea Sanchez (Douglas, Arizona; born 1985) inserts herself between, among, and outside of the American and Mexican culture status quo. As the sociopolitical climate of the border region remains controversial, […]

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Oct 13, 2018 - Jan 20, 2019

NKAME: A Retrospective of Cuban Printmaker Belkis Ayón (1967-1999)

The Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art presents Nkame, a solo exhibition of the late Cuban printmaker Belkis Ayón (1967-1999), who produced an extraordinary body of work central to the history of contemporary printmaking.

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Jun 9 - Oct 14, 2018

Lydia Okumura: Situations

This is the first solo museum exhibition of the Brazilian-born artist that showcases her dynamic installations, indoor and outdoor sculptures, and works on paper. The exhibition, spanning two galleries, is a survey of Okumura’s career, with work dating from 1971 through today. Known widely in Brazil for her spatially engaging work, Okumura remains under-recognized in […]

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May 30 - Sep 2, 2018

Murals by James Marshall (a.k.a. Dalek)

Artist James Marshall (a.k.a. Dalek), recognized for his colorful geometric abstractions and often associated with skateboard and graffiti subcultures, was commissioned by SMoCA and Scottsdale Public Art to create murals for the Museum. Marshall (Dalek) is also known for his past apprenticeship with the renowned contemporary Japanese artist Takashi Murakami, whose style has been cited as a […]

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May 30 - Sep 2, 2018

James Marshall: Radiate

James Marshall (a.k.a. Dalek) United States, born 1968 Radiate, 2014—2018 Latex paint on wall Watch a video on the painting process! Working with restricted formal elements—a limited palette of yellows, oranges, fuchsias and deep purple as well as a composition of calculated, repeating forms—artist James Marshall generates a visual pulse in SMoCA Lounge. His energetic […]

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May 26 - Sep 30, 2018

Refik Anadol: Infinity Room

In this immersive installation by Turkish-born, Los Angeles-based artist Refik Anadol, museum guests will step into a mirrored room that uses light, sound and technology to create a three-dimensional kinetic and architectonic space. The installation uses projection mapping to conceive a constantly changing virtual landscape — an imagined environment that attempts to merge the space […]

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May 19 - Sep 30, 2018

Wild Thing: Adventures with the Permanent Collection

Featuring more than 130 artworks from SMoCA’s permanent collection, Wild Thing celebrates all things animal—a menagerie in print, paint and sculpture. This thematic, playful exhibition explores the relationship between artist and animal and its enduring relevance in contemporary art, inviting visitors to discover works from notable Arizona artists such as Mayme Kratz, Randy Slack and […]

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Feb 17 - May 13, 2018

Today’s Norms Are Tomorrow’s Luxuries Luis Alfonso Villalobos

The first US solo exhibition of Guadalajara-based artist Luis Alfonso Villalobos features painting, video, and installation that opens an inquiry into the functions of architecture and art, while also expanding into ideas of history and place. A large-scale installation integrates paintings within a complex built environment. With references to Modern architecture and design, Villalobos brings […]

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Feb 10 - May 20, 2018

southwestNET: Acid Baroque

Mexican-American painter Claudio Dicochea works at the intersection of colonialism, art history and contemporary popular culture in order to re-examine the concept of mestizaje or mixed race identity as well as the issue of media stereotyping today. Using the Casta painting model as a framing device for his resolutely contemporary works, Dicochea engages a broad […]

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Feb 3 - May 27, 2018

Akunnittinni: A Kinngait Family Portrait

Loosely translated, the Inuktitut word akunnittinni means “between us.” This exhibition chronicles a visual conversation among an Inuk grandmother, mother and daughter: Pitseolak Ashoona (1904 – 1983), Napachie Pootoogook (1938 – 2002) and Annie Pootoogook (1969 – 2016). Their artworks provide a personal and cultural history of three generations of Inuit women whose art practices included autobiographical […]

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Oct 14, 2017 - Jan 28, 2018

Repositioning Paolo Soleri: The City Is Nature

In October 2017, SMoCA will unveil an unprecedented retrospective of seminal American artist and architect Paolo Soleri (1919 – 2013). Over his sixty-year career, Soleri explored thousands of possibilities for the urban built environment in drawings, architectural models, sketchbooks, sculptures, prints and photographs. His pioneering idea “arcology,” or the fusion of architecture and ecology, proved […]

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Oct 1 - Jan 8, 2017

Push Comes to Shove: Women and Power

A cross-disciplinary collaboration between SMoCA and ASU Intermedia Professor Muriel Magenta, Ph.D., Push Comes to Shove: Women and Power aims to use art as a critical catalyst in rethinking and transforming the advancement of women. The exhibition will feature 19 artists whose works deal with the themes and issues of how women exercise and think about power. […]

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Sep 23, 2017 - Jan 21, 2018

Marking the Infinite: Contemporary Women Artists From Aboriginal Australia

The Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art presents Marking the Infinite: Contemporary Women Artists From Aboriginal Australia, featuring the work of nine contemporary women artists hailing from remote Aboriginal areas: Nonggirrnga Marawili, Wintjiya Napaltjarri, Yukultji Napangati, Angelina Pwerle, Carlene West, Regina Pilawuk Wilson, Lena Yarinkura, Gulumbu Yunupingu and Nyapanyapa Yunupingu. This leg of the national tour features the […]

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May 20 - Sep 10, 2017

I’m Sorry But It’s Hard to Imagine

Inspired by the spirit of the Fluxus movement, this exhibition experiments with shaping new experiences by provoking unexpected connections between artworks and embracing vulnerability through chance. The juxtaposition of works from the SMoCA collection with one of Nam June Paik’s iconic TV sculptures provides new contexts for interaction and conversation. The provocative relationships between the […]

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May 13 - Sep 24, 2017

[dis]functional: Products of Conceptual Design

Walk the line between art and design. This exhibition showcases a selection of objects that playfully question the expected utilitarian roles of “good design” and its relationship to art. The works ignore traditional views of mass consumption and emphasize non-essential luxury that straddle the territories of art and design. The beauty of the dysfunctional encourages […]

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May 6 - Sep 24, 2017

Ocean of Light: Submergence – A Squidsoup Project

Immerse yourself in an ocean of light. Squidsoup’s installation uses light-based data visualization to create an augmented reality environment that challenges the spatial and the sculptural and provides a context for understanding just how immense data can be. Squidsoup is a U.K.-based collective consisting of Anthony Rowe, Gaz Bushell, Liam Birtles, Chris Bennewith and Oliver […]

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Feb 11 - Apr 30, 2017

I Remember Not Remembering

Remembrance of things past is not necessarily the remembrance of things as they were. —Marcel Proust (1871 – 1922), In Search of Lost Time: Swann’s Way, 1913 We devise the stories of our lives from a mix of recollection and fabrication amidst a web of relationships: parents, children, siblings, friends and lovers. I Remember Not Remembering presents […]

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Jan 21 - Apr 23, 2017

The Kindness of Strangers: Recent Acquisitions and Conservation Projects

The Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMoCA) holds in trust a collection of 1,834 artworks by 640 artists for the people of the City of Scottsdale. In this exhibition, we highlight many of our exciting recent acquisitions and celebrate some of our intriguing conservation projects as we continue the important work of understanding, documenting and […]

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Oct 15, 2016 - Jan 22, 2017

Architecture + Art: Everything Falls Into Place When It Collapses

Mexico City-based artist Santiago Borja works internationally at the intersection of art, architecture and ethnography. He is known for creating large-scale installations and architectural interventions that cross cultural boundaries and contrast traditional crafts with contemporary theory and modernist design. Architecture + Art: Everything Falls into Place When It Collapses is Borja’s site-specific project in response to the […]

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Oct 3 - Jan 10, 2016

Architecture + Art Chris Fraser: Looking Back

Oakland-based artist Chris Fraser brings his experiments in light, shadow and movement to the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art’s fourth iteration of the groundbreaking series, Architecture + Art. Inspired by Arizona’s exquisite sky and the experimental architecture found at Biosphere II, Kitt Peak National Observatory and Arcosanti—Fraser will create a luminous room-sized environmental sculpture. Among the […]

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Oct 3 - Jan 31, 2016

Architecture + Art Chris Fraser: Aura

Chris Fraser’s outdoor sculpture, Aura, will remain on view through January 31, 2016. Oakland-based artist Chris Fraser brings his experiments in light, shadow and movement to the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art’s fourth iteration of the groundbreaking series, Architecture + Art. Inspired by Arizona’s exquisite sky and the experimental architecture found at Biosphere II, Kitt Peak National […]

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Sep 12 - Jan 10, 2016

Kelly Richardson: Tales on the Horizon

Drama and stillness, beauty and strangeness, hard science and science fiction—these dualities come together in the work of Kelly Richardson. Taking cues from 19th-century landscape painting, 20th-century cinema, and 21st-century planetary research, the artist crafts video installations that offer imaginative glimpses into the future and prompt a careful consideration of the present. Richardson sees science […]

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Jun 6 - Feb 13, 2016

Jennifer Marman and Daniel Borins: The Collaborationists

Jennifer Marman and Daniel Borins: The Collaborationists showcases the ambitious kinetic sculptures, paintings, installations and sound art in the Canadian artists’ largest exhibition to date. The Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art is the only museum in the United States to present this groundbreaking installation. The artists utilize unusual materials—including mechanized window blinds, motors and custom software, as […]

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Jun 4 - Sep 18, 2016

southwestNET Sama Alshaibi: Silsila

Sama Alshaibi’s (b. 1973, Basra, Iraq) epic series of photographs and videos is named for the Arabic word silsila, or “link”—a simple noun describing a point of connection. As a verb, “link” also describes the act of joining two discrete units. Silsilarepresents the joining of individuals to one another, humans with the natural world, and the […]

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Jun 4 - Sep 18, 2016

Public Trust: It’s About What We Do

According to the Association of Art Museum Directors, the body that governs museum standards and practices in the United States, an art museum is a permanent, not-for-profit institution—essentially educational and humanistic in purpose—that studies and cares for works of art and on some schedule exhibits and interprets them for the public. However, the publicly visible […]

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May 21 - Oct 2, 2016

Mel Roman: Coming Out Under Fire

Artist, civil rights activist and clinical psychologist Mel Roman (American, 1927 – 2002) had an accomplished 50 year-career uniting provocative visual art, explicit political critique and the scientific study of the human psyche. A straight, white man, Roman’s life’s work focused on achieving social justice for the disenfranchised. In 2000, SMoCA presented the artist’s controversial […]

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May 16, 2016 - Sep 13, 2015

Collective Dissent: The SMS Portfolios

In 1968, artist William Copley launched a utopian project that he titled slyly, but emphatically, SMS—an acronym for “Shit Must Stop.” Intended to sidestep the hierarchical system of museums and galleries, SMS offered collectors a bi-monthly portfolio of artwork by subscription. Every two months, for the annual price of $125, subscribers to this experimental publication received a small […]

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May 14 - Oct 2, 2016

Permanent Collection / Impermanent Museum

Peel back the layers, peer behind the curtain and peruse the collected ephemera that remains after an exhibition has been packed up and shipped out of the museum. Permanent Collection / Impermanent Museum explores the physical residue of the first seventeen years of SMoCA’s exhibition history. Looking down, the footprints of past artworks remain visible on the gallery […]

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Mar 3 - Apr 12, 2016

James Marshall’s Spring Break

Enjoy spring break fun here at SMoCA with games and activities inspired by artist James Marshall (a.k.a Dalek). Last spring, Marshall transformed SMoCA Lounge with his dynamic mural Radiate. In the process of completing that project, he often commented that he wished the space could be activated with games, movies, and—his most frequent request—pink Astro Turf. […]

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Jan 31 - Apr 26, 2016

southwestNET: Postcommodity

Postcommodity—the transdisciplinary American Indian arts collective comprising Raven Chacon, Cristóbal Martínez, Kade L. Twist and Nathan Young—present two monumental installations: Promoting a More Just, Verdant and Harmonious Resolution (2011) and Pollination (2015) that question common national narratives and the commodification of nature, history and culture.   Organized by the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art Sponsored by Botanicare and Tamar […]

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Jan 30 - May 1, 2016

Betye Saar: Still Tickin’

There is a touch of alchemy to Betye Saar’s artwork: transforming the simple and mundane into powerful art. Since the 1960s, her compelling, astute and expressive works reflect on African- American identity, spirituality and the interconnectedness between different cultures. This timely retrospective brings together recent work as well as historical pieces created over her six […]

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Jan 24 - Apr 19, 2016

Afghan War Rugs: The Modern Art of Central Asia

In Spring 2015, the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art presents the most distinct collection of Afghan war rugs in the world. Afghan War Rugs: The Modern Art of Central Asia brings to the United States more than 30 large and small-scale contemporary weavings from Afghanistan. These compelling examples of contemporary craft—traditionally made by women artists and sold […]

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Sep 28 - Jan 11, 2015

Covert Operations: Investigating the Known Unknowns

Covert Operations: Investigating the Known Unknowns is the first major survey of a generation of artists working in the violent and uncertain decade following the 9/11 terrorist attacks to collect and reveal previously unreported information. This group of international artists includes Ahmed Basiony, Thomas Demand, Hasan Elahi, Harun Farocki, Jenny Holzer, Trevor Paglen and Taryn Simon. […]

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May 30 - Aug 30, 2015


The fresh and provocative artworks presented in MetaModern refer literally and conceptually to modernist design objects of the mid-century. These historic objects have gained the status of icons. It is a testament to their enduring power that they now catalyze a generation of artists too young to have experienced modernism firsthand. The notion of modernist design and […]

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May 4 - May 17, 2015

Street Art Moves Inside

Lalo Cota, Pablo Luna, Mando Rascon, Thomas”Breeze” Marcus, Joshua Rhodes, Alex Votichenko, J.B. Snyder, Volar, Mr. Matt, 21 Rak, Pezer, Tyson, Mes, Fyce, Move, Gerb, Such Styles, Champ, Gennaio, Niba DelCastillo and Angel Diaz transform SMoCA, using the galleries as their canvas.

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Jan 14 - Mar 1, 2015

James Marshall’s Winter Break

School may be back in session, but winter break fun continues in SMoCA Lounge with games and activities inspired by artist James Marshall (a.k.a Dalek). This past spring, Marshall transformed the Lounge with his dynamic mural Radiate. In the process of completing that project, he often commented to Museum staff that he wished the space could […]

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Oct 12 - Jan 26, 2014

Julianne Swartz: How Deep Is Your

Acclaimed for her unique blend of high and low-tech materials, artist Julianne Swartz often makes the ephemeral presence of the viewer fundamental to her work. Her art quietly celebrates contradictions and dichotomies that invite us to slow down and sharpen our senses. With lenses, she transforms mundane objects and hidden locations into magical moving pictures. […]

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Sep 21 - Jan 12, 2014

Narrow Road to the Interior: Contemporary Japanese Artists

The months and days are the travelers of eternity. The years that come and go are also voyagers. —Matsuo Bashō (1644-94), from Oku no Hosomichi (Narrow Road to the Interior), 1689 The 17th-century Zen Buddhist masterwork of prose and haiku, Narrow Road to the Interior, takes readers on a pilgrimage—both worldly and immaterial. The contemporary artists in this […]

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Sep 2 - Sep 22, 2014

Prologue: Covert Operations

Want to spy on the curator? Check out the current events, news, politics and art she’s following while she prepares the fall exhibitions Prologue and Covert Operations.         Prologue is a companion to the upcoming exhibition Covert Operations: Investigating the Known Unknowns, on view at SMoCA September 27, 2014 – January 11, 2015. As the terrorist attacks […]

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Jun 24 - May 4, 2014

Janis Leonard: Beneath the Wave

Janis Leonard United States, born Canada, 1959–2014 Beneath the Wave, 2011 – 2014 Latex paint, packing pallets, vinyl upholstery, telephone, audio recording, and video Scottsdale artist and designer Janis Leonard created SMoCA Lounge’s inaugural installation in 2011. The Red Room was vivid in color and innovative in its use of retrofitted packing pallets. Suspended from […]

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May 24 - Aug 24, 2014

Linear Thinking: Selections from the Permanent Collection

In so many ways, lines structure our thinking about the world. We call the contours of things around us outlines and the edge of what we can see the horizon line. Our verbal statements are written in lines of text. Our professional field is our line of work. We conceptualize order in terms of finish lines and bottom lines. […]

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May 17 - Sep 7, 2014

Bill Owens: Suburbia

Bill Owens’s Suburbia (1973) is a series of strange and compelling photographs that reveal the complexities of the American middle-class landscape. Utilizing a straightforward and direct photographic style, Owens documented the customs, symbols and social dynamics of various Northern California housing developments. With an eye for humor, he confirmed assumptions of its perceived banality, uniformity and careless […]

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May 6 - Aug 17, 2014

Olafur Eliasson: Beauty

You loved it so much, we’re keeping it longer. Olafur Eliasson’s exquisite and enigmatic installation of mist and fractured light will be accompanied by a looping presentation of the documentary film Olafur Eliasson: Space is Process, and hands-on activities to learn more about this important artist.   Organized by the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art

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Feb 8 - May 4, 2014

Leslie Shows: Surfacing

Rich with myriad details and varied textures, the surfaces of Leslie Shows’s collaged paintings reward careful study. In them, one might find rust, plexiglass, mylar, acrylic paint, mica, magazine cutouts, crushed glass, mud, ink, sand, and engraved aluminum. An avid researcher and expansive thinker, Shows rigorously and creatively explores the fluid dynamics of our material […]

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Feb 1 - May 4, 2014

The Five Senses: Janet Cardiff, Olafur Eliasson, Spencer Finch, Roelof Louw and Ernesto Neto

The Five Senses begins with a simple premise: five senses, five works of art. However, as with many perceptual, cognitive and phenomenological questions, a more complex web of interrelationships emerges under closer examination. It is natural to assume one will see, or even hear art in a contemporary art space; it is more challenging to imagine […]

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Oct 27 - Jan 27, 2013

Architecture + Art: Héctor Zamora

Architecture + Art: Héctor Zamora is a site-specific project in response to the environmental and architectural context of the Museum in Scottsdale, as well as the Arizona desert. Artist Héctor Zamora creates dynamic installations that explore the social implications of architecture. Focusing on urbanism/suburbanism in the wake of the U.S. housing collapse, Zamora’s installation at SMoCA […]

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Sep 29 - Jan 6, 2013

West of Center: Art and the Counterculture Experiment in America, 1965 – 1977

In the heady and hallucinogenic days of the 1960s and ’70s, a diverse range of artists and creative individuals based in the American West—from the Pacific coast to the Rocky Mountains and the Southwest—broke the barriers between art and lifestyle and embraced the new, hybrid sensibilities of the countercultural movement. The exhibition West of Centerilluminates the […]

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Sep 22 - Jan 6, 2013

southwestNET: Sherin Guirguis and Carrie Marill

Sherin Guirguis and Carrie Marill draw inspiration from the history of pattern-making in Arab and southwestern Native American cultures. Guirguis and Marill interweave Modernist tropes with traditional ornamentation, exploring each one’s formal qualities—color, line and texture. This cumulative process results in vibrant, stunning paintings and sculptures. Sherin Guirguis (born 1974 in Luxor, Egypt; works and […]

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Jun 1 - Sep 1, 2013

DAVID MAISEL/BLACK MAPS: American Landscape and the Apocalyptic Sublime

DAVID MAISEL/BLACK MAPS is a survey of four chapters of Maisel’s larger ongoing series titled Black Maps. Composed of large-scale photographs, this exhibition leads the viewer on a hallucinatory journey through landscapes in the American West that have been transformed through the physical and environmental effects of industrial-scale water diversion projects, open-pit mineral extraction, and urban sprawl. […]

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May 25 - Sep 1, 2013

Stocked: Contemporary Art from the Grocery Aisles

Campbell’s. Coca-Cola. Del Monte. Kellogg’s. In the late 1950s and 1960s, these food conglomerates became household names as America witnessed a revolution in the production, retail, and consumption of grocery items. More and more, it was not raw ingredients one purchased, but packaged and processed foods that were chosen according to their labels and one’s […]

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May 18 - Sep 22, 2013

Learning to See: Josef Albers and The Interaction of Color

In his publication The Interaction of Color, artist and teacher Josef Albers argued that there is no way to understand colors except in relationship to one another. Advocating practical experience over the study of artistic theories or scientific principles, he laid out a series of exercises by which to explore the ways adjacent colors appear to […]

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Feb 9 - May 19, 2013

MASHup: New Video Art

What do you get when you combine a maudlin scene from Little House on the Prairie with the Thompson Twins’s 1980s pop hit Hold Me Now? A mashup. A mashup recombines elements of two or more pre-existing songs or videos, usually by two different artists. Of course, mashing-up artwork is nothing new. Dadaists, and later beat generation authors, introduced […]

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Jan 26 - Apr 28, 2013

Paolo Soleri: Mesa City to Arcosanti

PAOLO SOLERI (1919 – 2013) It is with deep sadness that the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art joins Arizona and the larger global community to acknowledge the passing of Paolo Soleri on April 9, 2013. Soleri will be missed by all those fortunate enough to have known him. His thinking, his architecture and his art will […]

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Jan 19 - Apr 28, 2013

The Human Touch: Selections from the RBC Wealth Management Art Collection

Stimulating. Challenging. Engaging. These are just a few adjectives that aptly describe RBC Wealth Management’s art collection. With the human figure as its focus, the collection reflects the rich cultural diversity and complexity of contemporary society. From realistic to abstract, serious to whimsical, its works of art offer a breadth of approaches and subjects. Appropriation, […]

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Jun 9 - Oct 7, 2012

This is a Present from a Small Distant World: New Catalogue + Judd Greenstein

The visual artist collaborative New Catalogue and composer Judd Greenstein bring their unorthodox experiments in visual art, traditional chamber instrumentation, composition, technology and design to the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art. Upon entering the immersive installation, visitors are absorbed into an interactive feedback loop of synchronous auditory and visual experience. The exhibition at SMoCA will […]

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Jun 2 - Sep 9, 2012

Significant Forms: Sculpture from the Permanent Collection

“What quality is shared by all objects that provoke our aesthetic emotions? …Only one answer seems possible—significant form. “ ―Clive Bell, 1914 The Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art is proud to present Significant Forms, an exhibition of sculpture from the museum’s permanent collection. The artwork will range from Modern to Contemporary, small to large, conservative to […]

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May 19 - Sep 9, 2012

Peter Sarkisian: Video Works, 1996 – 2008

Video artist Peter Sarkisian (American, b. 1965) explores the spatial and perceptive possibilities of video, film, and sculpture. Sarkisian combines three-dimensional screens and objects with video projections, which cause the viewer to question his or her own observations. This small retrospective focuses on the various approaches Sarkisian has taken to involve his audience in perceptual […]

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Oct 9 - Jan 23, 2011

Bridges: Spanning the Ideas of Paolo Soleri

Of all things that are man-made, bridges are the most “structural,” single-minded and imposing. As connectors at a breaking point, they have a heroic force that is aided by a challenging structuralism…. To bridge is a symbol of confidence and trust. It is a communication medium as much as a connector.        — Paolo […]

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Jun 25 - Oct 16, 2011

Architecture + Art: Extended Collapse

The second exhibition in SMoCA’s groundbreaking series Architecture + Art featured Seattle-based duo Annie Han and Dan Mihalyo of Lead Pencil Studio. The pair created a site-specific installation responding to the context of SMoCA’s gallery space both past and present. Their subtle, poetic sensibility explored notions of volume, time and memory as these concepts are […]

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May 22 - Sep 19, 2010

Architecture + Art: 90 days over 100°

In keeping with the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art’s mission to champion innovation in contemporary art, architecture and design, SMoCA launches a new series: Architecture + Art. This new series will invite architects to create site specific installations in response to the museum space and the specific environmental context of Scottsdale, Arizona. With Architecture+ Art, SMoCA aims […]

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Feb 8 - May 4, 2008

Cultivating Commonalities: A Photographic Exchange

This special collaboration between forty high school students in Accra, Ghana, and in the Phoenix metropolitan area was inspired by SMoCA’s exhibition Lyle Ashton Harris: Blow Up. The teens in Accra worked with Lyle Ashton Harris (who teaches at New York University and in the university’s study-abroad program in Ghana) and college interns from Harris’s […]

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- Apr 24, 2016

Bruce Munro: Ferryman’s Crossing

Shimmering rows of reflective compact discs lit by pulses of light comprise Bruce Munro’s Ferryman’s Crossing, an installation that evokes sunlight bouncing off the surface of flowing water. Throughout his work, Munro uses light to animate environments in ways that activate myriad associations.  Munro conceived this installation as a meditation on Herman Hesse’s 1922 novel, Siddhartha.  At […]

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