Two major exhibitions — Closer to Life: Drawings and Works on Paper in the Marieluise Hessel Collection and With Pleasure: Pattern and Decoration in American Art 1972–1985 — are now open at the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College (CCS Bard) in Annandale-on-Hudson. These exhibitions introduce visitors to under-examined art movements and media, and provide a glimpse into the collecting history and prescience of CCS Bard Co-founder Marieluise Hessel, from whose collection many of the works in these exhibitions were culled.

Closer to Life comprises more than 75 works on paper and drawings from the Hessel Collection to track more than four decades of collecting by Hessel and explore the artistic intimacy achieved by the medium. Works include Kara Walker’s earliest wall cut-outs, William Copley drawings capturing mid-century pop culture, and recent acquisitions of works by Ulrike Müller. Additional artists include Joseph Beuys, Nick Cave, Nicole Eisenman, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Rashid Johnson, Toyin Ojih Odutola, Gerhard Richter, Lorna Simpson, Rosemarie Trockel, Danh Vo, and David Wojnarowicz, among many others. 

Marking the first large-scale North American survey of the groundbreaking women-led Pattern and Decoration (P&D) movement of the 1970s and ’80s, With Pleasure showcases major works from the Hessel Collection alongside significant loans from museums, private collections, and foundations to trace the movement’s reach in postwar American art. Countering the male-dominated minimalist aesthetics of the day, P&D celebrated color, excess, and the decorative. The exhibition examines the artists at the movement’s core — such as Valerie Jaudon, Robert Kushner, Kim MacConnel, and Barbara Zucker — as well as those whose contributions to P&D have been under-recognized, like Merion Estes, Dee Shapiro, Kendall Shaw, and Takako Yamaguchi; and those who are not normally considered in the context of P&D, such as Emma Amos, Billy Al Bengston, Al Loving, and Betty Woodman. 

For more information on CCS Bard’s summer exhibitions, please visit