From July 17 to December 5, 2021, the Georgia Museum of Art will share modern works of art in the exhibition “Neo-Abstraction: Celebrating a Gift of Contemporary Art from John and Sara Shlesinger.” “Neo-Abstraction” highlights the resurgence of abstract art among contemporary artists, including an early spin painting by Damien Hirst and a photographic abstraction by Walead Beshty. Cutting-edge art like Sarah Braman’s “Coexist,” a striking juxtaposition of commonplace objects, will be on view alongside more familiar approaches to abstraction, like Daniel Hesidence’s colorful canvases of humanoid figures and celestial bodies. 

Jeffrey Richmond-Moll, the museum’s curator of American art, describes the show as a way to observe how contemporary artists have redefined abstract art over the past two decades. He said, “The exhibition is an exciting opportunity to show works from the Shlesinger collection for the first time at our museum. It features a dynamic and diverse range of artists all oriented around the broader idea of abstraction in the 21st century.”

Although the museum received the gift of 110 works of art from the Shlesingers in late 2019, COVID delayed its public debut. Their donation will aid the museum’s vision to advance conventional perceptions of abstract art by presenting new versions of this artistic phenomenon. Richmond-Moll adds, “Through sculpture, painting, mixed media and photography, the artists in this collection are taking very traditional ideas from the canon of 20th-century art and refashioning them in new and experimental ways.” 

Related events include: 

  • A Family Day To-Go August 12 – 15, as part of which families can pick up free art kits and an activity guide at the museum

  • An Artful Conversation focusing on a work by Mika Tajima on August 18 at 2 p.m.

  • Toddler Tuesday on August 24 at the museum for ages 18 months to 3 years (email to sign up)

  • A talk by artist Daniel Hesidence on November 4 at 5:30 p.m.

  • Student Night on November 4 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

  • Teen Studio on November 11 from 5:30 to 8 p.m. (email to register)

All events are free and open to the public. Student Night is sponsored by the UGA Parents Leadership Council. Family Day To-Go kits are sponsored by Buddy and Lucy Allen and the Friends of the Georgia Museum of Art.



Note to editors: High-resolution images are available; contact Michael Lachowski.
Writer: Tashana Powe,
Contact: Michael Lachowski,, 706.542.9078


Museum Information

Partial support for the exhibitions and programs at the Georgia Museum of Art is provided by the Georgia Council for the Arts through the appropriations of the Georgia General Assembly. The Georgia Council for the Arts also receives support from its partner agency, the National Endowment for the Arts. Individuals, foundations and corporations provide additional museum support through their gifts to the University of Georgia Foundation. The Georgia Museum of Art is located in the Performing and Visual Arts Complex on the East Campus of the University of Georgia. The address is 90 Carlton Street, University of Georgia, Athens, Ga. 30602-1502. For more information, including hours, see or call 706.542.4662.