RISD Museum receives major gift of contemporary art

Patricia Treib, b. 1979, ‘Motifs,’ 2008, oil on canvas, 66 x 50in. Gift of Avo Samuelian and Hector Manuel Gonzalez 2019.83.15. Image courtesy Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The RISD Museum has announced a significant gift of 66 contemporary artworks from collectors Avo Samuelian and Manuel Gonzalez. Thirty-three works were brought into the collection in December 2019 joining a similar gift to the museum of 33 works in 2017.

Both gifts expand the museum’s Contemporary Art and Prints, Drawings and Photographs collections considerably, introducing works by Uri Aran, Jessica Jackson Hutchins, Lothar Hempel, Jordan Nassar and Paul P. Additional works by Karla Black, Jim Lambie and Tony Feher strengthen the RISD Museum’s commitment to artists already in the collection. Also of note are works by RISD alumni and faculty including David Scanavino, David Benjamin Sherry, and Patricia Treib that further develop the museum’s representation of figures who have helped define the school’s reputation.

“The works donated by Avo and Manuel have made an immediate impact on how contemporary art is understood and presented here at the RISD Museum and have become a constant presence in our galleries since 2017,” said Dominic Molon, curator of contemporary art at the RISD Museum.

Samuelian and Gonzalez have been actively collecting art for 20 years. “Being able to introduce either emerging artists or expand on the historical collection of RISD is a wonderful opportunity,” they stated. “We are looking forward in developing this ongoing conversation to further our art historical education and help RISD achieve expand on their permanent collection.” Their collecting is distinguished by an emphasis on young and emerging artists, providing critical (and often visionary) support at early stages in their careers.