Explore CollectionsModern and Contemporary ArtInstallation


Alfredo Jaar (Chilean, born 1956), The Fire Next Time, 1989, twenty-two metal light boxes with black-and-white transparencies, purchase with funds from the National Endowment for the Arts, the 20th-Century Art Acquisition Fund, and funds from Alfred Austell Thornton in memory of Leila Austell Thornton and Albert Edward Thornton, Sr., and Sarah Miller Venable and William Hoyt Venable, 1989.51.

Contemporary installation art, or environmental art, grew rapidly in the 1990s when artists combined light, projection, sound, and nontraditional objects and materials to create immersive multimedia environments. Installation art highlights audience experience—both a viewer’s physical relationship to the art and the emotional or sensory effects it provokes. Sarah Sze’s room-sized Book of Parts invites a dynamic experience of space through shifts in scale that disorient and reorient the viewer at every turn. The High’s collection includes other installations by Carl Andre, Ericka Beckman, Houston Conwill, Michael Heizer, Kara Walker, Alfredo Jaar, Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen, Judy Pfaff, and Kiki Smith.