The Art Institute's collection of modern and contemporary art is one of the most comprehensive of any museum and includes two icons of 20th-century American art: Grant Wood's American Gothic and Edward Hopper's Nighthawks. The museum has a longstanding commitment to contemporary art, reflected in the 1913 decision to exhibit the Armory Show, the largest modernist, mostly European, art exhibition ever presented in America. The Art Intitute’s extensive galleries present examples of abstraction from the early years of the 20th century by Vasily Kandinsky, Henri Matisse, and Pablo Picasso to challenging contemporary works in a variety of media by artists such as Katharina Fritsch, Bruce Nauman, and Cindy Sherman.

Vasily Kandinsky. Improvisation No. 30 (Cannons), 1913. Arthur Jerome Eddy Memorial Collection. © 2008 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris.