Transitional Objects

On View: June 22 - September 7, 2019

Main Galleries

Transitional Objects highlights artists who explore human relationships to inanimate material – commodities, tools, personal belongings, clothing, and all of the other nonliving substances that populate our daily lives. Working in sculpture, installation, and video, these artists experiment with unconventional materials, take inspiration from or produce functional objects, and create sculptures that elucidate both the allure and the difficulty of material forms.

In the field of psychology, the phrase ‘transitional objects’ refers to objects adopted by children as a means of soothing their own anxiety, a role played by blankets and stuffed animals but also dolls, pillows, and items of clothing. The transitional object is associated with immaturity, with a need for constant reassurance, and an inability to distinguish between living creatures and inanimate forms. But in its role as a soother of anxiety, as a tool to navigate relations with the outside world, and as an object imbued with significance beyond its own basic functionality, the transitional object foreshadows many of the roles assigned to objects by humans throughout their lives. Focusing on the alluring, disturbing, obsessive, disruptive, and excessive, Transitional Objects encourages viewers to reconsider the social, cultural, and economic significance we ascribe to objects.

Transitional Objects artists: Kyle Bauer, Calder Brannock, Dexter Ciprian, Emily Culver, Liz Ensz, Kyle Hittmeier, Trish Tillman, and Holly Trout.


Opening Reception: June 22 / 6–9pm
Gallery Talk: July 27 / 1-3pm

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Golden: Fifty Years of New Classics

UPCOMING: Opens June 15, 2024

Curated by Al Miner

Museum of Contemporary Art Arlington is proud to present Golden: Fifty Years of New Classics, an exhibition celebrating the organization’s 50th anniversary.

Summer Camp Registration

June 17 – August 16

Museum of Contemporary Art Arlington offers a wonderful and wide range of creative summer camps for your creative students! Camps are offered for kids starting at age 5 and up to teens ages 18.

Zaq Landsberg: Reclining Liberty

August 5, 2023 - July 28, 2024

Front Lawn
MoCA Arlington and Arlington Public Art are thrilled to co-sponsor the installation of Zaq Landsberg’s celebrated Reclining Liberty on the Museum’s front lawn.