Saturday, January 8, 2011


What is Portraiture?
WHEN: Through Sunday, November 6, 2011
: Montclair Art Museum, 3 S. Mountain Ave., Montclair

The works in this permanent collection exhibition were selected to challenge and extend con-ventional concepts of portraiture. A portrait is usually considered to be an artistic representation of a person, in which the face and its expression is predominant in order to display the likeness, personality, and even the mood of the sitter who is shown in a still position. Although a number of the works on view focus on a single person in stasis, others feature multiple figures in action. Furthermore, historical, modern and contemporary American and Native American works in a variety of mediums are organized into several broad thematic sections.

Portraits of artists, heroes, leaders and thinkers are differentiated from other images of men and women. Portrayals of children constitute another group and complement a section celebrating a sense of interconnectedness as found in relationships between friends, family and community members. The usual definition of portraiture is particularly extended in the final section of this exhibition, featuring works with multiple figures that address a significant range of historical and religious subjects.

Image Credit: Peter Jacobs (b. 1960), Darwin, 1997, Mixed media collage, 49 ¼ x 49 ¼ x 2 ½ in., Gift of the artist, Montclair Art Museum 1999.19.