Montclair Art Museum prepares four new exhibitions opening this September

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Montclair Art Museum prepares four new exhibitions opening this September
George Inness (1825-1894), Early Autumn, Montclair, 1888. Oil on canvas, 30 x 45 in. Museum purchase. Funds provided by Dr. Arthur Hunter in memory of Ethel Parsons Hunter, and The Valley Foundation and Acquisition Fund, 1960.28.

MONTCLAIR, NJ.- The Montclair Art Museum announced four exciting new shows opening Saturday, September 10, 2022.

Lori Field: Tiger Tarot

Lori Field: Tiger Tarot is a multidisciplinary exhibition featuring tarot card collages the artist, Montclair native Lori Field, created during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. Known for her mysterious modern-day fairytales in multiple mediums, Field employs a recurring cast of human and animal hybrids to explore themes of identity, vulnerability, and spirituality. Her characters, predominantly female or androgynous, serve as foils or narrators within the mysterious worlds of Field’s own creation. These animalistic figures also provide a means for exhibiting emotive personification and utilizing physical, animalistic traits to suggest internal, human struggles and motives.

With the tiger as her talisman, Field envisions her tarot as representing a subversive and emerging feminine concept of power. Of her Tiger Tarot, Field states, “tigers are symbolic of a fierce, true inner capacity to survive and rule over their own nature […] They take the chaos of the world and create their own space that is protective, and royal.” For Field, the tiger is a bridge between past civilizations and our own time.

Over the past six centuries, the art of tarot has evolved from card games to the interpretation of symbols to describe the past, present, as well as the future. With the creation of her tarot deck, designed with her own cast of characters and symbols, Field reinterprets the traditional tarot cards to provoke new insights into the modern era. Organized by guest curator, Kathy Imlay, the exhibition features over 60 works of art in 12 mediums. Lori Field: Tiger Tarot aims to take the viewer on a journey of divination–one that is humorous, irreverent, poetic, and profound all at the same time.

Lori Field: Tiger Tarot will open at the Montclair Art Museum on September 10, 2022, and remain in the Weston and Elevator Lobby Galleries until January 1, 2023.

George Inness: Visionary Landscapes

George Inness: Visionary Landscapes showcases a significant new installation of MAM’s world-renowned George Inness collection, described by leading Inness scholar Dr. Adrienne Baxter Bell as the “greatest Inness collection in the world.” For the first time at MAM, Inness’ work will be displayed in a salon-style hanging, with paintings filling the walls of the gallery from floor to ceiling. This style of hanging was the norm in the early twentieth-century, with paintings of varying sizes and genres filling the walls of salon exhibitions across Western Europe and the U.S. By utilizing this style of hanging, MAM will be able to exhibit the majority of Inness works in its permanent collection all at one time, several of which will be on view for the first time in many years.

Regarded by his contemporaries as the foremost American landscape artist, George Inness (1825—1894) was inspired by the natural beauty of Montclair, where he resided from 1885 to 1894. In the years following his death in 1894, a number of Inness’s paintings and works on paper, along with a set of his brushes and palette, were gifted to the Montclair Art Museum. Today, MAM’s comprehensive Inness collection is comprised of more than twenty of the artist’s paintings and works on paper. George Inness: Visionary Landscapes highlights works selected from this collection, and will feature a major recent Inness acquisition titled Twilight from 1875. Every important period of Inness’ career is represented in this exhibition, from his earliest, more realist works of the 1840s, rooted in European landscape conventions, to his final, more abstract expressions that represent his belief in the total unity of material and spiritual existence.

George Inness: Visionary Landscapes will open in the Montclair Art Museum’s George Inness Gallery, a generous gift of Frank and Katherine Martucci, on September 10, 2022.

WOOLPUNK®: Sunflowers Graffiti’d Sky in the Garden State

Sunflowers Graffiti’d Sky in the Garden State is a new monumental artwork by New Jersey-based fiber artist WOOLPUNK®. Created specifically for MAM, the mural is based on a photograph of a community garden in the artist’s hometown of Jersey City, New Jersey. Printed on a large-scale banner, this image has been transformed through embroidery stitched by hand by the artist.

Prior to the completion of this artwork, WOOLPUNK® asked members of the community to open their closets and donate recycled fabric to be incorporated into the mural. In a former life, the artist managed the United Way of Hudson County’s resale clothing stores, where the amount of clothing wasted daily was overwhelming. The mission behind the of use recycled fabrics from the community is to draw attention to clothing waste and landfill issues in the state of New Jersey and beyond.

Sunflowers Graffiti’d Sky in the Garden State will be on display in the Laurie Art Stairway from September 10, 2022 until August 6, 2023.

Life and Landscape: Inspired by George Inness

Life and Landscape: Inspired by George Inness is a juried exhibition of works done in collaboration with Studio Montclair. Artists from Studio Montclair, as well as MAM teachers and staff, were invited to submit artworks inspired by the legacy of American landscape painter George Inness (1825—1894).

In total, over 100 works will be on view reflecting Inness’ use of colors, subject matter, mood, and spirituality in a range of media. This exhibition offers visitors the opportunity to see how artists continue to carry forward the special spirit that is part of Inness’ work and take it in many new directions. It is clear that the legacy of George Inness is very much alive today and can inspire a broad range of interpretations of a master who himself was inspired by the beauty of Montclair.

Life and Landscape: Inspired by George Inness will be displayed concurrently at two locations in Montclair, each within walking distance of the other: the Leach Gallery, Studio Montclair's newest 3,000-square-foot gallery located at 641 Bloomfield Avenue, Montclair, and MAM’s Vance Wall Art Education Center gallery from September 9 until November 6, 2022.

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