Montclair Art Museum Announces New Exhibits for the Fall

Montclair Art Museum (MAM) announces two new exhibitions will open this fall, in addition to Color Riot! How Color Changed Navajo Textiles. All three exhibitions will open on September 12th. Museum members will be invited to an Exhibition Preview on September 11, 2021.

Montclair Art Museum

“I am very excited about the re-installation of our galleries with new and exciting work on view in almost all of our exhibition spaces. Taken together, this season’s exhibitions emphasize MAM’s many strengths – with historic and contemporary work by a diverse community of artists,” said Ira Wagner, Executive Director of Montclair Art Museum in a press release.

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Transformed: Objects Reimagined by American Artists

September 11, 2021–January 8, 2023

“Take an object
Do something to it
Do something else to it.”
~ Jasper Johns, 1964

Inspired by the note Jasper Johns wrote to himself in his sketchbook in 1964, Transformed: Objects Reimagined by American Artists features more than 60 artworks from the Museum’s diverse collection from 1829 to the present in which artists take objects as their points of departure, transforming them to reflect their varied cultural backgrounds and viewpoints. This exhibition is organized thematically to represent these diverse perspectives including still lifes, alphabet letters as objects, urban and industrial motifs, found objects, collages, and constructions, as well as dolls and mannequins.

“Jasper Johns’s untitled work of 1983 inspired me to think about other American artists who also take objects as their creative points of departure and transform them—whether in a historic still life painting or an avant-garde construction of everyday found objects,” explains MAM’s Chief Curator Gail Stavitsky. “I also began thinking about how objects can be reflections of–or break with–society and cultural norms. They can function as indications of identity, as well as social and cultural values. All objects and things are imbued by us with potentially multiple and symbolic meanings beyond their appearances.”

Stavitsky adds, “The wide range of works on view in Transformed by artists from a variety of cultural backgrounds showcases the diversity of MAM’s collection and embraces the multifaceted aspects of contemporary American society.”

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^ Smith, Jaune Quick-to-See (American, b. 1940) War Shirt, 1992

This exhibit will also feature works from Jaune Quick-to-Smith including a painting with collage elements, War Shirt (1992), which incorporates the letters and ironic language of advertising to explore racist stereotypes; and a newly acquired work by Sanford Biggers, BAM (Seated Warrior Queen), 2019.

Over time, this exhibition will itself transform with rotations of works that expand further upon its themes, the press release states.

By Our Own Hand: Frontline Arts in collaboration with Donna Bassin

September 11, 2021–August 14, 2022

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^ Installation designed by Donna Bassin (2014) with Frontline Paper
Model created by Robert Pyzocha, Photographs by Steve Hellerstein

On view are approximately 800 sheets of handmade paper created from veterans’ uniforms and provided by Frontline Paper, an initiative of Frontline Arts. Inspired by the ancient practice of Tibetan prayer flags hung to mark an important and challenging occasion, By Our Own Hand refers to the toll of veteran deaths by their own hand as well as to the resiliency and creativity from transforming military uniforms into handmade paper, the press release explains.

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“While the actual number of daily suicides among the veteran population has fluctuated between 17 and 22 per day since 2001, it consistently remains at a rate more than twice that of the rest of the population. The handmade paper workshops create a platform for veterans and non-veterans to come together and share stories, providing a new language, and much-needed discourse between veterans and society. In casual drop-in sessions, on college campuses, in community centers, at pop-up street corner workshops, and at VA and military hospitals, Frontline Paper artists teach the art of papermaking and printmaking to veterans of all service eras.”

To learn more about the Montclair Art Museum, see here.


Written by:

Victoria is MG's Associate Editor and Social Media Coordinator for the Hoboken Historical Museum + Fire Department Museum. She is a born and bred Jersey girl with deep roots in Hoboken and Jersey City. When she’s not touring delicious restaurants and attending events in the Hudson/Essex area, she’s exploring everything the Concrete Jungle has to offer. You can catch her at art exhibitions, local festivities, traveling, diving into a new book, thrifting, or indulging in some form of arts and crafts.