Newark Museum Montclair Art Museum
Montclair, NJ
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Undaunted Spirit: Art of Native North America
Through June 21, 2020

Since earliest times, Native art evolved often after exposure to new designs and materials obtained mainly through trade or warfare between tribes. The arrival of Europeans in the New World, however, dramatically impacted artwork of indigenous artists not only through the introduction of exotic new materials but also the effects of cultural disruption caused by European colonialism.

The present exhibition in the Rand Gallery, Undaunted Spirit: Native Art of North America, traces the evolution of Native art by revealing human stories that tell of the great resiliency of Indian artists and how they maintained their artistic traditions while adapting to ever-changing conditions. Much of the artwork in this exhibition captures the undaunted spirit of artists who endured dire consequences of European colonialism. Despite loss of lands, forced religious conversion, and the introduction of foreign diseases for which they had no immunity, they have survived and continue to create exceptional works of art.

Today, the Museum is collecting exciting, innovative artwork of contemporary Native artists. Many of these preeminent artists –Preston Singletary, Jody Folwell, Kenneth Williams, Jr., Diego Romero, Douglas Miles, Marcus Amerman, and Lyndon Tsosie – to name just a few, are represented in this exhibition.
The Rand Gallery

On a visit to Montclair Art Museum, visitors can see exhibitions of Native North American art in the Rand Gallery, which is dedicated to indigenous art of the United States and Canada. The Museum has continually collected Native art since its inception in 1914. One of its two main founders, Florence Rand Lang, assembled one of the finest collections of Indian art on the East Coast. For more than 20 years, she built upon a collection of some two hundred baskets amassed in the late 1800s by her mother, Annie Valentine Rand. The Lang gift of more than 2,000 works of Native art forms the core of this collection, now numbering about 4,000 pieces.

Personal Landscapes
Through June 21, 2020

Since its founding over 100 years ago, the Montclair Art Museum has been inspired and nourished by the artists in its community. The Museum is honored to continue that tradition by featuring recent work by artists from Essex County in this exhibition. The rich diversity of media and quality of work represented is a testament to the talent and creativity of our local artists.

Whether a representation of physical space, or a map of the complex inner workings of the mind, these artists have interpreted their own personal landscapes in a variety of ways. A bird flits across the screen of B.E.F. Oakes’ video, evoking nostalgia for a half-remembered place. Through detailed brushwork and luminous color, Christine Elvin breathes life back into locations long forgotten. Katrina Bello’s massive charcoal and pastel drawing engulfs the viewer, encouraging them to find nature’s messages in the vastness of the landscape. These aesthetically and conceptually compelling works of art elucidate the stories, memories, and imaginings that are entwined in MAM and its community.

Federico Uribe: Animalia
Through July 12, 2020

Federico Uribe (b. 1962) is a visionary artist creating haunting mixed-media paintings and sculptures as complex as his own upbringing in his native Colombia, where civil war and political instability have long been part of daily life. Now an American citizen, his brightly-colored landscapes and life-sized animal sculptures address modern day’s turmoil, but represent his conviction that destruction and death can be turned into peace and beauty. Visionary and rooted in reality, Uribe creates creatures fashioned from a massive layering of mundane objects including colored pencils, shoes and shoelaces, plastic waste and recycled bullet shells, and reflecting the artist’s alchemical, intuitive and imaginative process.

With more than 60 pieces on exhibition, you'll experience the breadth and depth of Uribe’s work, such as Plastic Coral Reef, comprised of hundreds of pieces of plastic waste, carefully cut and arranged to raise awareness of the effects of pollution on marine ecosystems worldwide. The artist is constantly working, and the show will include sculptures created specially for this show.

George Inness: Works in the Collection
November 12, 2018 - August 15, 2021

"As we link Millet with Barbizon, Whistler with Chelsea, so will the name of George Inness indelibly be associated with Montclair. It is here that he painted many of his most highly valued landscapes."—Montclair Times, March 4, 1922

On view in the George Inness Gallery, a gift of Frank and Katherine Martucci, are selected works from the Montclair Art Museum's renowned collection of more than 20 paintings, 2 watercolors, and 1 etching by the artist George Inness. These are occasionally complemented by selected loans. Every important period of Inness's career is represented, from his earliest work of the 1840s to his profoundly original late work, which expresses the artist's belief in the total unity of material and spiritual existence with broadly brushed, indivisible natural elements. George Inness (1825-1894) is universally acclaimed as a grand master of late nineteenth-century painting, regarded by his contemporaries as America's foremost landscape artist. During his last years, Inness was inspired by the natural beauty of Montclair, where he resided from 1885 to 1894.

Uncaged: Animals in the Collection
Through August 8, 2021

Drawing from Montclair Art Museum’s extensive American and Native American collections, this exhibition will explore the variety of ways artists engage with animal imagery in their work. John James Audubon’s prints give viewers an encyclopedic look at the richness of America’s wildlife. Jumping fish, lovingly beaded on a Northwest Coast baby carrier, offer visual prayers for the child held inside. Brightly colored tigers serve as totemic stand-ins for the artist Thornton Dial, Sr.

The exhibition will coincide with Federico Uribe: Animalia and bring the galleries roaring to life.

A view of the rotunda gallery, a small round room with a marble statue of a woman in the middle. Alcoves on either side of the statue have artworks in them as well.

Virgil Ortiz: Odyssey of the Venutian Soldiers Exhibition
Sep 13, 2019 - Jun 14, 2020

For decades, renowned artist Virgil Ortiz, has focused on educating the general public about the 1680 Pueblo Revolt through his artwork and makes the Native uprising more relevant and engaging to younger generations by using contemporary art to blend this important historical event with sci-fi fantasy storylines.

Many Native people consider the uprising in 1680 to be the first American Revolution. The Pueblo Revolt took place over 300 years ago when Pueblo Indians living around Santa Fe, New Mexico, rose up and drove their Spanish oppressors away after enduring 100 years of cruel colonialism. The Revolt is not well known or taught in schools today and Ortiz wants to change that omission.

The Revolt was carefully orchestrated by Pueblo Indians to defeat physical oppression, forced religious conversion, and loss of land and crops. Ortiz sees the event as an early fight for freedom and equality that still challenges minorities today. Pueblo people were able to preserve their traditional way of life until the Spaniards returned seeking revenge years later. Ortiz wants to keep tradition alive at Cochiti, his pueblo located near Santa Fe, New Mexico. For pottery making, he uses traditional methods and gathers local clays and wild spinach for designs on pottery.

Ortiz’s storylines transport viewers back in time to the historical event and then flashes forward through time to the year 2180 when Pueblo people are once again embattled with enemies. For futuristic battles, Ortiz creates a new cast of imaginary heroes who are aided by their 1680 heroic ancestors. Futuristic superheroes include the Venutian Soldiers who have survived nuclear destruction of their homeland and are in search of a place to live. They are depicted in Ortiz’s mural in the Laurie Art Stairway marching along while wearing oxygen tanks and gas masks in order to stay alive.

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