Over time, this exhibition will itself transform with rotations of works that expand further upon various themes, including still lifes, alphabet letters as objects, urban and industrial motifs, found objects, collages, and constructions, as well as dolls and mannequins.
Still lifes can reveal distinct moments in history through realist approaches to objects. Artists’ transformations of objects into abstracted forms can be seen in modern still life paintings, as well as in depictions of urban and industrial motifs from the early twentieth century onwards.
Many artists employ everyday, mass-produced objects, as well as unique items they find, to create assemblages, constructions, and collages. These transformations can open dialogues about aesthetic, conceptual, handmade, and machine-produced aspects of contemporary art and life.
This exhibition also addresses transformations of natural and synthetic materials into dolls and mannequins as explorations of personhood and representations of identity. Furthermore, it explores objects that are reimagined and invested by artists with personally defined metaphorical powers. Somewhat like a talisman, these works can reference the symbolic capacity of objects to inspire, protect, or heal.
Indeed, all objects and things can be transformed by artists with multiple and symbolic meanings beyond their appearances, just as engaging with art can transform the experience of the viewer.
Transformed: Objects Reimagined by American Artists is curated by Gail Stavitsky, Chief Curator. Editorial assistance and the writing of some label copy was provided by Laura Allen, Curator of Native American Art and Molly Ono, Curatorial Assistant.