Idyllic scenery and sublime vistas typically convey the idea of “landscape” in art. This exhibition seeks to explore other, more conceptual, definitions of landscape, in particular, landscape as: the distinctive features of a particular situation or intellectual activity; or a particular area of activity, i.e., the political landscape. Artists might use this approach to tell a particular story or convey a complicated idea in a singular image. The works in Stories consider landscape through this lens—the landscape of storytelling.
Drawn from Pomona College’s collection—including several recent acquisitions, the works include drawing, sculpture, painting, photography, and printmaking. The artists in Stories use landscape as narration in multiple ways, whether they are using portraiture to memorialize their family or a community, painting abstractions that reference a landscape, expanding an intellectual interpretation of what constitutes landscape, and subverting how we see a specific site. The artists on view depict intimate personal stories, surreal dreamscapes, local communities, political activism, and environmental crises. Artists include Andrea Bowers, Ben Dean, Allan deSouza, Merion Estes, Kirsten Everberg, Francesca Gabbiani, Michael Decker, Charles Gaines, Genevieve Gaignard, Edgar Heap of Birds, Nancy Jackson, Liza Lou, Sandeep Mukherjee, Roland Reiss, Wendy Red Star, Alison Saar, Lorna Simpson, Barbara T. Smith, and Brenna Youngblood.
Stories: Selections from the Permanent Collection is curated by Daphnide McDermet ’20, Josephine Bump ‘76 curatorial intern, and Rebecca McGrew, senior curator, at the Pomona College Museum of Art.