This exhibition showcases contemporary work in which the artist “performs” a role or “plays” a character. Referencing pop culture, art, and history, and appropriating such mainstream visual traditions as studio portraiture, the photographic album, and video, these artists use masquerade and performance to explore themes of individual and cultural identity as well as issues regarding gender and racial stereotyping. Artists include Kalup Linzy, Yasumasa Morimura, Laurel Nakadate, Tomoko Sawada, Lorna Simpson, and Gillian Wearing. To underscore her important influence on the practice of artists serving as performers in their own work, examples of some of Cindy Sherman’s early projects will also be featured. Cocurated by Michelle Lamunière, John R. and Barbara Robinson Family Assistant Curator of Photography, Division of Modern and Contemporary Art, Harvard Art Museums; and Allison N. Kemmerer, Curator of Photography and of Art after 1950, Addison Gallery of American Art at Phillips Academy, Andover, MA.
The exhibition is presented in collaboration with the Addison Gallery of American Art and is made possible in part by generous support from the Emily Rauh Pulitzer and Joseph Pulitzer Jr. Fund for Modern and Contemporary Art, Harvard Art Museums.