It’s a special year at the Montclair Art Museum (MAM) as it gears up for the Winter-Spring Season with a Matisse exhibit, featuring some of the artist’s works along with those created by American artists who were inspired by him. It truly is an exhilarating time to be MAM docent as momentum builds up to February…
But before we skip months ahead, let’s not forget about the MAM’s two current exhibitions — “Do It,” a conceptual art show, and “The Matisse Series,” an homage to the artist by former Montclair resident Janet Taylor Pickett. I think these two exhibits show how the MAM consistently bring works that are refreshing and thought provoking, allowing us to open our minds and be inspired visually and aesthetically by what’s in front of us, in our slice of northern NJ.
I did not really know much about conceptual art until this exhibit. I supposed one of the simplest ways to describe it is that these are ideas or instructions created by the artists with audience participation in mind. A show that started in Paris in 1993, “Do It” has traveled throughout the world with interpretations of artists’ directions always subject to unique variations depending on the venue. Some of the artists featured in this exhibition are Yoko Ono, the late Hassan Sharif, Hreinn Fridfinnson and Sol Lewitt.
“The Matisse Series”
This exhibit features about 76 collages and three hand-made books by Janet Taylor Pickett, who will also be featured in the museum’s February Matisse exhibit. I love her focus on dresses and the role they play in our definition of womanhood. Her collages are a rich mixture of color, images, culture and texture, along with the personal. Throughout the show, we get the sense of Ms. Taylor Pickett’s narrative, her autobiographical demonstration of people and culture who shaped her to be the artist whom she is today.
If you’re looking for some visual and artistic stimulation without the hassle of a New York museum, you should check out MAM and its’ current exhibitions. I promise I do not get any incentives from promoting the place even if I am a docent there…