Critiquing the art historical gaze, Jennifer Packer’s portraits address the privilege of viewership and the ways the body has been represented and looked at throughout history. In her paintings, the existence of either person or object relies wholly on its surroundings—a figure reclining in a chair, or a vase sitting on a table, becomes inextricable from its support. Grounded in personal grapplings with sorrow, bitterness, and affection, Packer’s paintings employ contradictions as a means of raising questions and revealing otherwise overlooked complexities. Favoring friends and family as subjects, Packer imbues her paintings with intimacy and affection, creating a distinct sense of atmosphere through scenes in which foreground and background both defy and merge with each other.
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Earlier Event: September 30Ian McMahon and Thomas White at the deCordova
Later Event: October 4Artist Response / Election Teach-In at SMFA at Tufts