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Nadine Boughton, Menace, 2012, From “True Adventures in Better Homes,” Archival pigment print, 28 x 36 inches, Courtesy of the Artist and Trident Gallery, Gloucester, MALeslie Graff, Stirring Things Up, 2009, From “Domestics,” Acrylic on canvas, 40 x 30 inches, Courtesy of the artist and Trident Gallery, Gloucester, MA

Newport Art Museum to welcome new Winter Exhibitions at Opening Reception

The Newport Art Museum will welcome three new exhibitions to its galleries this Winter, including Domestic Affairs: Domesticity, Identity, and the Home, Lissa Rivera’s Beautiful Boy and the 2018 Newport Annual Members’ Juried Exhibition.

The official Opening Reception for all three shows will be held Friday, February 2 from 5-7pm. Museum members free, non-members $10 suggested donation, cash bar.

Domestic Affairs: Domesticity, Identity, and the Home
On view January 20 – May 6, 2018     Participating Artists Include: Lisa Barthelson, Nadine Boughton, Kara Dunne, Brooke Erin Goldstein, Leslie M.W. Graff, Nancy Grace Horton, Astrid Reischwitz, and Edith Vonnegut.This exhibition showcases the work of contemporary artists exploring issues of domesticity and identity. Both a private and public space, the home can be personal and intimate, as well as social and political. It reflects identity, ownership, and even the individual and social expectations of family life. Focusing on the exteriors of homes, domestic objects, and the domestic interior and its inhabitants, the artists in this exhibition portray domestic realms that are real and imagined to explore contemporary attitudes toward domestic life. These artists examine domesticity in different ways. Some examine the home as a social space and challenge “traditional” domestic roles for women while others explore the home as a symbol of family, culture, inheritance, or consumerism. Whereas some of the artists take a satirical or humorous approach to domesticity, others take a sentimental or nostalgic approach, imbuing their works of art with a sense of longing. Although they are diverse in their uses of materials and methods, all of these artists create highly evocative and thought-provoking works of art about a place (the home) and theme (domesticity) that are still as hotly contested and debated as they are valued and cherished.

Lissa Rivera: Beautiful Boy
On View January 20 – May 20, 2018

For her ongoing series “Beautiful Boy,” Lissa Rivera photographs her domestic partner. The project began as a conversation on subway between Rivera and her male friend who shared with her that he wore women’s clothing in college but after graduation, “struggled to navigate a world that seemed both newly accepting and yet inherently reviling of male displays of femininity.” Believing that photography could create a space to experiment, Rivera began photographing her friend and over time he became both her muse and romantic partner. According to the artist: “When taking the photos, I feel the same as when viewing a film where a director and actress share a deep connection to the fantasy captured. It is thrilling to see my partner transform into countless goddess-like forms. The project is a canvas to project our desires. At times the images even become self-portraits. The camera transposes our private experiences into public expression.” Since beginning the project, Rivera has moved the photo sessions from her studio to locations abroad at historical sites. As she puts it, “Leaving behind the artifice of the studio, we began to uncover a dreamlike new aesthetic, a vision of queer femininity deeply rooted in an imagined past, and an uncanny conversation with the generations of women who inhabited these spaces before us.”

What began as a conversation between friends has blossomed into a rich photographic journey exploring issues of identity, masculinity, and femininity. Together artist and muse play with the “feminine fantasies” of cinema, art history, and visual culture. Both admit captivation and ambivalence toward these depictions of femininity. Yet at the core of Rivera’s photographs is the idea that her partner’s femininity should be viewed as a strength.

2018 Newport Annual Members’ Juried Exhibition
February 3 – May 20, 2018

One of the Newport Art Museum’s most anticipated annual events, this exhibition highlights top talent from the region, bringing together an eclectic mix of art sourced from Rhode Island and beyond. Entries are open, calling established and emerging artists alike to submit their work for exposition and review. The resulting mix of art on display is always surprising and diverse, showcasing the varied interests and focus of our region’s passionate artists. This year marks the 31st Newport Annual Members’ Juried Exhibition.

This year’s juror is Crawford Alexander Mann III. In 2017 Mann became Curator of Prints and Drawings at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Mann also served as the Joan & Macon Brock Curator of American Art at the Chrysler Museum in Norfolk, VA, from 2011 to 2017. His prior appointments include a 3-year Andrew W. Mellon Curatorial Fellowship, teaching and creating exhibitions for the Department of Prints, Drawings, and Photographs at the RISD Museum of Art; a Theodore Rousseau Fellowship from the Metropolitan Museum of Art for a year of research in Rome, Italy; and a Terra Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Mann holds a B.A. in Art History and Religious Studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, as well as an M.A. and M.Phil. in the History of Art from Yale University.

The Newport Art Museum is located at 76 Bellevue Avenue, Newport, RI. Visit newportartmuseum.org or call 401-848-8200 for details.

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