On view March 20 - November 29, 2020
Curated by Carole Perry
We are all collectors of objects. Small items store great meaning for us, especially those we discover as children. When objects travel with us to adulthood, in fact or in memory, they retain their power—as symbols, as touchstones for expression, as connectors to our past. The legacy of such items, and their role in developing an artist’s sensibility, is the theme of the exhibition.
For the exhibition, six artists—Shervone Neckles, Vik Muniz, Tony Oursler, Jean Shin, and Hank Willis Thomas & Kambui Olujimi—will present objects from childhood that have emotional resonance for them. They will display their objects alongside recent work to illustrate the link between youthful influence and mature artistic expression. We will also present items from Edward Hopper’s youth together with his mature work, revealing ways in which such objects forecast themes in his art.
The participating artists’ processes vary widely, but all respond to the symbolic content of objects in intriguing ways. By including such a diverse group of artists, Object Lessons will allow visitors to explore how the nascent sensibilities of childhood shape one's development, resulting in an unpredictable spectrum of unique artistic identities.
Object Lessons is central to EHH's mission of celebrating Edward Hopper's legacy. In addition to its setting in Hopper’s family home, it will incorporate some of the art and artifacts from the Sanborn Hopper Family Archive and from the museum’s permanent collection. Those objects provide a unique opportunity to experience aspects of Hopper’s youth that helped shape his artistic development. Object Lessons will offer similar insight into contemporary artists, suggesting the lasting power of early influences on artists of all kinds.