The Northampton Arts Council is an organization whose goal is to support and promote the arts in Northampton. Originally created as a Local Arts Lottery Council, it began its work by administering a grants program in which proceeds from a state lottery are distributed to local artists, arts groups, and public schools.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Mount Holyoke College Art Museum features solo exhibition by emerging artist Martine Gutierrez

WHAT: Life/Like: Photographs by Martine Gutierrez
WHEN: Artist Talk: March 28 at 5:30 p.m. (held in Gamble Auditorium in the Art Building)
              Show on View: January 15 - June 16, 2019
WHERE: Mount Holyoke College Art Museum, Lower Lake Rd, South Hadley, MA 01075

The Mount Holyoke College Art Museum (MHCAM) is pleased to present "Life / Like: Photographs by Martine Gutierrez." Drawing from two photographic series by the Brooklyn-based artist, the exhibition will be on view through June 16, 2019.

Martine Gutierrez (b. 1989) is a performance artist, filmmaker, and photographer. Her work often deals with themes of transformation, intimacy, identity, and reality. In the two photographic series exhibited at MHCAM this spring, Gutierrez constructs lush, deeply ambiguous, and haunting images. In the series Girl Friends, two women appear in a variety of places and poses. Their intimacy is clear, though the nature of their relationship is not. Dressed and styled like twins, the women even possess a certain unity of gesture and stance. It is only upon looking closely that we realize that one of the women is a mannequin. The discovery makes us question our perceptions of reality and our assumptions about representation.

In the second series represented in the exhibition, Line Ups, Gutierrez also employs mannequins, yet here, the intimacy of Girl Friends is gone, replaced by an interest in the role of the individual within a collective. Gutierrez explores the loss of personal identity that occurs within a group, and the socially-constructed nature of our identities.

A nuanced exploration of gender roles lies at the heart of much of Gutierrez's work. It is perhaps this interest in boundaries--especially artificial boundaries--that leads Gutierrez to play with her viewer's expectations and perception of reality. The artist has said, "Mannequins very succinctly represent the artificial, especially in materiality, when compared to the imperfect reality of the human body. But in coaxing the viewer's misinterpretation, misleading with light and guise, I am looking for the place where those two worlds meet."

Gutierrez has been included in group exhibitions at Arnot Art Museum, Elmira, NY (2017); Lowe Gallery at Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY (2017); The Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia, Atlanta, GA (2017); and Vincent Price Art Museum, Monterey Park, CA (2017). Recent solo exhibitions include Martine Gutierrez: True Story at Boston University Art Gallery, MA (2016) and WE & THEM & ME at Contemporary Art Museum Raleigh, NC (2016).

MHCAM will host an artist talk in conjunction with the exhibition

Martine Gutierrez will visit MHCAM to give a talk entitled My Sis, on March 28 at 5:30 p.m. Held in Gamble Auditorium in the Art Building, the talk is free and open to the public.

About the Mount Holyoke College Art Museum

The Mount Holyoke College Art Museum (MHCAM) aims to spark intellectual curiosity and creativity through direct engagement with works of art and material culture. Founded in 1876, the Museum's collection comprises more than 24,000 objects, including exemplary Greek, Roman and Egyptian antiquities; art and artifacts from the indigenous Americas; paintings, sculpture and decorative art from Europe and the United States; photography, prints, ceramics and numismatics; and works by women artists. In recent years, the Museum has made significant acquisitions of global contemporary art, including works by Afruz Amighi, Ambreen Butt, Zanele Muholi, Kiki Smith, Alec Soth, Lin Tianmiao, Kara Walker, Carrie Mae Weems and others. Through thought-provoking exhibitions and educational programs, MHCAM serves as a nexus for experiential learning across academic disciplines and as a resource for the broader community.

MHCAM is free, open to the public and fully accessible. Hours are Tuesday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, 1 to 5 p.m. For additional information, please visit artmuseum.mtholyoke.edu.

Media contact: artmuseum@mtholyoke.edu or 413.538.2245

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