Unity and Fragmentation: Selections from the Permanent Collection

Museum of Art Museum of Art

Exhibition: Unity and Fragmentation: Selections from the Permanent Collection



Halford Gallery, Bernard and Barbro Osher Gallery
This installation spans many eras and diverse media as it invites visitors to contemplate the dialectic of the whole and its parts


After the Storm, Vinalhaven, 1938-1939, oil on Academy board, by Marsden Hartley, American, 1877–1943. Gift of Mrs. Charles Phillip Kuntz.


This installation is primarily drawn from the Bowdoin collection and also includes important loans from the Picker Art Gallery, Colgate University, and a private collection. The selection was prompted by the arrival of the major exhibition in the upstairs galleries, Per Kirkeby: Paintings and Sculpture. In his paintings since the 1960s, Per Kirkeby has shunned anecdotal subject matter. He instead investigated the ways in which formal attributes such as paint colors, textures, layers, and structural compositions imbue a painting with significance.

Similarly the works on view offer compelling comparisons of their formal qualities. Seen together, one painting de-stabilizes our presumptions about another.