Figures in a Landscape, 1972-1973

Sidney Goodman
Oil on canvas

Family Ties, International contemporary artists interpret family

On view June 21, 2003 to September 21, 2003

Located in the: Special Exhibition Galleries

Family Ties, curated by distinguished scholar Trevor Fairbrother, invites you to participate in a remarkable global conversation on the meaning of family today. More than fifty internationally acclaimed contemporary artists express the joys, complexities, and expansive nature of familial relationships through surprising and thought-provoking photography, video, painting, sculpture, ceramics, and textiles. Portraits by artists such as Andy Warhol, Chuck Close, Nan Goldin, and Keith Edmier join commentaries on time and memory by Janine Antoni, Nicholas Nixon, Roger Shimomura, and Albert Chong. Artists such as Kerry James Marshall, Yinka Shonibare, and Gregory Crewdson offer allegorical depictions of family, while Faith Ringgold, Edward Koren, and Zhang Huan make provocative use of words to convey ideas.

Individually, the international artworks of Family Ties illustrate the diverse forms that families now assume in response to decades of dramatic social, economic, and technological change. Collectively, they remind us of the commonality of human experience and the central role of family—regardless of form—in nurturing cultural identity and social values. “Child rearing is not the only option,” says Fairbrother. “A family can easily be born from the fellowships we find in religion, social class, occupation, nationality, or any number of cultural communities.”

In a powerful juxtaposition of creative voices, Family Ties speaks to the historical structure of family depicted in Worshiping the Ancestors. The two exhibitions inaugurate the special exhibition galleries with a synergy designed to inspire thoughtful dialogue.