The ICA at Maine College of Art & Design is free and open to the public. Wednesday–Sunday 11:00am–5:00pm, Thursday 11:00am–7:00pm, and First Fridays 11:00am–8:00pm.

American Genre: Contemporary Painting

Hope Gangloff, After Party, 2015, acrylic and collage on paper

On view from July 20, 2017 – September 15, 2017
Exhibition Reception: Thursday, July 20, 2017, 5:00–8:00pm

Click Here to Purchase Exhibition Catalog

The Institute of Contemporary Art at Maine College of Art & Design is pleased to announce American Genre: Contemporary Painting curated by artist, writer, and curator Michelle Grabner. Grabner is the Crown Family Professor of Art at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

American Genre: Contemporary Painting is an exhibition built on a triad of traditional painting genres: still life, landscape, and portraiture. Fifty-two paintings by fifty-two American artists offers a critical balance to the conditions of atemporality, affected responses, and the material turn shaping much of contemporary painting discourse. Alternatively, this exhibition employs historically recognized groupings of subject and forms. Genres incorporate and invoke structures of knowledge by performing classification. Deeply embedded in everyday life, genre is conspicuous and powerful in its ability to chart historical continuity and differences through its organizing forces.

Artists include: 

Still Life: Gina Beavers, Dana DeGiulio, Wendy Edwards, Francesca Fuchs, Hope Gangloff, Evan Gruzis, Angelina Gualdoni, Magalie Guerin, Jessica Halonen, Jonn Herschend, Tucker Nichols, Aliza Nisenbaum, Walter Robinson, Roger White, Griff Williams, Kelly S. Williams, Emi Winter, Mathew Zefeldt

Portraiture: Herman Aguirre, Lucas Ajemian, Deborah Brown, Kristin Calabrese, Brian Calvin, Susanna Coffey, Angela Dufresne, Andreas Fischer, Howard Fonda, Richard Hull, José Lerma, Keith Mayerson, Frank J. Stockton, Henry Taylor, Storm Tharp, Kehinde Wiley

Landscape: Dan Attoe, Peter Barrickman, Amy Bennett, Michael Berryhill, Patrick Chamberlain, Ann Craven, Paula Crown, Cynthia Daignault, Rackstraw Downes, Mari Eastman, Shara Hughes, Brad Killam, Eva Lundsager, Tyson Reeder, John Riepenhoff, Claire Sherman, Gail Spaien, Spencer Sweeney, Emily Sundblad

This exhibition is accompanied by an exhibition catalog, available for purchase in the ICA Store.

The exhibition closed with a one-day symposium hosted by Maine College of Art & Design, featuring a panel discussion moderated by Barry Schwabsky on September 15, 2017.

Masthead Image: Kelly S. Williams, Crystal Ball Terrarium (detail), 2014, Oil on canvas, 54x32 inches, Courtesy of David Lusk & Carissa Hussong

On Genre: A Painting Symposium, September 15, 2017

On Genre: A Painting Symposium

Portland, Maine ~ The Institute of Contemporary Art in conjunction with the Painting and MFA programs at Maine College of Art & Design (MECA&D) is pleased to invite the public to attend On Genre:  A Painting Symposium, a daylong series of conversations about the power of painting and the idea of genre as a cultural structure — one that guides interpretation, anticipation and imagination.

This unique community gathering will spotlight and examine the exhibition American Genre: Contemporary Painting, curated by Michelle Grabner, Crown Family Professor of Art at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Nationally and internationally recognized presenters will be joined by an engaged group of artists, arts leaders and students to share perspectives about still life, landscape and portraiture as categories that chart historical continuity and reveal American value systems. A rich opportunity for extended discussion, Grabners’ exhibition is compelling and approachable, and yields great potential for interpretation and reflection on painting and genre as spaces of agreement.

The morning session will begin with a brief overview by Michelle Grabner, followed a keynote lecture entitled Contemporary Genre Painting: Animating the Intimate by Marie Shurkus, Ph.D, Chair of Academic Studies and Professor of Art History at MECA&D. Drawing insight from the feminist tenet that the personal is political, this talk will analyze how contemporary genre paintings invite audiences to participate in an imaginary realm that activates real consequences.

An afternoon panel discussion, Painting as Common Ground, led by Barry Schwabsky, American poet and the art critic for The Nation (the oldest continuously published weekly magazine in the United States), will explore genre and painting as systems that organize, interpret, translate and imagine history and experience. In response to Michelle Grabner's curatorial focus, five panelists Sharon Butler, Angela Dufresne, Shara Hughes, Chris Stiegler and Roger White will share a variety of perspectives and insights about contemporary painting and illuminate the role of genre as a ubiquitous frame of reference. A community event intended to foster cultural dialogue, audience members will be encouraged to take part in an extended question and answer period following the presentation.

On Genre:  A Painting Symposium will end with a closing reception in the ICA. For more information, please contact Erin Hutton, Director of Exhibitions and Special Projects, Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) at Maine College of Art & Design at 207.699.5025 or .

This event is free and open to the public. Due to limited seating, RSVP to the September 15th Symposium by emailing

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