This fall at the Douglas F. Cooley Memorial Art Gallery, Reed College
No Face, No Case: Portraiture’s Breaking
Organized by the curators of the No Face, No Case Collective
The exhibition is open by appointment to the Reed community. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a visit.
ARTISTS: Laura Aguilar; Nayland Blake; Georganne Deen; Omer Fast; Ann Hamilton; Jim Hodges; Y.Z. Kami; Mariko Mori; Yasumasa Morimura; Catherine Opie; Andres Serrano; Gary Simmons; and Nari Ward
How do we relate to images of the self when the self is in a state of breakdown? How do we contend with artworks that claim to represent others? These are some of the central concerns of the Cooley Gallery exhibition No Face, No Case: Portraiture’s Breaking. Composed of painting, photography, sculpture, and video, the works in the exhibition confront portraiture’s complex historical status as a site of power, capital, and innocence. Made by a group of visionary artists between 1990 and 2005, the works in No Face, No Case demand a reconsideration of portraiture’s agency and legibility. The works also speak to police and government surveillance tactics intended to accuse individuals by capturing their faces. So while many of the works in No Face, No Case do not look or feel like portraiture, they all force an encounter with the broken self.
The works in the exhibition weredonated to the Reed College Art Collection by the Peter Norton Collection. Peter Norton is a Reed College alumnus (class of ’65), emeritus trustee, celebrated arts patron, and philanthropist who became a serious art collector in the early 1990s, commissioning the work of LGBTQ+ and BIPOC artists during the AIDS crisis and the Culture Wars, and supporting major museum exhibitions—most notably the Black Male exhibition organized by Thelma Golden, which took place at the Whitney Museum of American Art in 1994.
No Face, No Case: Portraiture’s Breaking was organized by the No Face No Case Collective—the students and faculty of the fall 2020 Reed College Art History course Making an Exhibition, including Cooley curator Stephanie Snyder.The collective carefully researched and considered the more than seventy works of art donated to the college by Norton. This included the identification of art historical, philosophical, and critical texts that influenced the conceptual underpinnings of Norton’s collecting project, and the exhibition. The curators’ experience of organizing Making an Exhibition was incontrovertibly influenced by the Covid-19 pandemic, and the national reckoning with anti-black racism that defined 2020. Working over Zoom, the curators struggled to communicate through the software’s often pixelated, uncanny environment. These conditions mirror the increasingly refracted, fragmentary, and violent nature of contemporary visual culture.
THE DOUGLAS F. COOLEY MEMORIAL
ART GALLERY, REED COLLEGE
3203 SE WOODSTOCK BLVD.
PORTLAND, OREGON 97202-8199
HOURS: NOON TO 5 P.M., TUESDAY – SUNDAY, FREE
LOCATED ON THE MAIN FLOOR OF THE REED LIBRARY
The mission of the Douglas F. Cooley Memorial Art Gallery is to enhance the academic offerings of Reed College with a diverse range of scholarly exhibitions, lectures, and colloquia in its role as a teaching gallery.
The gallery was established by a generous 1988 gift from Sue and Edward Cooley and John and Betty Gray "in support of the teaching of art history at Reed College, as part of an interdisciplinary educational experience that strengthens the art history component of Reed's distinctive humanities program." Exhibitions are coordinated in collaboration with Reed faculty members and courses, with attention to the needs and interests of the larger Portland and Northwest arts communities. A schedule of three to four exhibitions during the academic year brings to Reed and the Portland community work that would not otherwise be seen in the region.
John and Anne Hauberg Curator and Director
Registrar and Program Coordinator
Education Outreach Coordinator
Calligraphy Initiative Coordinator
Please email Registrar Colleen Gotze to be added to the Cooley Gallery announcement list and for general gallery questions.