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DescriptionIn her solo exhibition at the Renaissance Society in 2017, Tenderheaded, Jennifer Packer established herself as one of the most compelling painters of her generation. The exhibition, a selection of portraits and paintings of funerary bouquets, based in observation, improvisation and memory, rigorously engaged with art history at the same time as it maintained a personal response to how black bodies navigate within the present political landscape. Packer's portraiture foregrounds the autonomy and integrity of her sitting subjects, embodying questions of representation, visibility, and desire. Her paintings of funerary bouquets, meanwhile, provide a personal space in which to address themes of trauma and loss. Packer, whose practice is marked by both its restraint and tenderness, favors the emotive capacity of painting as a form of resistance to fixed identity. The first monograph devoted to the paintings of this important emerging artist, this catalog will address her multiple bodies of work. Tenderheaded includes documentation of the exhibition, an introduction by Solveig Ovstebo, a conversation between Packer and the acclaimed Chicago-based painter Kerry James Marshall, as well as art historical essays and poetry responding to Packer's work.
Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago
19 October 2018
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