Drawn entirely from the extensive collection of the Cornell Fine Arts Museum, Multiple Voices/Multiple Stories, examines the multilayered narratives contained in figural representations. Ranging from traditional portraiture to creative depictions, the exhibition presents a diverse selection of works from across time and region, each with a unique story to tell. Although portraiture has been a standard form of representation throughout the history of art, this exhibition encourages a fresh and nuanced reading of such images of individuals. Multiple Voices asks us to consider not only the story of a portrait’s subject but also the relationship between the subject and the artist.
These stories often speak to historical moments, illuminate gendered and socioeconomic constructions of identity, and integrate art historical references. Engaging in transnational and transhistorical dialogue, the works in this exhibition converse with and respond back to one another in ways that elucidate new meaning from old narratives.
Image: Lorna Simpson (American, b. 1960), Untitled (from SITE Santa Fe Benefit), 1995, Four-color electrostatic heat transfer on felt, 9 x 11 in. Museum purchased from the Michel Roux Acquisition Fund. 2020.2 © Lorna Simpson. Image courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth