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The Mennello Museum of American Art exhibits works from the collection of Dr. Robert B. Feldman
Clotilde Jiménez, Fruity Boys, 2016, mixed media on paper. Courtesy of the artist/Mariane Ibrahim Gallery.

ORLANDO, FL.- The Mennello Museum of American Art announces Shifting Gaze: A Reconstruction of The Black & Hispanic Body in Contemporary Art from the collection of Dr. Robert B. Feldman. This exhibition is on view at the Mennello Museum from October 19, 2018, through January 13, 2019.

Shifting Gaze: A Reconstruction of The Black & Hispanic Body in Contemporary Art presents a selection of works from Dr. Robert B. Feldman’s extensive collection of contemporary art. The artists gathered in the exhibition have all drawn upon art history, American history, and popular culture to create powerful works that, independently and collectively, present a broad range of concepts about identity, beauty, belonging, and religion, as well as work with deep gravitas around poignant issues of race, sexuality, violence, displacement, vulnerability, erasure, and visibility.

Shifting Gaze Curator and Mennello Museum Executive Director Shannon Fitzgerald states: “The work by 25 internationally regarded artists selected for this exhibition resonates in timely considerations into race and identity, and most poignantly, the Shifting Gaze that is occurring in our global society right now with artists at the fore in challenging perceptions about the way we may or may not look at the ‘other.’ The power behind these images—all referencing the body or its absence—in painting, drawing, photography, and sculpture, proposes a new visual language as an alternate to constructs about the black and brown body, the male and female gaze thereby reconstructing multiple narratives.”

The title is evocative and an emblematic reference to art history and the critical social agency of our current times. Through various media, such as painting, sculpture, drawing, and collage, the Black and Hispanic body (physical and metaphoric) is implied or materializes with subtlety in some instances, beautifully unfolds in others, and in a few, is direct, dramatic, and heartbreaking. The symbolic framework of the Shifting Gaze and Reconstruction helps generate a larger dialogue between the works on view and the specificities of a diverse African & Hispanic Diaspora in our current physical, social, and political landscape, as revealed through each artist’s personal experience and distinctive aesthetics.

The Shifting Gaze, who is looking at who engages perception, seeing and objectification while Reconstruction represents a rebuild, new articulation, and possibly new constructs via a new voice – from the past and projected into a resonant now. The power of this collection, conceptually, formally, across contexts, sensibilities, and interests is the result of the extraordinary vision and passionate quest of the Winter Park collector Dr. Feldman who shares with us an unparalleled visual intellect fueled by his knowledge, curiosity, humanity, and keen eye.

“The artists in Shifting Gaze are powerfully breaking boundaries in the conversation about identity and culture in America—especially through the lens of seeing the body and that body having agency,” says Dr. Feldman. “I am inspired by their work and vision and honored to support them as critical artists at the forefront of important dialogues in our culture.”

A full-color exhibition catalog will be produced on the occasion of the exhibition and includes an essay by Shannon Fitzgerald and an interview with Dr. Feldman by Katherine Navarro, Associate Curator of Education, Mennello Museum of American Art. A book release and signing will be announced.

Shifting Gaze: A Reconstruction of The Black & Hispanic Body in Contemporary Art is curated by Shannon Fitzgerald, Executive Director, Mennello Museum of American Art.

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