On February 13, Tacoma Art Museum (TAM) premiered a new online exhibition that will also be on view in the galleries for an extended period once the Museum reopens to the public. Painting Deconstructed: Selections from the Northwest Collection is a celebration of painters and painting. Drawn from TAM’s collection, it is designed to encourage visitors to look more closely at the elements that have come together to create a finished artwork.
“Painting is probably the most familiar of art forms but I think sometimes we are so used to looking at paintings that we stop noticing the details and thereby overlook some of the artistry that went into them,” notes exhibition curator Margaret Bullock.
The exhibition is organized around four components that are key to every painting: the medium and support, color palette, composition, and technique. It begins with the elemental building blocks of the materials used (medium) and the surface (support) that was painted on, then explores the visual, emotional, and psychological impacts of color choices. Other sections of the exhibition look in depth at how the parts of an artwork are arranged (composition) and the techniques the artists used to apply their medium and how both affect the final image.
“The Northwest is home to a diverse and multi-talented group of painters, and TAM is fortunate to own a collection of more than 700 Northwest paintings. We want to make sure great works by artists of our region are always on view for our visitors and this exhibition is an opportunity to spotlight many talented individuals,” said David F. Setford, Executive Director. “I’m particularly pleased that we are able to offer it both online and in the galleries to reach audiences wherever they may be.”
Painting Deconstructed is currently available as a web-based exhibition on the museum’s website. It includes a resources page with links to additional information on the artists in the exhibition such as links to their websites, video interviews, and more. Each work on the website is also linked to TAM’s online collection database, eMuseum, where visitors can find short artist biographies, more information on each work, and the rest of the museum’s painting collection.