Power Couples: The Pendant Format in Art considers how two interdependent works, called “pendants,” convey meaning. The study of this popular format reveals a variety of artistic strategies at play—desires to communicate social hierarchy, gender roles, racial issues, complementary ideas, the passage of time, the continuity of space, and the appearance of truth in art.
Drawn from the UMFA’s rich collection and strengthened with select loans, the expansive exhibition will display works conceived as pairs in European, American, and regional art from the fifteenth century until the present day. Artists on view include Barthel Bruyn the Younger, Dirck Hals, Peeter Neefs the Elder, Gabriel and Augustin de Saint-Aubin, Gilbert Stuart, Edmonia Lewis, Robert Rauschenberg, Lorna Simpson, Nina Katchadourian, Kerry James Marshall, and Roni Horn. Leslie Anderson, curator of European, American, and regional art, organized this exhibition for the UMFA.
Despite its prevalence across time periods and cultures, the pendant, unlike its hinged predecessor the diptych, has never before been the subject of a comprehensive exhibition.