Jennifer Packer: Tenderheaded, Rose Art Museum, March 2 - July 8

Based in observation, improvisation, and memory, Packer’s canvases are intimate and contemplative, rendered in loose strokes and strong color. Like the exhibition title, the juxtaposition of these various modes of representation and production point to possibilities both bodily and emotional, fragile and strong. Her works exhibit a rigorous engagement with art history as well as a highly personal response to how black bodies navigate within the present political landscape.

Packer’s figurative paintings are marked by a powerful quietude. Each canvas reads as a self-contained world, its subject emerging from or dissolving into its surroundings. She presents those who sit for her—usually family members and friends— with compassion, foregrounding their individual autonomy and carefully guarding their integrity. Art historian Jessica Bell Brown describes Packer’s scenes as “emphatically mundane and radically tender,” embodying questions of representation, visibility, and desire.


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