Tue. Apr 23rd, 2024

Unsettled Lands by Manette Rene Bradford

Exhibition Reception & Artist Talk: Friday, February 23rd, 5:30pm – 7:30pm | FREE and open to the public
Paris Gibson Square Museum of Art presents Unsettled Lands by emerging artist, Manette Rene Bradford. Located in Billings, MT, Manette uses watercolor, acrylic, paper collage, and ceramic sculpture, to engage with themes from the mythic American West. Masculinity, heroism, mastery, and stewardship over the land are suggested with a raw and brazen effect. Manette strives to unearth the legacy of western settlement and the overwhelming impulse behind the act of possession. Recognizable Montana landscapes are merged with the male form to create a thought-provoking composition.
She renders both human form and landscape in raw sepia, the resulting effect organically encapsulates both body and land while eliminating the distinction between the two. The figure is enlarged, nude, eroded, and vulnerable to act in contrast to the legend of the heroic frontiersman. The landscapes of Montana are depicted at origin; pure, open, untethered and thus harmonious with the naked body enmeshed within. The work hints at the primal desire for man to not simply acquire but to meld and absorb with the land.
Alissa Kost, Executive Director of MAGDA, states, Manette’s work is unparalleled in depth of content, detail, and skill. “Her use of Montana historical contexts, landscape, and human impact provide a rich narrative for viewers to explore. This body of work achieves so much of what MAGDA exists to promote. It informs and celebrates the history of Montana, while conceptualizing a modern vantage to help redefine the image of the west and foster present-day art and cultural appreciation. MAGDA is grateful to Manette for sharing her perspective and talents with the state.”
Unsettled Lands at Paris Gibson Square Museum of Art is supported in part by the Montana Arts Council, a state agency funded by the State of Montana, and the National Endowment for the Arts. We are funded in part by coal severance taxes paid based upon coal mined in Montana and deposited in Montana’s cultural and aesthetic projects trust fund. Additional funding is provided by museum members and the citizens of Cascade County, Davidson Family Foundation, D.A. Davidson, Horizon Credit Union, an anonymous donor, and Kelly’s Signs & Design.
Unsettled Lands is touring seven venues from 2024 – 2026. For exhibition schedule and additional information, please visit www.magdamt.org.
MAGDA is a non-profit organization founded in 1972. The mission is to serve the non-profit museums and galleries of Montana, and artists, by offering high quality art exhibitions and professional development training. The organization is dedicated to support and develop public interest in, and knowledge of the cultural resources and heritage of the State of Montana. MAGDA’s work would not be possible without the support of its membership, the Montana Arts Council, a state agency funded by the State of Montana; coal severance taxes paid based upon coal mined in Montana and deposited in Montana’s Cultural and Aesthetic Projects Trust Fund; and the National Endowment for the Arts.

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