Amy Bennett, “Nothing New Under The Sun” (2016)

The Institute of Contemporary Art at Maine College of Art is pleased to announce American Genre: Contemporary Painting curated by artist, writer, and curator Michelle Grabner. Grabner is the Crown Family Professor of Art at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

American Genre: Contemporary Painting is an exhibition built on a triad of traditional painting genres: still life, landscape, and portraiture. Fifty-two paintings by fifty-two American artists offer a critical balance to the conditions of atemporality, affected responses, and the material turn shaping much of contemporary painting discourse. Alternatively, this exhibition employs historically recognized groupings of subject and forms. Genres incorporate and invoke structures of knowledge by performing classification. Deeply embedded in everyday life, genre is conspicuous and powerful in its ability to chart historical continuity and differences through its organizing forces.

The exhibition will close with a one-day symposium hosted by Maine College of Art and featuring a panel discussion moderated by Barry Schwabsky on September 15. The daylong symposium consists of series of conversations about the power of painting and the idea of genre as a cultural structure — one that guides interpretation, anticipation, and imagination.

Due to limited seating, RSVP to the September 15 symposium by emailing