Conceptual artist Annette Lemieux (born 1957) is the recipient of the MFA’s 2017 Maud Morgan Prize, a biennial award honoring a Massachusetts woman artist who has made significant contributions to the contemporary arts landscape. This special solo exhibition debuts a new body of work, inspired by films Lemieux felt an affinity for as a child growing up in small-town America: François Truffaut’s Fahrenheit 451 (1966), Robert Mulligan’s To Kill a Mockingbird (1962), Charlie Chaplin’s The Great Dictator (1940) and Fritz Lang’s M (1931). While they are over half a century old, the issues broached by these classic motion pictures—including repression, censorship, racism and classism—continue to resonate in today’s political climate. Extracting select elements from each film’s mise en scène—its environment, ambiance and visual mode of storytelling—Lemieux recomposes familiar images from cinematic history into stand-alone objects, counteracting today’s incessant acts of rewinding and repeating. In addition to the new works, the exhibition also showcases five prints from the artist’s Censor Portfolio (1994), drawn from the MFA’s collection.
Presented with support from the Eugenie Prendergast Memorial Fund.