About the Art:
William Masterson Untitled, detail, 1997 oil on canvas, 41 inches by 30 inches. Gift of the Artists, 1997.014.0002
What’s in a name, or in this case, the lack of one? Titles can provide important information about a work of art, whether it’s the identity of a sitter for a portrait, the name of a painting’s location, or a mood or feeling that the artist wishes to evoke. Yet the absence of a name, the decision to call a work Untitled, can be equally suggestive. In some cases, the original name has been lost over time, but in other instances, the absence of a name is a deliberate choice made by the artist, encouraging viewers to seek out their own interpretations.
Drawn from the permanent collection, this exhibit will explore the ambiguity and versatility of naming works of art through a selection of pieces that share the name. Viewers will encounter pieces made in a variety of styles and mediums, but uniting them is their shared lack of a name. In exploring this selection, visitors will be encouraged to look closely and ask themselves, “What would you call it?”