“Work and Leisure in American Art: Selected Works from the Collection” on view at the Montclair Art Museum

This collection-based exhibition comprises over 60 paintings, sculptures, photographs, and works on paper that explore the universal themes of labor and leisure in America from the 18th century to the present day. The works on view range chronologically from Benjamin West’s exposure of political corruption in the painting Oliver Cromwell Dissolving the Long Parliament (1782) to the photograph The Stone Breakers (After Gustave Courbet), 2013 by Vik Muniz. This recent acquisition by a leading contemporary artist who lives and works in Brooklyn and Rio de Janeiro is a recreation of the French 19th-century Realist Gustave Courbet’s radical celebration of the common laborer at work. A photograph of a collage using images torn from magazines, The Stone Breakers (After Gustave Courbet) is complemented by scenes of industrial and urban labor in the 20th century by Thomas Hart Benton, Stuyvesant Van Veen, and

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