MISSOULA – This fall, the Montana Museum of Art & Culture at the University of
Montana will present another special exhibit that underscores the power of language. Present
Tense: Prints from the Collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer and His Family Foundation will be on display at the MMAC from Thursday, Sept. 29, to Saturday, Jan. 14, 2017. The exhibition contains a selection of prints by contemporary artists that incorporate text or language.
In the past several decades, visual artists have explored language, text, words and even
single letters to address serious social and political issues such as gender, violence, pollution
But they also have used language to intrigue us, to make us curious or to make us smile.
The use of text in art often compels the viewer to slow down and carefully consider the words,
not only their superficial meaning but also their deeper meaning as symbols of larger ideas.
Present Tense includes works by famous contemporary artists such as Jasper Johns
and Andy Warhol, who used language to challenge its typical narrative function. In Lalla
Essaydi’s large-scale photograph, Les Femmes du Maroc No. 35, the artist’s calligraphy
covers every surface in the room, including the subject’s face, hands and feet. Through this
forceful and explicit reinterpretation of 19th-century European portraiture, Essaydi inverts the
historical tradition of outsiders – particularly white, male Europeans – defining the meaning of
Arabic women’s bodies.
Included in the exhibition are works by John Baldessari, Mark Bennett, Mel Bochner,
Jonathan Borofsky, Louise Bourgeois, Robert Cottingham, Simon Donaldson, Essaydi, Tony
Fitzpatrick, Robert Gober, Jenny Holzer, Julia Jacquette, Chris Johanson, Johns, Barbara
Kruger, Silvia Levenson, Glenn Ligon, Allan McCollum, Bruce Nauman, Jim Riswold, Ed
Ruscha, Jonathan Seliger, Lorna Simpson and Warhol.
MMAC Curator and Exhibitions Coordinator Jeremy Canwell selected works for the
show from the collection of Jordan D. Schnitzer, whose holdings exceed 9,500 works of art and represent many of today’s most important contemporary artists. MMAC’s Present Tense builds on Schnitzer’s generous lending program, which has facilitated over 100 exhibitions through loans to more than 75 qualified institutions.
The exhibition will open to the public with a reception from 5 to 5:45 p.m. Thursday,
Sept. 29, in UM’s Performing Arts and Radio/Television Center. The opening reception will
begin with a presentation by Portland, Oregon-based art collector and art lender Jordan D.
Schnitzer in the Masquer Theatre, followed by a printmaking workshop led by UM Professor
Elizabeth Dove from 6 to 7 p.m. in the PAR/TV lobby. Food and beverages will be served.
Additional programming in conjunction with the exhibition will include a panel discussion
from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 21, and a lecture by Canwell at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 3, both
held in the PAR/TV Masquer Theatre. All events are free and open to the public.
MMAC docents are looking forward to sharing this exhibit with the public. Special public
docent tours will be offered at 5 p.m. Friday, Oct. 7, and Thursday, Dec. 8. The special tours
require no reservations or advanced notice. Private docent tours for a group can be arranged by calling 406-243-2019.
MMAC’s gallery hours are from noon to 3 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday, and
from noon to 6 p.m. Thursday and Friday. The museum is closed Sundays, Mondays and UM
holidays. The museum is open to the public with a suggested $5 donation. For more
information call 406-243-2019 or visit http://www.umt.edu/montanamuseum/.
About the Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation
At age 14, Jordan D. Schnitzer bought his first work of art from his mother’s Portland, Oregon
contemporary art gallery, evolving into his lifelong avocation as collector. He began collecting
contemporary prints and multiples in earnest in 1988. Today, the collection exceeds 9,500
works and includes many of today’s most important contemporary artists. It has grown to be
one of the country’s largest private print collections overall. He generously lends work from his
collection to qualified institutions and has organized over 100 exhibitions at more than 75
museums. Mr. Schnitzer is also President of Harsch Investment Properties, a privately owned
real estate investment company based in Portland, Oregon, with 23 million square feet of office, multi-tenant industrial, multi-family and retail properties in six western states. For more
information about the Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation, please visit