Taubman Museum of Art Announces Opening of Positive Fragmentation Exhibition

Roanoke, VA, Jan. 12, 2023 –

The Taubman Museum of Art is pleased to present Positive Fragmentation: From the Collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer and His Family Foundation, on view Feb. 3-May 14, 2023, in the Carilion Clinic Gallery and the Special Exhibition Gallery. Organized by the National Museum of Women in the Arts (NWMA) and the Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation, the exhibition features more than 180 works by 21 contemporary women artists who employ a strategy of fragmentation in their artistic process, taking apart constructs to pose probing questions and generate new meanings. A notable strength of the exhibition is its focus on women artists of color who have been underrepresented historically in many museums’ permanent collections and exhibition programs. Artists like Mickalene Thomas challenge historical narratives by creating compositions that echo those of nineteenth-century European painters but through wholly novel techniques and media, combining woodblock, screen-printing, and digital photography.

Wendy Red Star, a Native American artist of the Apsáalooke (Crow) Tribe, creates colorful, often playful prints that nonetheless convey the struggles of indigenous marginalization and the legacy of European colonization on the continent by fusing appropriated indigenous motifs with images of everyday life on the reservation.

Ethiopian-born Julie Mehretu creates large-scale abstract compositions that speak to the traditions of European and American abstraction while compounding these histories with contemporary global concerns regarding climate change and migration.

“Positive Fragmentation explores imagery that shatters conventional meanings and fragments traditional narratives to find new ways of understanding the world today and discover creative means of negotiating our lived experiences,” said Dr. Karl E. Willers, Deputy Director of Exhibitions and Collections and Chief Curator for the Taubman Museum of Art. “Exploring a range of print methods and graphic techniques, this exhibition brings offers a dynamic look at contemporary printmaking.”

“I have often said that artists are chroniclers of our times, and we can look to them for guidance, inspiration and motivation to create a more equitable world for all,” said Jordan D. Schnitzer. “I hope that this exhibition will advance conversations about the role theseartists have had in society. Often facing discrimination from major museums, the artists do not just persevere but flourish. It is too bad that some of them are not here today to see the impact of their work and the next generation of women artists who are already some of the most important artists today.”

“We are thrilled to present this exhibition, our second collaboration with Jordan D. Schnitzer and His Family Foundation. We strive to ‘meet the community where they are’ with our exhibition and educational programming, and this provides a wonderful opportunity to connect Southwest Virginia with diverse artists who are addressing some of the most important and challenging issues of our time. We are grateful to Jordan for his continued partnership with the Museum,” said Cindy Petersen, executive director of the Taubman Museum of Art.

Derived from the Collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer and His Family Foundation—one of the largest private print collections in the world—the exhibition was organized by the National Museum of Women in the Arts (NWMA). It was curated by Virginia Treanor, Ph.D., Associate Curator, and Kathryn Wat, Deputy Director for Art, Programs, and Public Engagement and Chief Curator at the NWMA.

A fully illustrated catalogue will accompany the exhibition.

Positive Fragmentation: From the Collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer and His Family Foundation is free and open to the public. The Taubman Museum of Art is open Fridays and Saturdays 10 a.m.- 5 p.m. and Sundays 12-5 p.m., with extended hours the first Friday of each month until 9 p.m. The Taubman also offers daily guided tours Monday through Sunday at 1 p.m. highlighting the Museum’s permanent collection, and will offer guided tours of Positive Fragmentation on Saturdays at 3 p.m. throughout the life of the exhibition. Tour tickets and details are available at TaubmanMuseum.org.

About Jordan D. Schnitzer and His 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 a lifelong avocation as collector. He began collecting contemporary prints and multiples in earnest in 1988. Today, the collection has become one of the most important post-war and contemporary collections in all mediums, exceeding 20,000 objects and has grown to be the country’s largest private collection of prints and multiples. He generously lends work from his collection to qualified institutions with no additional fees. The Foundation has organized over 160 exhibitions and has had art exhibited at over 120 museums. Mr. Schnitzer is also President of Schnitzer Properties, a privately owned real estate investment company based in Portland.

Founded in 1997, the Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation is a non-profit whose mission it is to make the collections accessible to qualified museums in diverse communities. The Foundation publishes scholarly brochures, exhibition catalogues, and catalogues raisonnés in conjunction with exhibitions drawn from the collections. The Foundation also funds museum outreach and programming – especially to lesser served communities – furthering the mission of letting artists speak to us, through their art, on important issues facing society. For more information about the Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation, please visit jordanschnitzer.org.

About the Taubman Museum of Art

Designed by noted architect Randall Stout and accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, the Taubman Museum of Art in Roanoke, Va., is home to a widely respected permanent collection and offers rotating exhibitions showcasing work by global, national and regional artists. In recognition of the Museum’s dedicated community engagement and outreach efforts, the Institute of Museum and Library Services named the Taubman as a finalist for the 2021 National Medal for Museum and Library Service, and the Virginia Association of Museums awarded the Taubman with their 2022 Innovation Award. Committed to accessibility and inclusivity, the Taubman Museum of Art offers free general admission sponsored in part by Appalachian Power Foundation. TaubmanMuseum.org | Instagram + Facebook: @TaubmanMuseum Twitter: @Taubman_Museum | YouTube: bit.ly/TaubmanYT


Media Contacts:

Sunny Nelson at snelson@taubmanmuseum.org or 919.452.9689.


Press Release (PDF)

Go to Top