Portia Munson

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Portia Munson is a contemporary American visual artist celebrated for her work in a range of different mediums including photography, painting, sculpture and installation. Much of her work focus on feminism and environmentalism, although other themes that permeate her work include colour, consumerism, life and death.

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Works

Spring Allium. 2013

Portia Munson

Calendula, Sunflower. 2013

Portia Munson

Coltsfoot, Tulip. 2011

Portia Munson

Cosmos Sun. 2011

Portia Munson

Double Happiness. 2011

Portia Munson

Downy Woodpecker. 2013

Portia Munson

Harlequin. 2009

Portia Munson

Maze. 2010

Portia Munson

Helleborus, Green April. 2011

Portia Munson

Hyacinth Rain. 2013

Portia Munson

July Eye. 2014

Portia Munson

Lady Slipper. 2009

Portia Munson

Peony. 2012

Portia Munson

Red Tulip Target. 2011

Portia Munson

Stargazer. 2009

Portia Munson

Thistle. 2013

Portia Munson

Skull Flower. 2008

Portia Munson

Tulip Bud. 2009

Portia Munson

Verdant Aftermath. 2011

Portia Munson

Warblerheliopsis. 2014

Portia Munson

Windflower. 2011

Portia Munson

Early Life

Munson was born in Beverly, Massachusetts in 1961. In 1983, she received a BFA from the Cooper Union School of Art, New York and in 1990 she earned an MFA from the Mason Gross School of Art, Rutgers University, New Jersey. She also attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 1987.

Photographic Career

Munson first rose to prominence with an exhibition of her now notorious work, Pink Project: Table, 1994. Munson created the work out of pink objects ranging from banal items such as dolls and combs, to dildos and tampons, which were all arranged in varying hues of pink. The piece is in part influenced by the British sculptor Tony Cragg’s colour-ordered assemblages and comments on gender identity in a consumerist society.

In 2002, Munson introduced the use of flowers into her photography, concentrating on their structures and colour, arranging them against a black background to highlight their vibrancy. Munson began using flowers as a recurring motif following the death of someone close to her, which left her to consider the fleeting lives of both flowers and people. Munson selects the flowers she uses seasonally to draw on the cyclical themes of nature.

Exhibitions and Awards

Her work is held in the collections of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia; 21C International Contemporary Art Museum, Louisville, Kentucky, and the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, Kansas. Munson is the recipient of numerous notable fellowships at the Corporation of Yaddo in 1999, The McDowell Colony in 1992, 1993, and 1998. She has also been a visiting artist and lecturer at a number of prestigious institutions, including the Yale School of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, The New Museum for Contemporary Art, Parsons School of Design, CAL Arts, and Massachusetts College of Art.