Jennifer Packer (b. 1984) Ivan, 2013 Oil on canvas 36 × 24 × 1 in. The Studio Museum in Harlem; Museum purchase with funds provided by the Acquisition Committee 2013.13.3

The figure in Ivan blends with abstract splotches of mauve that make up the painting’s dreamlike background. Everything surrounding the young man is blurred, including the mostly invisible chair on which he sits. Experimenting with scale, color, and abstraction, Jennifer Packer creates portraits that accentuate the details of people’s unique gestures, expressions, and inner selves. Here, the sensitive, atmospheric rendering defies Black stereotypes, allowing masculinity and vulnerability to coexist.

Artist in Residence 2012–13