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Utah Museum of Fine Arts
Gallery view of “Power Couples: The Pendant Format in Art” at the Utah Museum of Fine Arts, on display through Dec. 8.
SALT LAKE CITY — Along a wall in the Utah Museum of Fine Arts, two lovers communicate with each other from inside the bounds of their own distinct portraits. Situated in her room, a woman delicately hushes her lover with a finger raised to her mouth, while her male companion lovingly gestures to her as he departs.
Together the lovers form a pendant — a pair of artworks meant to be displayed side by side. Pendants come in many varieties, ranging from portraiture and landscape paintings to abstract prints and sculptures. The UMFA’s latest exhibition, “Power Couples: The Pendant Format in Art,” showcases art in pairs from the 16th century to the present day.
Provided by UMFA
Leslie Anderson with her exhibition “Power Couples.” The research and planning for the exhibition has been years in the making.
Leslie Anderson, UMFA’s curator of European, American and regional art, got the idea for the exhibit while doing research in Denmark, where she discovered that a well-known portrait of a professor at Copenhagen Academy had a mysterious companion piece.
“I thought about how the revelation changed the understanding of the work,” Anderson said.
That discovery spurned a fascination with art pairings and a determination to continue learning all she could about the form. After arriving at the UMFA, Anderson began to consider doing an exhibition…