Thursday, July 14, 2016

Rockwell and Realism in an Abstract World

Norman Rockwell Museum

On view through October 30, 2016


"The Box," Bo Bartlett
“The Box,” 2002. Bo Bartlett. Colletion of Andrew Nelson. All rights reserved.

In post-World War II America, the primacy of abstract art was clearly acknowledged, and by 1961, when Rockwell painted The Connoisseur, Abstract Expressionism had been covered in the popular press for nearly 15 years. Originated in the 1940s by Pollock, Willem de Kooning, Franz Kline, Barnett Newman, and Mark Rothko, among others, Abstract Expressionism was the first American movement to achieve widespread international influence.

The Connoisseur, Norman Rockwell. 1961. Cover illustration for The Saturday Evening Post, January 13, 1962 Private Collection ©1962 SEPS: Licensed by Curtis Publishing, Indianapolis, IN

For the first time, Norman Rockwell Museum will explore the contrast between the abstract and realist movements, placing works by Rockwell, Wyeth, and Warhol side by side with Pollock, Calder, Johns, and over 40 other preeminent artists. Rockwell and Realism in an Abstract World examines the forces that forged the mid-century dismissal of narrative painting and illustration, as well as the resurgence of realist painting during the latter half of the twentieth century, its presence and critical consideration today, and the ways in which our contemporary viewpoints have been shaped by post World War II constructs.

The exhibition features the art of prominent illustrators, painters, and sculptors whose autographic art spans more than 60 years, representing many dynamic forms of visual communication. Featured artists include: Marshall Arisman, Bo Bartlett, Austin Briggs, Alexander Calder, Alan E. Cober, Robert Cottingham, Robert Cunningham, Joe De Mers, Walton Ford, Eric Forstmann, Helen Frankenthaler, Bernie Fuchs, Sam Francis, Edwin Georgi, George Giusti, Ralph Goings, Cleve Grey, Brad Holland, Dan Howe, Jasper Johns, Jeff Koons, Anita Kunz, Jacqui Morgan, Robert Motherwell, Barbara Nessim, Barnett Newman, Tim O’Brien, Claes Oldenburg and Coosje Van Bruggen, Al Parker, Bob Peak, Philip Pearlstein, Jackson Pollock, Robert Rauschenberg, Larry Rivers, Norman Rockwell, Peter Rockwell, James Rosenquist, David Salle, Saul Steinberg, Cy Twombly, Andy Warhol, Robert Weaver, Thomas Woodruff, Andrew Wyeth, and Jamie Wyeth.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016


6 July – 30 October 2016

Tate Modern presents the largest retrospective of modernist painter Georgia O’Keeffe (1887-1986) ever to be shown outside of America. Marking a century since O’Keeffe’s debut in New York in 1916, it is the first UK exhibition of her work for over twenty years. This ambitious and wide-ranging survey reassesses the artist’s place in the canon of twentieth-century art and reveals her profound importance. With no works by O’Keeffe in UK public collections, the exhibition is a once-in-a-generation opportunity for European audiences to view her oeuvre in such depth. 

Widely recognised as a founding figure of American modernism, O’Keeffe gained a central position in leading art circles between the 1910s and the 1970s. She was also claimed as an important pioneer by feminist artists of the 1970s. Spanning the six decades in which O’Keeffe was at her most productive and featuring over 100 major works, the exhibition charts the progression of her practice from her early abstract experiments to her late works, aiming to dispel the clichés that persist about the artist and her painting. 

Opening with the moment of her first showings at ‘291’ gallery in New York in 1916 and 1917, the exhibition features O’Keeffe’s earliest mature works made while she was working as a teacher in Virginia and Texas.

Charcoals such as Special No.9 1915

and Early No. 2 1915

are shown alongside a select group of highly coloured watercolours and oils, such as

Sunrise 1916

and Blue and Green Music 1919.

These works investigate the relationship of form to landscape, music, colour and composition, and reveal O’Keeffe’s developing understanding of synaesthesia. 

A room in the exhibition considers O’Keeffe’s professional and personal relationship with Alfred Stieglitz (1864-1946); photographer, modern art promoter and the artist’s husband. While Stieglitz increased O’Keeffe’s access to the most current developments in avant-garde art, she employed these influences and opportunities to her own objectives. Her keen intellect and resolute character created a fruitful relationship that was, though sometimes conflictive, one of reciprocal influence and exchange.

Alfred Stieglitz 1864-1946 
Georgia O’Keeffe 1918
Photograph, palladium print on paper243 x 192 mm
The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
©The J. Paul Getty Trust

A selection of photography by Stieglitz is shown, including portraits and nudes of O’Keeffe as well as key figures from the avant-garde circle of the time, such as Marsden Hartley (1877-1943) and John Marin (1870-1953). 

Still life formed an important investigation within O’Keeffe’s work,most notably her representations and abstractions of flowers. The exhibition explores how these works reflect the influence she took from modernist photography, such as the play with distortion in  

Calla Lily in Tall Glass – No. 2 1923

and close cropping in Oriental Poppies 1927. 

 Georgia O’Keeffe 1887-1986
Jimson Weed/White Flower No. 1 1932

Oil paint on canvas
48 x 40 inches
Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Arkansas, USA
© 2016 Georgia O'Keeffe Museum/DACS, London
Photography by Edward C. Robison III

A highlight is Jimson Weed/White Flower No. 1 1932, one of O’Keeffe’s most iconic flower paintings. 

O’Keeffe’s most persistent source of inspiration however was nature and the landscape; she painted both figurative works and abstractions drawn from landscape subjects.  

 Georgia O’Keeffe 
Black Mesa Landscape, New Mexico / Out Back of Marie's II 1930
Oil on canvas mounted on board2
4 1/4 x 36 1/4 (61.6 x 92.1)
Georgia O'Keeffe Museum. 
Gift of The Burnett Foundation
©Georgia O'Keeffe Museum

Black Mesa Landscape, New Mexico / Out of Black Marie’s II 1930

and Red and Yellow Cliffs 1940 chart O’Keeffe’s progressive immersion in New Mexico’s distinctive geography, while works such as 

Taos Pueblo 1929/34 indicate her complex response to the area and its layered cultures. Stylised paintings of the location she called the ‘Black Place’ are at the heart of the exhibition. 

Georgia O’Keeffe is curated by Tanya Barson, Curator, Tate Modern with Hannah Johnston, Assistant Curator, Tate Modern. The exhibition is organised by Tate Modern in collaboration with Bank Austria Kunstforum, Vienna and the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto.  It is accompanied by a catalogue from Tate Publishing and a programme of talks and events in the gallery. 

The Cleveland Museum of Art Centennial Loans: Kahlo, Lichtenstein, Kandinsky, Sargent

In celebration of its 2016 centennial, the Cleveland Museum of Art (CMA) is marking its anniversary with a series of exceptional loans from select collections around the world. Some are directly related to works in the museum’s permanent holdings; others highlight an artist or object not currently represented in the collection. This year-long program includes masterworks from such eminent museums as The Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and the Museum of Modern Art, New York. More than a dozen works of art spanning five hundred years and representing cultures from four continents will be featured. 

This month, the museum announces the addition of seven generous loans to be installed in its galleries beginning now through September 3. Among these masterworks is Fulang-Chang and I, by
Frida Kahlo. The enigmatic self-portrait will be displayed side by side with a mirror in a matching frame that Kahlo intended would always be hung alongside the painting. These works invite dynamic juxtapositions and dialogues with objects from the CMA’s permanent collection, and will provide the opportunity for visitors to rediscover its renowned holdings, which constitute the core of the institution’s identity and global reputation.


Fulang-Chang and I, 1937 (assembled after 1939). Frida Kahlo (Mexican, 1907–1954). In two parts, oil on composition board (1937) with painted mirror frame (after 1939); framed painting: 56.5 x 44.1 x 4.4 cm; framed mirror: 64.1 x 48.3 x 4.4 cm. The Museum of Modern Art, New York, Mary Sklar Bequest, 277.1987.a-b. Image courtesy of the Cleveland Museum of Art. Photo: David Brichford. © The Museum of Modern Art/Licensed by SCALA/Art Resource, New York. © 2016 Banco de México Diego Rivera Frida Kahlo Museums Trust, Mexico, D.F. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. 
Renowned for her self-portraits, Mexican painter Frida Kahlo produced more than 50 such works in an oeuvre of nearly 150 paintings, each offering intimate insights into her complex life. Museum visitors have a unique opportunity to commune with Kahlo as her enigmatic 1937 self-portrait Fulang-Chang and I is displayed together with the hand-decorated frame and mirror she created as its permanent companion. In this painting, Kahlo assumed her typical pose by turning her face roughly three-quarters to reveal one of her ears. Surrounded by lush, sage-colored jungle foliage, Kahlo’s pet spider monkey, widely interpreted as a surrogate for the children she was unable to bear with her husband, Diego Rivera, nuzzles near her chest, his glassy black eyes appearing to mimic the artist’s intent, searching gaze. This painting was featured in Kahlo’s first exhibition in the United States in 1938, held at Julien Levy Gallery, New York in 1938.

 Little Big Painting, 1965. Roy Lichtenstein (American, 1923–1997). Oil and acrylic on canvas; 172.7 × 203.2 cm. Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; purchase, with funds from the Friends of the Whitney Museum of American Art, 66.2. © Estate of Roy Lichtenstein. Digital Image © Whitney Museum, New York. 
As a key member of Pop Art, the groundbreaking 1960s movement focused on popular culture and mass media, Roy Lichtenstein often emulated the Benday dots of printing processes used for newspapers and comic books, a signature style that is instantly recognizable. Lichtenstein’s work often repeats, mimics, takes apart and reinterprets well-known artworks by a wide range of artists including Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Gilbert Stuart, Morris Louis, Piet Mondrian and Willem de Kooning. In 1965, Lichtenstein debuted a new series of paintings called Brushstroke. In Little Big Painting, the most iconic of the Brushstroke series, Lichtenstein cleverly challenges Abstract Expressionism, mimicking the wild and free-form gestures of the 1950s art movement in a hypermechanical way. Ironically, there isn’t a brushstroke in sight. An essential critique of American culture and a significant achievement in itself, Little Big Painting reflects the importance of innovation.

Portrait of Emy, 1919. Karl Schmidt-Rottluff (German, 1884–1976). Oil on canvas; 71.9 x 65.4 cm. North Carolina Museum of Art, Bequest of W. R. Valentiner. © 2016 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn.

Portrait of Emy is one of two powerful companion portraits painted in 1919 by German Expressionist painter Karl Schmidt-Rottluff. One portrait depicts the artist’s new bride, Emy Frisch, while the other depicts himself. Nearly identical in size and format, Portrait of Emy and Self-Portrait with Hat, gifted to the Cleveland Museum of Art by the eminent art historian and key figure in the historical development of American museums W. R. Valentiner, feature explosive colors and radically abstracted forms. Schmidt-Rottluff’s intimate knowledge of Cubism, African sculpture and Fauvist color techniques surfaces powerfully in each portrait. Angular and geometric, each composition has saturated, unrestrained hues that attest to the artist’s direct and profoundly impassioned reaction to his subjects. In both portraits, Schmidt-Rottluff accentuated the asymmetrical treatment of the eyes, with emphasis on one enlarged pupil that stares hypnotically at the viewer, an exaggeration that references not only the direct transference of spiritual power between the figure and viewer, but also the importance of sight and visionary experience.


Improvisation No. 30 (Cannons), 1913. Vasily Kandinsky (French, born Russia, 1866–1944). Oil on canvas; 111 x 111.3 cm. The Art Institute of Chicago, Arthur Jerome Eddy Memorial Collection, 1931.511. © 2016 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. 

One of thirty-six works titled Improvisation completed between 1911 and 1914, Cannons of 1913 remains one of Russian artist Wassily Kandinsky’s most influential contributions to modern art. In a 1913 letter to Chicago lawyer Arthur Jerome Eddy, Kandinsky remarked that the presence of cannons in the painting “could probably be explained by the constant war talk that has been going on throughout the year.” He further noted that “the designation of ‘Cannons’ selected by me for my own use, is not to be conceived as indicating the ‘contents’ of the picture.” This contradiction signals the artist’s continuously evolving approach to removing recognizable imagery from his paintings. As part of his quest to create purely abstract or nonobjective works, Kandinsky proposed that harmonious colors and forms could express transcendent, otherworldly sentiments instead of mere surface appearances.


Portrait of Helen Sears, 1895. John Singer Sargent (American, 1856–1925). Oil on canvas: 167.s x 91.4 cm. Courtesy of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Gift of Mrs. J. D. Cameron Bradley, 55.1116. Photograph © 2016 Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Regarded as one of the most gifted portraitists in American art, Sargent is admired for his incisive characterizations and bravura technique. Both are pronounced in Portrait of Helen Sears, an image of the six-year-old daughter of a wealthy Boston couple. Here, the young girl is immersed in wistful reflection, lost in private thoughts and emotions seemingly inaccessible to those around her. Sears’s brightly lit hair, face and dress are rendered in vivacious brushwork, an exuberant application matched in accompanying hydrangea blossoms. Sargent’s flair for the theatrical is perhaps unmatched in this portrait, one of his most successful creations.

Venetian painting of the Italian Renaissance

The National Art Center, Tokyo 
July 13 – October 10 2016

To celebrate the 150th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Italy and Japan, an exhibition of works from the Gallerie dell’Accademia will be held in Japan for the first time. The exhibition’s theme‐Venetian painting of the Italian Renaissance. While artists in Florence, the birthplace of the Renaissance, took as their principle the careful application of colors in a well-ordered composition on the basis of a clear design, the artists of Venice preferred rich coloring in bold, dramatic compositions and explored ways to directly communicate feeling and emotion. 

This exhibition will survey Venetian painting from the 15th to early 17th century through some 60 of the Gallerie dell’Accademia’s most important works. Arriving in Japan will be a dazzling array of masterpieces by painters ranging from Giovanni Bellini to Carlo Crivelli, Vittore Carpaccio, Tiziano Vecellio, Jacopo Tintoretto, and Paolo Veronese. Of special note will be The Annunciation (Church of San Salvador, Venice), a late-period altarpiece of large scale by Tiziano, the great master of the Venetian High Renaissance. An exhibition thus focused on Venetian paintings of the Renaissance period has almost no precedent in Japan. It will be a precious opportunity to marvel at paintings that counted among the splendors of Renaissance Venice, City of Water. 

Section 1: Early Renaissance in Venice: Painters of the 15th Century

Giovanni Bellini
The Virgin and Child (The Madonna of the Red Cherubs)
1485-90, 77 × 60 cm
Antonio de Saliba
The Virgin Annunciate
c. 1480-90, 47 × 34 cm
Carlo Crivelli
St. Sebastian
1480-90, 70 × 33 cm
Vittore Carpaccio
The Visitation
1504-08, 128 × 137 cm
Venice, Galleria Giorgio Franchetti alla Ca’ d’Oro

Section 2: Golden Age: Titian and His Followers

Andrea Previtali
The Nativity
1515-25, 133 × 215 cm
Tiziano Vecellio
The Annunciation
c. 1563-65, 410 × 240 cm
Venice, Church of San Salvador
Tiziano Vecellio
The Virgin and Child (The Madonna Albertini)
c. 1560, 124 × 96 cm
Paris Bordon
Sleeping Venus and Cupid
c. 1540-50, 86 × 137 cm
Venice, Galleria Giorgio Franchetti alla Ca’ d’Oro
Bonifacio Veronese
God the Father above the Piazza San Marco (from the Annunciation triptych)
1543-53, 165 × 130 cm

Section 3: Protagonists of the Later 16th Century: Tintoretto, Veronese and Bassano

Jacopo Tintoretto
The Assumption of the Virgin
c. 1550, 240 × 136 cm
‘Haeredes pauli’ (Heirs of Paolo Veronese)
The Adoration of the Shepherds
1592-94, 235 × 137 cm
Paolo Veronese
The Allegory of the Battle of Lepanto
c. 1572-73, 169 × 137 cm
Jacopo Bassano
St. Jerome in Penitence and the Virgin and Child Appearing in Glory
1569, 222 × 162 cm
Jacopo Bassano and Workshop
The Animals Entering Noah’s Ark
c. 1580-90, 133 × 119 cm

Section 4: Last Phase of the Renaissance: Heirs of the Great Masters

Palma il Giovane
Madonna and Child in Glory with Sts. Dominic, Hyacinth, Francis
c. 1595, 309 × 180 cm
Orpheus and Eurydice
c. 1620, 164 × 119 cm

Section 5: Venetian Renaissance Portraiture

Portrait of a Man
1510-20, 70 × 55 cm
Bernardino Licinio
Portrait of a woman with “the Balzo”
c. 1530-40, 48 × 46 cm
Jacopo Tintoretto
Portrait of Procuratore Jacopo Soranzo
c. 1550, 106 × 90 cm

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Botero: Celebrate Life!

July 2, 2016 – Sept. 11, 2016 
This summer Kunsthal Rotterdam is proud to present a large-scale retrospective of the world-famous Colombian artist Fernando Botero (1932). This selection from Botero’s own collection provides a panorama of the artist’s personal favourites from his considerable oeuvre. ‘Botero: Celebrate Life!’ will exhibit almost a hundred paintings, sketches and pastels as well as a few sculptures, including the enormous eye-catcher ‘Caballo’, Botero’s famous sculpture of a horse.

Visitors will be able to see paintings of life in Latin America based on reminiscences from his youth, and reproductions of classical masters in the recognisable Botero style. The bull-fight and the circus are also featured in these works. Botero’s art is full of Latin American life. The gigantic, inflated bodies and objects appear weightless in spite of their volume, which sometimes even seems to make them look as if they are floating. This volume is a recurrent feature in Botero’s work and gives his art an exuberance that can be comical or moving. The series of female Santas, inspired by the iconic images of female saints, is remarkable. Botero represents them as worldly heroines with meaningful accessories such as a bible or candle, putting their halo in sharp contrast with their clothing and posture.

Latin American life

'Botero: Celebrate Life!' shows how Fernando Botero creates a magical world full of characters and scenes from daily life, of which politics and religion form an important part. Although his work appears at first sight to be airy and light-hearted, the violent history of his native country Colombia can be felt. His origin and background have influenced Botero profoundly, which finds expression directly in his works of the president, executions and weeping widows, and indirectly in his paintings of people partying, dancing with expressionless faces under the light of naked light bulbs.


The Vatican Bathroom, 2006, Fernando Botero

Homage to the Old Masters

Fernando Botero is a multi-faceted artist who draws on both the Latin American tradition and the history of European art. He pays homage to famous works by such Old Masters as Diego Velázquez, Jan van Eyck and Piero della Francesca. The works are a tribute to the artists whom he studied for years and an ode to the techniques, craftsmanship and aesthetics of the Old Masters. Religion is one of Botero’s favourite themes. He comments on it satirically in paintings of nuns, cardinals and popes. Other themes in his work try to capture the magic of everyday life in Latin America. For example, his images of bull-fights include not only the matador, but also the singers, musicians, dancers and various members of the bull-fighter’s family. His still-lifes show the fruits and beverages of the South American continent with their brilliant colours and popular delicacies. And in his paintings of the circus we can recognise the comical and absurd postures in which not only the constantly recurring volume but also the use of colour are highly determinant elements.

Exhibition catalogue

The richly illustrated catalogue 'Botero: Celebrate Life!' will be published to accompany the exhibition.
First Lady.jpg
The First Lady, 1989

The Arnolfini after Van Eyck, 2006, Fernando Botero

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

This Is a Portrait If I Say So: Identity in American Art, 1912 to Today

The Bowdoin College Museum of Art (BCMA) will present the first-ever exhibition to examine the emergence and evolution of symbolic, abstract, and conceptual portraiture in modern and contemporary American art. Titled "This Is a Portrait If I Say So: Identity in American Art, 1912 to Today", the exhibition takes its name from

Robert Rauschenberg´s renowned 1961 portrait of Iris Clert—a telegram that simply states, “This is a portrait of Iris Clert if I say so.”

On view June 25-October 16, 2016, the show includes more than 60 non-figurative portraits that pose provocative questions about what a likeness is; how a person’s individuality might be expressed effectively by another; how much a portrait can be influenced by the artist’s, as opposed to the subject’s, personality; and the very conceptualization of personal identity.

Covering more than a century of artistic development in the U.S., the exhibition features a broad range of media, including collages, drawings, new media works, paintings, photographs, prints, sculptures, and text-based conceptual portraiture, loosely divided into three chronological sections:

The first focuses on works from the 1910s and 1920s, assembled by Jonathan Frederick Walz, Director of Curatorial Affairs & Curator of American Art, The Columbus Museum, Columbus, Georgia . This section highlights artists such as Charles Demuth, Marcel Duchamp, Marsden Hartley, Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven, Francis Picabia, Man Ray, Gertrude Stein, and their contemporaries.

 The second is dedicated to works from the early 1960s to 1970, selected by independent curator Kathleen Merrill Campagnolo, and featuring works by artists such as Eleanor Antin, Mel Bochner, Walter De Maria, Robert Morris, Yoko Ono, and Robert Rauschenberg among others.

The final section centers on works from the early 1990s through today, curated by Anne Collins Goodyear. This concluding section includes works by artists such as Janine Antoni, Mel Bochner, Roni Horn, Byron Kim, Glenn Ligon, Hasan Elahi, L.J. Roberts, and more.

By focusing on specific periods, the curators are able to delve into the political and social realities that shaped American identity across these decades, and to unearth the distinct relationships, imagery, and themes that characterized the work of many major artists engaged with creating new modes of portrayal. The exhibition’s chronological installation reveals intriguing parallels between these three time periods, revealing dynamic through-threads within the artistic depiction of identity from 1912 to the present, such as the turn to language, symbolic attributes, and the metaphorical significance of color and form.

Some of the earliest examples of conceptual portraiture in the show reflect Americans’ awareness of the political turmoil in Europe during WWI, and the fluidity between artistic and intellectual circles on both sides of the Atlantic. Exhibition highlights from this period include

One Portrait of One Woman, a 1916 portrait of Paris-based American writer Gertrude Stein by Maine-born artist Marsden Hartley, who lived in Europe from 1912-1916. Replete with mystical symbols, the painting shows a blue teacup atop a checked tabletop, with the word “MOI” written boldly beneath, addressing the respective identities and complex friendship of the artist and sitter.

Another American with strong ties to Parisian intellectual circles who features prominently in the exhibition is Charles Demuth. Demuth and Hartley knew each other well, as evidenced by another highlight from this section,  

Study for Poster Portrait of Marsden Hartley (c. 1923–24). The watercolor and graphite composition, which depicts a windowsill in front of a bright, snow-covered landscape, uses objects Demuth associated with his friend to capture Hartley’s persona.

“In the early twentieth century the general public often linked portraiture to flattering transcription and middle-class values; the genre provided strict, longstanding conventions that some modernist artists chose to bend or break,” said Walz. “Political and cultural shifts, including the development of an avant-garde and the breakdown of the traditional organization of sexuality, gave rise to themes that found continual expression in unconventional portraits throughout the century. For example, Gertrude Stein’s 1909 prose poem portraits presage Mel Bochner’s thesaurus-based likenesses of the 1960s and Charles Demuth’s poster portraits resonate with L. J. Roberts’s recent embroidery Portrait of Deb from 1988–199?.”
By the 1960s, the New York art scene was embracing Neo Dada, Fluxus, Pop, Minimal, and Conceptual art as alternatives to Abstract Expressionism. The eruption of new modes of expression coincided with a surge in the production of unconventional portraits. “While portraiture could not be considered a dominant genre during this decade which is often characterized by artworks that attempt to eliminate subjectivity and embrace systematic strategies for art-making, an undercurrent of interest in issues of identity can be seen in the work of a number of prominent artists of the period,” commented Campagnolo. “For the most part, the radical portraits of the 1960s feature subjects who were at the forefront of innovation in their chosen fields be it art, dance, music, or writing and offer surprising insights regarding the artist, subject, and historical moment.”

In addition to the exhibition’s namesake, highlights in the show from this period include

Rauschenberg’s 1964 Self-Portrait consisting of his thumbprint in ink and graphite on paper, created for a profile of the artist in The New Yorker.

Several of Robert Morris’ conceptual portraits are featured, including a cabinet-like sculpture containing labeled bottles of bodily fluids from 1963, simply titled Portrait.

Also present is Yoko Ono’s Portrait of Mary, a text-based call to action from her ground-breaking book Grapefruit, inviting viewers to examine and expand their assumptions about how identity is represented.

Exhibition highlights from the 1990s through today reflect artistic responses to developments like the emergence of the AIDS crisis, the decoding of the human genome, and the violent destruction of events on September 11th, which profoundly affected the expectations, demands, and the even the politics of the self and its representation. Glenn Ligon’s Runaway series from 1993 is a conceptual self-portrait consisting of contemporary descriptions of the artist juxtaposed with images garnered from advertisements of runaway slaves. Ligon turned to friends to provide the captions for this 10-work series, which vary so widely the notion of unified identity is called into question.

 "Emmett at Twelve Months #3,: 1994, egg tempera on panel, by Byron Kim, born 1961. Collection of the Artist. © The Artist / Image Courtesy James Cohan Gallery, New York and Shanghai.

Artist Byron Kim contributed one of the captions, underscoring the evolution of non-figurative portraiture within influential artistic circles. Kim’s work is also featured in This Is a Portrait If I Say So, and he will create a site-specific work for the exhibition.

Roni Horn’s Asphere (1986/1990) represents another highlight from this section. A non-symmetrical sculptural form that resists easy categorization, the work metaphorically represents the artist, who identifies with its emphatically non-conventional nature.

“From the early 20th century up to the present day we see the adoption of abstraction as a strategy for portrayal that resists the cooption of likeness for political or social purposes,” said Goodyear. “We can trace this theme throughout the exhibition—a testimony to the power of the use of non-traditional symbolic and conceptual portraiture as a means to reclaim the representation of self and other from inherited formulas that may threaten to suppress rather than express what it means to a unique individual.”

The exhibition will be accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue published by Yale University Press. Featuring essays from Campagnolo, Goodyear, and Walz that examine their respective time periods in-depth, the catalog will also include a contribution from Dr. Dorinda Evans, professor emerita at Emory University, discussing the evolution of non-figurative portraiture in American art in the 19th century up until The Armory Show.