Reflections, Refractions at the National Portrait Gallery
By Aimee Lusty
posted: 06-01-09
Brick, Richard Arneson, terracotta (1975)
Image Source
Coinciding with the current exhibition Inventing Marcel Duchamp the National Portrait Gallery is also hosting Reflections, Refractions, "an ideal companion piece to the Duchamp-inspired portraiture show featuring works of self-examination by a coterie of influential creators, from Childe Hassam to Edward Hopper to Andy Warhol."

Intentionally the work is in the same vein as the Duchamp exhibit, exploring manipulated portraiture and the artists' break away from representation. In fact a self-portrait by Robert Rauschenberg titled Autobiography includes a reference to Duchamp's Green Box.

"This exhibition of approximately 75 works will probe the complex issues of understanding identity in the past century. Included in the exhibition are self portraits by Edward Hopper, Charles Sheeler, Louise Nevelson, Alexander Calder, Andy Warhol, Robert Rauschenberg, David Hockney, Chuck Close, Larry Rivers, Jacob Lawrence and Faith Ringgold. While the works by these artists reveal traditional themes, including impersonation, reinvention, self-consciousness, vanity and the complex game of seeing a mirrored image, the exhibition will also explore how issues of identity and self-portrayal were bent in new directions in the 20th century as if refracted through a prism.

An illustrated catalogue will accompany the exhibition. Wendy Wick Reaves, curator of prints and drawings, is the exhibition curator." ...Source

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