Susan Soriente, Curator
September 12, 2013 through January 7, 2014
An Exhibition from the Gladys M. Lux Print Collection
Three years ago in the Vis-à-Vis exhibition portraits were the focus in the Lux Historical Gallery and now with an entirely new set of prints in Portraits Redux; we take a further look at portraiture. A portrait often is a realistic rendition of a person’s face and can include all or part of the individual’s body or the image may be abstracted and expressionistic. The subjects, the reasons why and how they were chosen and portrayed have varied over time. Historically, portraits memorialized the rich and powerful. After the middle-class arose, wealthy art patrons commissioned portraits of their families and colleagues. Later, artists made portraits of friends and relatives or created images of unnamed or unknown subjects.
A well-executed portrait is expected to show the inner essence of the subject (from the artist’s point of view) or a flattering representation, not just a literal likeness. The eyes and eyebrows are central to the emotion expressed. The mouth is less important for communicating personality or mood; often the subject is instructed not to smile. An understanding of human bone structure, musculature, skin texture and the asymmetrical balance of facial features is necessary for a successful portrait. You are invited to examine the exhibited portraits and judge the adeptness of each subject’s portrayal in Portraits Redux.
Among portraits in the exhibition are lithographs by nine artists including Henri Matisse, Marc Chagall, Joseph Hirsch and Frederic Taubes. The etchings in the exhibition by Eugene Delacroix and Joseph Margulies communicate force of character and dedication; one is of a soldier the others are meditative scribes. Two Japanese woodcuts are included, contributing an Asian perspective of portraiture and human expression.
The eighteen prints comprising Portraits Redux may be seen in the Lux Historical Gallery on the second floor of the LUX Center from September 12, 2013 to January 7, 2014. The exhibition is curated by Susan Soriente, Curator of the Gladys M. Lux Print and Historical Collections.