Opening November 10th, 2021
Tilton Gallery is pleased to present a group exhibition of portraits in varied media by multi-generational artists. Examples also go back in time to Early American portrait paintings, an Olmec stone head circa 500 B.C., and a carved 19th century ship’s figurehead.
The face has long been seen as a mirror into the soul. And this is what the best of portraiture is truly about, going deeper into the personality of the sitter (real or imagined), not merely a depiction of the outer physical characteristics.
The artists in this exhibition go beyond the depiction of outer appearances to delve into the inner feelings of their subjects and in doing so, search for the meaning of humanity. Some artists like Genevieve Gaignard or Douglas Gordon do so with humor, irony and conceptual acuity. Others, like February James and Kohshin Finley, actively seek to understand and convey human feeling. Marlene Dumas does both: she depicts the human condition through a combination of emotion and conceptual distancing. David Hammons and Timothy Washington use their own images to make social and political commentary, subtle or direct. Titus Kaphar’s portraits from the Jerome series show tenderness while also conveying social implications. And Noah Davis searches the core of humanity in his figurative paintings. Early American portraiture like that of Ammi Phillips or William M.S. Doyle was commissioned, but the best of these artists draw the viewer into the sitter’s psyche.
Styles and mediums in this exhibition range widely. In all, however, the surface is not merely the surface. This varied group of portraits of diverse modes and periods share an intensity of feeling and impact, be it emotional or conceptual.
The artists in this exhibition include:
William M.S. Doyle
Lyle Ashton Harris