Thursday, January 29, 2015

Vernissages | NYC: "SELF: Portrait of Artists in Their Absence" at The National Academy Museum

Allen Ginsberg
In the years of the selfies, where many have become obsessed with self portraits, an exhibition -of importance not only in art but also in philosophy and social science- opens at the National Academy.
The title "SELF: Portrait of Artists in Their Absence"announces how the representation of ourselves is a replacement of our not being present. And this concept is explored in a multimedia of meanings, media, material and scale throughout the outstanding exhibition curated by the Academy director Maurizio Pellegrin, in collaboration with Diana Thompson, curator of the Collection and Filippo Fossati, curator at large.
The artists self-representations range from tradition XIX century paintings and drawing to contemporary media including photography, installation, video and mixed-media three-dimensional work.
The intent of the exhibition, which includes work of over one hundred (academician and not) artists is defined in the Academy statement that "Artists have created self-portraits for centuries, in part to ensure presence in their absence. Self explores the relationship artists have with their own image and how self-representation has evolved over the past 200 years. In our age of compulsive self-celebration, it is an especially compelling moment to examine this enduring artistic genre."

More traditional self portraits
Ai Weiwei "Illuminations"
Bruce Nauman

Van Gogh's quote about oneself, surely he knew...
Piero Manzoni "Merda D'Artista" (1961) -was the (then) iconoclast piece medium real?
David Dixon
Ana Mendieta
Gilbert & George "Clean Me"
Hanna Wilke video "Gestures"
And finally the architecture outside the "Self": Richard Haas paintings from the Curatorial Lab