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exhibit: about face

27 Jun

One of my favorite spots in town, The Blanton Museum of Art, recently launched its newest exhibition, About Face, which calls into question the subject of portraits as a focus of art.

From social status to occupation to cultural and racial norms, the exhibit brings together the myriad of ways artists throughout history have viewed and projected their subjects in various media. Works from Alice Neel and Robert Henri exemplify the notion of portraits as a sign of prominence in society while Chuck Close and UT’s own Byron Kim explore the idea that a subject’s true persona cannot be restricted to a solitary portrayal.

And while the traditional formula for portraits has relied on a sitter’s physical attributes to tell his or her story, this exhibit forces viewers to think outside of the box by using works from Albrecht Dürer and Antonio Berni to demonstrate the use of setting and background as means to giving insights into who the subject is.

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