Director’s Choice Aspects of Portraiture: Photographs from the Wadsworth Atheneum

July 11, 2015 @ 12:00 am
Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art
600 Main Street
Hartford, CT 06103

Aspects of Portraiture addresses the various approaches to photographic portraiture taken by artists, ranging from classical pieces by Irving Penn, Richard Avedon and Timothy Greenfield Sanders, to symbolic portraits by Patti Smith and John Coplans, to those that tell stories by artists like Adrian Piper and Carrie Mae Weems. Organized by Wadsworth Atheneum Director and CEO Susan Talbott, this selection of nearly 50 works examines social history, identity and race, as well as nostalgia for the traditional portraits that once defined photography, and outlines the transformation of photographic portraiture throughout modernist movements such as Dadaism and Surrealism. Unmediated traditional portraits going back to the 1940s are displayed in concert with symbolic portrayals using objects as surrogates for human subjects, and narrative portraits, often employing a mix of images and text. Such new approaches to capturing the core of human character are well represented in the Wadsworth Atheneum’s rich collection of post-war and contemporary photography, and come together for the first time in this thoughtful survey of portraiture from the museum.