Published: November 3, 2011
The fourth in a series of exhibitions drawn exclusively from the Parrish’s collection, “American Portraits: Treasures from the Parrish Art Museum” will showcase some of the choice works of art that illustrate the many and varied ways in which artists approach portraiture. The exhibition is on view through November 27.
“American Portraits” is organized by Alicia G. Longwell, the Lewis B. and Dorothy Cullman chief curator, art and education, and brings together some 45 works from the museum’s collection, including works by Mary Abbott, Richard Avedon, Peggy Bacon, Tina Barney, Adam Bartos, Reynolds Beal, David Burliuk, Chuck Close, Alex Katz, Frederick Kiesler, William King, Robert De Niro, Lydia Field Emmet, Marisol, Mary Ellen Mark, Elie Nadelman, Fairfield Porter, Larry Rivers, Eugene Speicher and James McNeill Whistler.
William Sidney Mount’s “Portrait of Mrs Manice,” 1833, is the earliest painting in the collection and a prime example of the importance of portrait painting in the early years of the nation, bringing both status and prominence to the sitter.
While William Merritt Chase made his reputation in the late Nineteenth Century in portrait painting and became the most highly regarded painter of his time, it is the intimate portraits of his family that are his finest achievements.
Fairfield Porter’s mid-Twentieth Century depictions of his wife and children in domestic settings often impart a psychological portrait of the family as well. Dawoud Bey’s four-part 20-by-24-inch Polaroid portrait, “Anthony,” 1999, brings multiple facets of the sitter, a teenage boy, into focus.
Elizabeth Peyton’s colored-pencil sketch on hotel stationery of “Ben Drawing,” 2001, deftly captures her friend the artist Ben Brunnemer. The exhibition explores the tradition of portrait painting ranging from the Nineteenth to the Twenty-First Century.
The museum is at 25 Job’s Lane. For more information, www.parrishart.org or 631-283-2118.
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