Figureworks is pleased to open the new year with over 50 self portraits from its contemporary and 20th century list of artists.
Artists create self portraits for various reasons but frequently it is done as a reflective point in their career. Securing that moment in time when they feel the need to record their presence. Similar to a journal entry, it may manifest in a quick sketch such as the drawing Philip Evergood created in 1944 documenting his life threatening surgery or Byron Browne's ink drawing of his model with added self at his easel. These sketches were not created for exhibition purposes and are often stashed away with other personal belongings. Oppositely, some are finely executed oils done during long studio hours of self reflection, like those by Ernest Fiene and Joachim Marx. Equally personal, these significant executions are intended to preserve a specific place and time.
Additionally, a number of pieces in this exhibition were created specifically for patrons who commissioned the artist's portraiture for their collection. This includes the drawings by Red Grooms and Chaim Gross. Others, such as McWillie Chambers and K. Saito, were executed upon request specifically for this exhibition. These types of portraits start from a very different place than those mentioned earlier. The artist, typically just the hand behind the canvas, is asked to now become the subject. Over twenty years ago, Ingrid Capozzoli Flinn had only privately done self portraits. A labor intensive oil painter, this request was very challenging for her as she was forced to spend many hours looking back into the mirror of time.
This exhibition encompasses all of these processes and emotions in a wide range of media from pencil, oil, ink and wood to glass and digital imagery. Artists from different generations and practices are represented. It is also worthy to note the diverse self portraits by couples George & Reina Gillson and William & Marguerite Zorach which reinforces the individuality and personal expression which goes into each work.
Figureworks is located at 168 N. 6th St., Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY 11211, one block from the Bedford Avenue “L” train. The gallery is open to the public Saturday and Sunday from 1-6 PM and is dedicated to exhibiting contemporary and 20th century fine art of the human form.