Dolby Chadwick Gallery is pleased to announce Heads, a group exhibition curated by Peter Selz. This exhibition brings together a diversity of works that manifest the show’s title – and organizing theme – in unique and compelling ways. Artists exhibiting include Stephen DeStaebler, Edwige Fouvry, Sherie’ Franssen, Lucian Freud, Ann Gale, Patrick Graham, Gottfried Helnwein, Alex Kanevsky, Jim Morphesis, Nathan Oliveira and Irving Petlin.
“The human head has been the inspiration for artists since time immemorial. And with its multifarious range of expressions remains an inexhaustible object for the painter and sculptor, open to unlimited formal investigation and infinite expressive interpretation.
An increasing search for veracity led, in the early 19th century, to the invention of photography, creating doubt about the very survival of representational painting. Perhaps Susan Sontag was right when asserting that "a photograph is a powerful instrument for depersonalizing the world" and painters and sculptors persisted in analyzing and revealing the human face. The Cubists shattered and dismembered the face of the sitter and re-assembled it in a new rational order on a flat two-dimensional surface. The Surrealists, open to the irrational aspects of human thought and feeling, found ways to convey the dream and erotic associations in their work. Most striking is René Magritte's transformation of a woman's face into a map where her eyes are replaced by breasts, the nose by the navel, and the mouth by the vulva in his painting, Rape (1934). Some thirty years later, Andy Warhol eliminated any personal touch and replicated the mass-produced image of the post-industrial era. Now, in spite of the temptations of Photoshop and digital and virtual procedures, an increasing number of painters, brush in hand, build on the tradition of painting to create innovative works of individual authenticity. For this exhibition we have chosen renditions of the human head by artists working in London, Paris, Brussels, Dublin, Philadelphia, Seattle, Stanford, Berkeley, and the Los Angeles area.”
Born in Munich, Germany in 1919, Peter Selz received a Masters of Arts in 1949 followed by a Ph.D. in 1954 from the University of Chicago. During his career, Selz was the head of the Department of Painting and Sculpture Exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art as well as the founding Director of the Berkeley Art Museum. He has been a Corresponding Editor of Art in America since 1965 and is also a Contributing Editor for Sculpture Magazine. His academic responsibilities include professorships and teaching roles at Pomona College, Claremont, CA; the Hebrew University, Jerusalem; and the City University of New York. Distinctions include Fulbright Scholarship in 1949, the Order of Merit from the Federal Republic of Germany, a residency at the Bellagio Study Center through the Rockefeller Foundation in 2007, and a Charles Rufus Morey Award in 1994 from the College Art Association for his book Art of Engagement.
Special thanks to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Jack Rutberg Fine Arts, John Berggruen Gallery and Modernism Inc. for lending us key works in this exhibition.