What is a portrait? This is the question addressed in “Face Off: Contemporary Portraits,” a new exhibition at the Ross Gallery curated by students in a Museum Studies class taught by Visual Arts Chairperson Jennifer Cross. An opening reception will be held on Friday, November 2, from 4 to 6pm. The student curators are Juliana Fava, Rebecca Hamilton, Jeheli Odidi, Hongjie Zhu, and Zhehai Sun.
The exhibition features five distinguished artists from the East End community: Sydney Albertini, Jack Ceglic, John Hardy, Christa Maiwald, and Christina Schlesinger. Each artist has his or her own interpretation of portraiture.
Jack Ceglic, for example, creates portraits from direct observation, inviting artists, friends, and neighbors to come in and sit for him in his spacious studio; in a span of approximately three hours, a portrait is created. Christa Maiwald works from photographs to make portraits of the famous and the infamous, artists and celebrities, rendered in embroidery. Christina Schlesinger, a former Ross teacher and painter who began her career as a muralist, is represented in this show with a series of self-portrait collages from her Tomboy Series. John Hardy, a widely exhibited figurative painter, will have on display a selection of his portraits of former students, fellow artists, and friends. The concept of portraiture is expanded in the work of Sydney Albertini, an artist who considers all her works to be self-portraits of a kind. She will show an example from her "personages" series—a life-sized crocheted bodysuit she actually wears and is photographed in, posed in domestic settings.
The show includes portraits of public personalities Donald Trump and Martha Stewart as well as artists Vincent Van Gogh, Lola Schnabel, Connie Fox, Bill King, Robert Harms, and the poet Phillip Schultz. Also on view are portraits created by members of the Ross community, including art teachers, current students, and recent graduates.
The show will be on view from November 2 through December 15.