As Charles Baudelaire once wrote, what could be more simple and more complex, more obvious and more profound than a portrait? Throughout the history of art, portraiture has been one of the most used and most important artistic genres. When exploring the plethora of artistic portraits through time, this powerful magic of portraiture becomes clear. In a selfie era we live in, it might be the moment to reexamine the idea of our own selves and those of others. A group exhibition entitled Face | Time will present portraits of times past and present, referencing the work of the Old Masters, while also pushing the subject into the 21st century. The idea of the self and time will be mediated through recent artworks by artists Isabella Watling, Wanda Bernardino, Sabatino Cersosimo, Emma Hopkins, and Simon Davis.
As a recording of an individual’s appearance and personality, the portrait manages to freeze time and extend the life of the represented subject. Artworks presented at this exhibition seem like memories of particular moments that evoke something more lasting, completely transcending this single moment. This tension between the temporal and enduring in contemporary art is where the power of these portraits lies. With a unique approach to the exploration of portrait painting today, this exhibition will also address the artist’s sources of inspiration, as well as different ways these depictions engage with the issue of identity – the way it is perceived, represented, understood and constructed.
All of these artists featured have an ambitious and visionary conception of contemporary portraiture. While Isabella Watling follows in the tradition and techniques of the Old Masters in the most elegant and refined manner, Wanda Bernardino appropriates subjects from historic pieces in order to rework and recreate them. Blanking out the subjects’ faces, her pieces force the viewer to re-examine the attribute of identity we ascribe to portraiture. On the other hand, the practice of the Italian artist Sabatino Cersosimo revolves around man’s psychological and relational complexity. Painting on steel, he uses oxidations that act on the metal uncontrollably, similarly to the way time acts on the human. While Simon Davis depicts his subjects in a subtle and introspective way using a muted pallet, Emma Hopkins aims to portray the raw humanity of her subjects in all its intensity. She explores the states of mind within the painter and the painted, the subject and the object, the observer and the observed.
Founded on the principle that art illuminates, inspires and engages all, a London-based curatorial studio Dellasposa is specialized in unique exhibitions, commissions, and consultancy. Through their exhibitions, they aim to present audiences with new ideas and stimulate an open dialogue about arts and culture today. The exhibition Face | Time will be on view from November 4th to November 10th, 2016. The private view will be organized on Thursday, November 3rd between 6:30 and 9:30pm, while the curator's talk will be held on Tuesday, November 8th between 6:30 and 8:30.
Featured images: Sabatino Cersosimo - Fregio (Second Movement) (detail), 2016; Wanda Bernardino - Daydreamers (detail), 2015; Simon Davis - Feral (detail), 2016
London, United Kingdom