Curatorial Perspectives

Face Value: Portraiture in the Age of Abstraction” features mid-twentieth century artists who were reinventing portraiture at a moment when almost everyone agreed that figuration was dead as a progressive art form. The exhibition brings together more than 50 paintings, drawings, prints, and sculpture from approximately 1945 to 1975 to demonstrate the innovations of American portraiture despite the vogue for abstraction.

In the coming weeks, co-curators Brandon Fortune, Wendy Wick Reaves, and David Ward will take us through the exhibition and discuss a few of their favorite portraits.

National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution

April 18, 2014
through January 11, 2015

David Ward discusses
John Ashbery (Argyle Socks) by Fairfield Porter (1907–1975)

Video coming soon →

Brandon Fortune discusses
Self-Portrait with Fish and Cat by Joan Brown (1938–1990)

Video coming soon →

Wendy Wick Reaves discusses
Ruth Bowman by Will Barnet (1911–2012)

Video coming soon →