Curated by Matthew Higgs
Any portrait is both a document and a subjective record of the relationship between the artist and his or her sitter, blurring distinctions between public and private. Presenting more than fifty visually striking and conceptually diverse works from the past three decades, Likeness investigates the private interactions and social dramas of a loose network of artists who were active in Los Angeles, New York, London, and Berlin. Many of the images evoke the heightened intimacy that is palpable between artists who are close friends, while others pay homage to muses and mentors, or treat the portrait as a memento mori, as in Nan Goldin’s and AA Bronson’s images of fellow artists David Wojnarowicz and Felix Partz. In each of the paintings, photographs, drawings, and other works on view, the sitter’s active contribution to the final image is readily apparent, as is the inherent license granted to experiment outside the realm of conventional portraiture.