Exhibition chronicles the history of portraiture in the 20th century
"Mirrors of the Portrait," an exhibition at the West Bund Museum, features works by 20th-century artists.
Following "The Shape of Time" and "The Voice of Things," this is the third semi-permanent exhibition of the Centre Pompidou X West Bund Museum Project from the summer of 2023 to the end of 2024.
The exhibition brings together nearly 300 works from the Centre Pompidou's collection from 1895 to the present, including paintings, sculptures, videos, and photographs, and focuses on the many facets of portraiture as an art form.
Prior to our ability to identify the artists who created them, portraits served to identify the subject they depicted. However, since the 19th century, technical prowess and resemblance have not been indicators of artistic excellence.
From Pablo Picasso, Francis Bacon, Alexander Calder, Giorgio de Chirico, René Magritte, Man Ray, Jean Dubuffet and Alberto Giacometti to world-known Chinese artists such as Zao Wou-ki, Huang Yongping, Zhang Xiaogang and Zhang Peiling, the participating artists have created a "history of portrait art" in this exhibition.
The exhibition is organized thematically rather than chronologically.
Divided into 15 thematic sections, including "In All Colors," "Disfiguring," "The Notable and Nameless," "All in the Family," and "Women of the World," the works are juxtaposed in terms of their creative content and techniques.
The first section, "In Color," reminds us that modern artists dispensed with the drab tints to which the portrait genre had long been confined. The 1907 painting "The Yellow Scale" by Frantisek Kupka depicts a seemingly blind man. Kupka's innovative use of large yellow areas evoked a symbolist atmosphere, inspiring his contemporaries to discover the richness and vibrancy of the colors in a portrait.
"Women of the World" is an additional highlight of the exhibition.
The portraits of women in this collection include Gregorio Sciltian's anonymous flower seller dressed in traditional attire, the sophisticated actress Paulette Pax by Kees van Dongen, Dora Maar, whose fixed expression was captured by Pablo Picasso, the Chinese television star Xing Zhibin, and a bather from Coney Island.
Date: Through November 5 (closed on Mondays), 10am-5pm
Venue: West Bund Museum
Address: 2600 Longteng Ave