press release

Over forty years ago, Andy Warhol promoted the concept that artists are celebrities, just as worthy of portrayal as other cultural icons. Likeness: Portraits of Artists by Other Artists begins where Warhol left off. Presenting visually striking and conceptually diverse works in a range of mediums, Likeness is the first exhibition to propose a recent history of artists' representations of other artists-- of friends, peers, and idols. With works created during the past three decades by artists active in such cities as Berlin, London, Los Angeles and New York, this exhibition also portrays the social dynamics of certain recent milieus of contemporary art.

While any portrait is both a document and a personal record of the relationship between the artist and his or her subject, portraits of artists further enrich the situation. Likeness investigates the various ways artists have re-imagined exactly what constitutes a portrait. Unlike portraits of politicians or royalty, for example, these images reflect a dialogue in which the identities and status of both portrayers and portrayed are interrelated. Born of encounters between individuals who share similar social roles, these works make concrete the intimate dramas of the art world: the private, and therefore privileged, relationships that typically exist beyond public scrutiny.

This exhibition presents over fifty paintings, drawings, photographs, and several works in other media. Among the included works are Robert Mapplethorpe's photograph of Louise Bourgeois, Deborah Kass's silkscreen of Cindy Sherman as Liza Minelli, Elizabeth Peyton's painting of David Hockney, Felix Gonzales-Torres's textual portrait of Julie Ault, and Tacita Dean's film Mario Merz.

This exhibition is co-organized by the CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco, and Independent Curators International (ICI), New York, and is circulated by ICI. The guest curator is Matthew Higgs.


Likeness: Portraits of Artists by Other Artists
Kurator: Matthew Higgs

mit Elizabeth Peyton, Felix Gonzales-Torres, Tacita Dean, Robert Mapplethorpe, Deborah Kass, u.a.