press release

For thousands of years the human race has created portraits. Traditionally artists created paintings and sculptures to reveal—and sometimes conceal—certain aspects of the portrait sitter’s distinct identity. Today, many artists are concerned with discovering ways to visually represent the true self, which springs from an amalgamation of influences that include daily rituals, cultural norms, religious practices, and social pressures, using a variety of media.

Mirror, Mirror: Contemporary Portraits and the Fugitive Self will feature works of art from a broad range of international contemporary artists who are engaged in the examination of the factors that shape the ways in which we view ourselves, and how we choose to present ourselves to others. The exhibition will look at three different themes evident in the work of these artists that contribute to the formation of our individual identities: rituals; facades, mirrors, and masks; and the real self.

This exhibition also will explore the impact of new technological media on the traditional art form of portraiture. A significant number of works in the exhibition will thoughtfully analyze the ways in which social networking Web sites such as Facebook, MySpace, and Flickr, and the increasing functionality of cell phones, including capturing and sending images and video, prompt new explorations of identity.

“These mediums have inspired new and fascinating approaches to the pursuit of manifesting individual identity,” says Jeff Lambson, curator of contemporary art. “As the world becomes ‘smaller’ and more connected through mass media and technology, people are increasingly exploring who they are and are thinking more critically about their worldviews. Why they do what they do.”

Additionally, visitors to Mirror Mirror will see cutting-edge contemporary works of art in a variety of media including installation art, painting, multi-media sculpture, and video art. The interplay among the diverse perspectives of the artists represented in this exhibition reveals individual differences and shared commonalities in a global community.

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Mirror Mirror
Contemporary Portraits and the Fugitive Self

Künstler: Kjellgren Alkire, Valerie Atkisson, Aram Bartholl, Dawoud Bey, Rebecca Campbell, Ben Coonley, Doug DuBois, Hasan Elahi, Endocrom, Feng Mengbo, Harrell Fletcher, Douglas Gordon, Mary Henderson, Oliver Herring, Amy Jorgensen, Mark Khaisman, Jeff Larsen, Nikki S. Lee, Michael McGlothlen, Julie Moos, Takashi Murakami, Julian Opie, Lydia Panas, Rachel Papo, Przemyslaw Pokrycki, Nate Ronniger, Lincoln Schatz, Michael Scoggins, Andrew Sexton, Amy Sillman, Beat Streuli