Nine Portraits

June 2 - July 16, 2005

This varied and eclectic selection of contemporary photographic works in the format of the traditional portrait bust was purposefully chosen for the head and shoulders presentation of the subject in a studio environment or other non-referential place. Whether formally posed, snapshot-like, taken from video stills, or rendered using digital means, the works included take a close-up and unflinching examination of the subject, delving into the complexity and psychology of facial expression. Subjects include recognizable figures, anonymous individuals, and the artists themselves.

Included in the exhibition is Richard Avedon’s mesmerizing portrait of Francis Bacon. Avedon described Bacon’s pose in the portrait as “a perfect performance.” Other works included are: a signature triptych portrait by Dawoud Bey revealing three views of the subjects face; a work from Todd Hido’s previously unseen portrait series of women photographed in motel rooms; Yasumasa Morimura’s Picasso-based self portrait as Sylvette; Jack Pierson’s 1997 portrait titled Ed O’Toole, 19th St., a provocative image that features one of his letter-based installations; a work from Alec Soth’s new series of portraits; Larry Sultan’s confrontational Woman in Curlers from The Valley series; a self-portrait video still from We Are All Made of Stars by New York-based artist Laurel Nakadate who is currently exhibiting in PS1’s Greater New York exhibition; and a gorgeous silhouette photograph by New York based artist Katherine Wolkoff.