The artists in this week’s gallery picks feature portraiture as a means of exploring heritage and storytelling.
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1.In Alex Katz’s new work, rather than filling each frame, the subjects are assigned to the margins with black space occupying most of each canvas. What is striking about these new portraits is both the depth and diversity of the black paint contrasted against the dramatically studio-lit figures. Presented within a ‘widescreen’ format, the figures become both cinematic and theatrical, resembling performers caught mid-motion by a spotlight at Timothy Taylor Gallery
2. Vanessa Prager’s “imagined” portraits cross the border between the figurative and the abstract with diplomatic immunity. “I made this series to tell stories and as with any story, you need to zoom-in to get the details and zoom-out to grasp the larger thematic concerns.” at Richard Heller Gallery
3. The work of painter and sculptor America Martin is informed by both her Colombian lineage and strong affinity for modernism allowing for a dynamic interplay between cultures, styles, and techniques. Her new series explores familiar themes and subjects within Martin’s practice – female nudes, scenes of musicians, and portraits of indigenous peoples – in oversized depictions that are both iconic and enigmatic, inviting the viewer to further inquiry at JoAnne Artman Gallery
4. Hung Liu’s artistic practice investigates the complex interactions between individual memory and history, and documentary evidence and artistic expression, among other themes. Her richly-rendered paintings are vivid and powerful, their subjects drawn from personal experience, cultural and political events, literature, and photography at Palm Springs Art Museum
5. Lynnea Holland-Weiss’ exhibition Unfold All Over is filled with large figurative paintings full of mood, color and pattern that delve into our human instincts and the mystery of being at Store 1026
6. Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic raise questions about race, gender, and the politics of representation by portraying contemporary African American men and women using the conventions of traditional European portraiture at Brooklyn Museum