'A Closer Look' at Portraits from the Paul Allen Collection in Seattle

  • SEATTLE, Washington
  • /
  • December 14, 2016

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© David Hockney, The Conversation, 1980. Acrylic on canvas. "A Closer Look: Portraits from the Paul G. Allen Family Collection"
Pivot Art + Culture
Pierre-Auguste Renoir, “The Reader,” 1877. "A Closer Look: Portraits from the Paul G. Allen Family Collection"
Pivot Art + Culture

There is a new exhibition at Seattle's Pivot Art + Culture dedicated to portraits and exploring how artists seek to convey the essence of their subjects. The artworks included span continents, cultures and centuries. A Closer Look: Portraits from the Paul G. Allen Family Collection runs through Feb. 26, 2017, and reveals a surprising range of responses.

A Closer Look includes diverse artworks, all attempts to distill the rich complexity of their subjects into a single, static image. Portraits by Paul Gauguin and Pieter Hugo depict people in faraway places, pausing as they go about their daily lives. Photographs by Dennis Hopperand Arnold Newman are more formal images of iconic figures from the arts, sciences, sports and entertainment – people whose gaze may still provoke, despite their familiarity or the passage of time. Several works in the exhibit, like those by Ernest Bachrach and László Willinger, were created for promotional purposes, while pictures by Francis Bacon and Guy Tillim challenge the conventions of portraiture altogether.

From Guy Tillim’s series of images of child soldiers in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. "A Closer Look: Portraits from the Paul G. Allen Family Collection"
Pivot Art + Culture

In this age of selfies, portraits have never been more common nor, in many cases, more superficial. By presenting these enduring portraits, A Closer Look will invite visitors to consider what qualities give these works their depth, power and presence. The variety of artists on display will offer something for everyone, from Pierre-Auguste Renoir to Ansel Adams to David Hockney and Georges Seurat.

Portraits from a selection of Northwest artists will also be on display comprising the complementary exhibition, Implied Fictions. Each piece conveys an unspoken narrative that transports the viewer into another world. Artists included in the show are Holly Andres, Marsha Burns, Aleah Chapin, Scott Fife, Ann Gale, Susie J. Lee, Jim Phalen, Akio Takamori, Storm Tharp, Samantha Wall, Tariqa Waters, and Alice Wheeler.

During A Closer Look, visitors will have opportunities to engage with regional artists and art influencers through a wide-range program of exhibitions, tours, talks and events. Please visit the Pivot Art + Culture website for more information.

This exhibition follows the successful run of the Neddy Artist Awards: 20 years, which closed at Pivot Art + Culture on October 23, 2016.

Exhibition Dates

December 2, 2016 – February 26, 2017

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