Fountain House Gallery, located at 702 Ninth Avenue and representing artists living with mental illness, announces the upcoming opening of “About Face,” an exhibition of recent portraits by Gallery artists. The show will open with a Reception on March 1, 2018, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., and will remain on view through April 11, 2018. “About Face” is curated by Sasha Nicholas.
"Portraits are a fascinating subject in today's culture,” said Nicholas, an independent art historian and curator. “They are everywhere and inspire incredible creative invention, but we seldom pause to think about how complicated it is to make a portrait. Looking at the work of the six featured artists in this show gives us a chance to do just that. Their portraits offer rich, sensitive responses to the individuals they depict, but they also raise profound questions. On a personal note, it has been thrilling to work on this show, which feels like a second chapter to an exhibition of self-portraits I curated at Fountain House Gallery more than 10 years ago. It's a privilege to collaborate with this talented community of artists.”
The six artists featured in this show make images that record the likeness of an individual. At the same time, they transform this process into a springboard for creative invention. Using expressive brushwork, distorted form, vivid color, and other experimental techniques, these artists insist that portraiture is a subjective endeavor. Some, like Bryan Michael Greene, capture personal responses to close friends and intimates. Others, like Martin Cohen, Marina Marchand, and Gary Peabody, evoke the various ways we project our desires and dreams onto pop culture icons. Still others, including Anthony Newton and Barry Senft, depict fictitious people who appear startlingly real. Collectively, these works demonstrate that a portrait represents not simply an individual, but a complex encounter between an artist and their subject.
As a special project for "About Face," Fountain House Gallery artists created self-portraits to be hung together in a group installation. Emphasizing self-expression over faithful likeness, the more than 30 self-portraits on view follow the exhibition’s theme and testify to the diverse array of voices in this creative community.
This program is funded, in part, by generous support from the Hearst Foundation, Inc., the Renate, Hans and Maria Hofmann Trust, the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, the David Rockefeller Fund, and the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund.
About Fountain House Gallery Fountain House Gallery and Studio provides an environment in which artists living with mental illness can express their creative visions and exhibit their work. Founded by Fountain House in 2000 as a not-for-profit exhibition space for its member-artists living and working with mental illness, the Gallery sells original artworks and collaborates with a wide network of artists, curators and cultural institutions. Embracing artists who are emerging or established, trained or self-taught, Fountain House Gallery cultivates artistic growth, makes a vital contribution to the New York arts community, and challenges the stigma surrounding mental illness.