In the wide range of portraiture included in this exhibition, certain thematic threads connect the diverse ways in which artists have depicted people in the world around them. Tina Barney’s photographs of friends and family center on everyday pursuits. Adam Bartos did not know the teenage girl he photographed at Hither Hills campground in Montauk but the resulting image reveals a great deal about her. Dawoud Bey’s composite portrait of Anthony, a Southampton High School student, evolved from the photographer’s residency at the Parrish that engaged local youth with the museum. Black-and- white photographs of a ballet dancer, a young girl in India, and a group of skateboarders in East Hampton perceptively show both the self-confidence and the uncertainty that are equal parts of the adolescent psyche.
The immediacy of the artist’s hand is evident in the drawings of Elie Nadelman, John Sloan, and Elizabeth Peyton—figure studies that, while not disclosing the full face, convey a portrait of the subject. Illustrations by James Montgomery Flagg and Leon Kroll bring stories to life. Distinctive portraits by the artists Marisol, Thornton Dial, and Richard Lindner depict three strong women in forceful frontality. Red Grooms and Billy Sullivan suspend a moment in time with vibrant drawing of animated scenes and Lucy Winton creates a self-portrait that offers a glimpse into her thoughts as well.
The art of self-portraiture, taken via smartphone or webcam, has become a global phenomenon propelled by the rise in social media and the ability to instantly share images of one’s social life, travels, and personal interests. Contribute your own “selfie” by uploading a self-portrait taken in the Parrish Art Museum to Instagram or Facebook with the hashtag #ParrishSelfie. Select photos will be featured on the Parrish Art Museum’s website and in the Summer 2014 Newsletter.