Today, The Art Students League of New York announces a new exhibition: Faces of the League — a selection of portraits from their permanent collection. The works will be on view at the Phyllis Harriman Mason Gallery on the League’s second floor from February 1st until April 2, 2021. The focus of this exhibition is rarely seen works of previous instructors, students, and artists with connections to the League. The exhibition features 50 works (of the 218 portraits in the League's permanent collection) and includes sculptures, paintings, printmaking, drawings, and mixed media.
The exhibition presents a wide variety of portraiture and examines the continued challenge of depicting the human head, the human gaze, and the likeness of the subject. Featured is the new acquisition “By the Window” by Harvey Dinnerstein, a powerful pastel portrait of love in the later years of life.
In Faces of the League, viewers will find works like the admired portrait of Georgia O’Keeffe by Eugene Edward Speicher and a small, sensitive portrait by Fairfield Porter of his daughter Katie. Viewers will also be introduced to lesser-known works by feminist artists like Anne Goldthwaite, a painter, and printmaker who drew Reverend Dr. Joseph Barry. A portrait of a tough-looking and smoking Maria Rother Wickey, who taught at the League, is captured by her student Helen Farr. Marion Greenwood, a Brooklyn native who studied mural painting with Diego Rivera in Mexico, shares her portrait of a girl in a short black dress, bored backstage and waiting to perform.
Throughout history, artists have searched to capture the human condition in the expressions of the face. The importance of delivering a likeness became less important in the nineteenth century as photography became popular, and with Impressionism and Expressionism (beginning in the 1850s and 1920s respectively) the general public opened up to experimentation and a livelier way of capturing the face. Faces of the Leaguedemonstrates this art-historical shift in how the human face is perceived and captured in works of art.
Jack Bilander, Lois Bosa, Robert Brackman, Alfred Quinton Collins, Dorothy Dehner, Harvey Dinnerstein, Helen Farr, Marshall Glasier, Marion Greenwood, Robert Ward Johnson, Albert Kotin, Jack Levine, Ruth Blanchard Miller, Robert Philipp, Vernon Poindexter, Fairfield Porter, Agnes Richmond, Raphael Soyer, Eugene Edward Speicher, Harry Sternberg, Vaclav Vytlacil, and more.