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Portraits: A Global View,
Photographs and Prints

September 25 – December 9, 2015

Portraits: A Global View, Photographs and Prints exhibit

Gilles Peress
Women in the courtyard of the main Mosque, Quom, Iran, 1979

Baruch College will present the exhibition Portraits: A Global View, Photographs and Prints at the Mishkin Gallery from Friday, September 25, 2015 to Wednesday, December 9, 2015. An opening reception will take place on Thursday, September 24, 2015, from 6 to 8 p.m.

The human body has captured the attention of artists for centuries, but in the 20th and 21st centuries photographers and printmakers have given it new and often contested meanings. Despite its familiarity, the figure can startle us when it is made the focus of a photographic image. Portraits: A Global View, Photographs and Prints features an array of portraits, from Walker Evans’s image of a tenant farmer’s wife during the Great Depression in the United States, to Gilles Peress’s records of refugees in Bosnia and Tanzania, to Candace Scharsu’s tragic photograph of the scarred body of a child soldier in the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) in Sierra Leone.

With a broad range of portraits, this exhibition examines the meanings we ascribe to the human body and individual identity. The photographs range from whimsical to disturbing, from traditional subject portraits to images of figures that actually are “objects” - statues, mannequins, or even shadows or body sections. In some cases, individual photographs may overlap the boundaries between these categories, challenging theories of classification.

Artists such as Andy Warhol used portraiture to break down the boundaries between popular culture and high art. A silkscreen print of Sitting Bull functions in between a portrait and a stereotype, highlighting how an entire group has been represented by a glorified symbol. In his portfolio, Flashpoints: Selected Images of Gilles Peress, Peress employs the straightforward imagery of documentary photography in order to challenge the viewer’s expectations and perceptions about global events.

Portraiture is also fundamental to the work of artists like Carrie Mae Weems, whose Sea Islands Series figures prominently in this exhibition. Sea Islands Series is at once a celebration of a group with African origins and a poignant document of cross-cultural transformation. A self-portrait of the artist in 19th-century dress is included as part of a tableau of interrelated images, where it is juxtaposed by photographs of an empty chair and a pan of water.

Drawn from the collection of Baruch College, this exhibition features photographs and prints by the following artists: Manuel Alvarez Bravo, Henning Christiansen, Jiri Georg Dokoupil, Larry Clark, Lucien Clergue, Elliott Erwitt, Walker Evans, Donna Ferrato, Larry Fink, Ralph Gibson, Milt Hinton, Jerome Liebling, Joel Meyerowitz, Mimmo Paladino, Gilles Peress, Candace Scharsu, Cindy Sherman, Neal Slavin, Edward Steichen, Andy Warhol, Carrie Mae Weems, and Garry Winogrand.

Opening Reception:
Thursday, September 24, from 6 – 8 p.m.

The Sidney Mishkin Gallery is located at:
Baruch College
135 East 22nd Street at Lexington
New York City

Gallery hours are:
Monday – Friday, 12 noon – 5 p.m.
Thursdays, 12 noon – 7 p.m.
All exhibitions at the gallery are free and open to the public.

© 2015 Sidney Mishkin Gallery, Baruch College

For questions about the Gallery

Sandra Kraskin - Curator
Gallery (646) 660-6652

Media Contacts

Manny Romero - Director of Public Relations
(646) 660-6141

Mercedes Sanchez

(646) 660-6112

The City University of New York