In celebration of artblog’s 10-year anniversary, we are bringing you content from our inaugural year, 2003. In December, 2003, we were venturing forth from our Old City stomping grounds and trotting up to Northern Liberties and west to City Hall. Despite initial reservations, Roberta discovered some striking poetic narratives at 1 Penn Square. Portraits by a perceptive PAFA graduate were worth the visit to the now-closed Ashley Gallery, where paintings were rife with psychological complexity. ——————————- The Mystery of Case 13 By roberta December 30, 2003 I always have mixed feelings about the Art in City Hall shows. On the one ... More » »
This just in from Spector Projects (Shelley Spector’s freelance curatorial and products division), a new line of digital prints of paintings by the late Rebecca Westcott is available for purchase at the project’s website. The four, poster-sized works (largest is 49 1/2 x 34″) are based on four paintings by the Pew-winning Westcott, killed in a road-side accident in 2004 shortly after winning the fellowship. The paintings on which the new digital prints are based are currently in the National Portrait Gallery as part of the show Communities — on view through July 10. (Andrea told you about that show ... More » »
Last week I visited Portraiture Now: Communities, at the National Portrait Gallery through July 5, 2010, with paintings by Rose Frantzen, Jim Torok and Rebecca Westcott. It was organized around the idea of portraits of groups. Not group portraits, but individual portraits of people connected by familial relations, friendship with the artist or by virtue of living in the same, small community.
If you’re not familiar with the portraits of Rebecca Westcott, you can see them this month at Spector Gallery. Westcott’s portraits of young adults–her crowd–against fairly blank backgrounds capture their earnestness, their tentativeness, and their everyday clothes. Unlike Elizabeth Peyton, who’s working the same age group and paints only the cool, flattened stares of languid youth posing for Ralph Lauren, Westcott gets personal. I also like the contrast between traditional portraiture–of people who can pay for their likenesses–and these pictures of the young, not-yet-successful who are still a little unformed (like the backgrounds) and finding their way in the world. ... More » »