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Face ValuePortraiture in the Age of Abstraction

Published by GILES in association with the the National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution

Add to Cart US$55.00

Published — (UK and USA)

Dimensions — 176 pages, 305 x 229 mm (9 x 12 in)

Illustrations — 90 colour

Format — Hardback

Price — UK£35.00/US$55.00

ISBN — 978-1-907804-42-7

News  —  Face Value now on at the Smithsonian National...

Sales Points

"An exciting show given full expression in this excellent book"—David Ecclestone, Cassone

"A unique, beautifully produced, gap-filling work of inspired curating and art history"— Donna Seaman, Booklist Online

About the Book

This is a groundbreaking reassessment of the reinvention of portraiture in America between 1945 and 1975—the period when the abstract expressionists reached international prominence. Two essays examine the intricate story of portraiture’s reinvention within the context of postwar flux, the very moment many in the art world considered figuration hopelessly out of fashion.

Fifty-five innovative portrait paintings, drawings, prints, and sculptures include works by major artists Will Barnet, Chuck Close, Richard Diebenkorn, Red Grooms, David Park, Larry Rivers, Elaine de Kooning, Fairfield Porter, Romare Bearden, Alex Katz, Marisol Escobar, Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns, Sylvia Sleigh, Joan Semmel, Alice Neel, Andy Warhol, and Jamie Wyeth.

Features a poem by leading New York School poet John Ashbery, specially commissioned for this book.

There is an accompanying exhibition at the Smithsonian Institution, National Portrait Gallery, April 18, 2014 – January 11, 2015


About the Author(s)

Brandon Brame Fortune is Curator, Department of Painting and Sculpture, National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. She has worked at the National Portrait Gallery since 1987. She was the Portrait Gallery's coordinator for the Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition 2006 and 2009. She was a co-curator for the 2008 National Portrait Gallery exhibition, Recognize! Hip Hop and Contemporary Portraiture, and is the leader of the Portrait Gallery’s Portraiture Now team. Wendy Wick Reaves, Curator of prints and drawings, is Interim Director of the National Portrait Gallery. Reaves established the graphic arts department at the National Portrait Gallery in 1974. The collections she has developed include fine-art prints and drawings, rare books and illustrated journals, posters, caricatures and cartoons. Reaves is the curator of numerous exhibitions for the Portrait Gallery on subjects ranging from the 18th to the 20th century. Her books include Reflections/Refractions: Self Portraiture in the Twentieth Century (2009) and Ballyhoo! Posters as Portraiture (2008), Eye Contact: Modern American Portrait Drawings (2002) and Celebrity Caricature in America (1998). Reaves has also served as one of the curators of the ongoing Portraiture Now series which celebrate progressive forms of portrayal in contemporary art. David C. Ward is an historian at the National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian institution where he has curated exhibitions on Walt Whitman, Abraham Lincoln, and 2010’s award winning Hide/Seek. Difference and Desire in American Portraiture. His poetry has been published in PN Review and other venues; his little collection Internal Difference was published by Lintott/Carcanet in 2011.