Yale Bulletin and Calendar

September 1, 2000Volume 29, Number 1

"Nancy, Danville, Virginia," a 1969 photographic portrait by Emmet Gowin, is among the works on view in "The Persistence of Photography in American Portraiture."

Art Gallery exhibit surveys 20th-century
American photographic portraiture

Photographs and photo-inspired works by both master artists and those who have more recently gained prominence in the field are on view in a new exhibit at the Yale University Art Gallery.

"The Persistence of Photography in American Portraiture" comprises nearly 80 photographs, daguerreotypes, photo-based prints and other works by more than 30 artists, including the renowned photographers Walker Evans, Helen Levitt and Robert Frank, and by Chuck Close, Marisol Escobar, Roy Lichtenstein and Robert Rauschenberg. Also on view are works by such recently recognized artists as Regina Monfort, Tina Barney and Dawoud Bey.

This survey of aspects of 20th-century American photographic portraiture is offered in conjunction with another major exhibition, "Love and Loss: American Portrait and Mourning Miniatures," which will open Oct. 3 at the gallery. Jock Reynolds, the Henry J. Heinz II Director of the Yale Gallery, organized "The Persistence of Photography in American Portraiture" with the assistance of Jason Kakoyiannis, a graduate student in the history of art. Most of the photographs on display were acquired in the past two years and are from the gallery's permanent collection.

Much of the exhibition is arranged thematically. A group of portraits of African-American families includes work by the Harlem Renaissance photographer James Van Der Zee and by contemporary artist Linda Connor. Images of children alone, in groups, in school and at play are represented in works by Emmet Gowin and Judith Joy Ross. Also featured are a selection of urban portraits, "where architecture and chance produce moments worthy of capture," according to Kakoyiannis. Represented in this section are Walker Evans, Robert Frank, Helen Levitt, Lee Friedlander, Regina Monfort and Dawoud Bey.

Also on view are a suite of 54 gelatin silver prints of "surveillance" photos of random individuals driving along a Seattle freeway; a group of images about the 1960s which includes Robert Rauschenberg's illustrations updating Dante's "Inferno"; Walker Evans' classic portrait "Girl in Fulton Street, New York." Photo-related paintings such as Roy Lichtenstein's Pop icon "Thinking of Him" and photo-based portraits by Gregory Gillespie and Chuck Close are among the other highlights.

Jock Reynolds will present a talk about the exhibition on Thursday, Sept. 7, at 4 p.m. at the gallery. Check future issues of the Yale Bulletin & Calendar for information on upcoming events in conjunction with the exhibit, which will be on view through Nov. 25.

The Yale University Art Gallery, located at 1111 Chapel St., is open to the public without charge Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., and Sunday, 1-6 p.m. It is closed Mondays and major holidays. A wheelchair-accessible entrance is at 201 York St. For taped general and program information, call (203) 432-0600 or check the gallery's website at www.yale.edu/artgallery.


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