News Column

National Portrait Gallery Presents a New Exhibition of Works by Contemporary Latino American Artists

July 1, 2014



WASHINGTON, July 1 -- The Smithsonian Institution issued the following news release:

The Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery will open a new exhibition featuring six contemporary Latino artists who explore how identities are constructed and negotiated through portraiture. "Portraiture Now: Staging the Self," open Aug. 22 through April 12, 2015, will include 59 photographs, paintings and mixed media portraits. A press tour will be held Sept. 10, 10 to 11:30 a.m.

"This series of exhibitions showcases contemporary artists who are breaking the conventions of portraiture," said Kim Sajet, director of the National Portrait Gallery. "In 'Staging the Self,' these artists show complex contemporary identities unfolding between themselves and their subjects. They are both within and between American and Latino cultures."

"Portraiture Now: Staging the Self" features the work of David Antonio Cruz, Carlee Fernandez, Maria Martinez-Canas, Rachelle Mozman, Karen Miranda Rivadeneira and Michael Vasquez. Theatricality is central to their inquiry, as they represent narratives remembered or imagined from their own family histories, or superimpose portraits of their loved ones over themselves, looking for what is shared or unique in individuality. Some of the artists reference their Latino heritage in their work, and some do not. As they present themselves in a staged manner, portraiture loses its aura of certainty and becomes an evolving map for finding oneself and others.

This exhibition team is led by Taina Caragol, curator of Latino art and history and includes Brandon Fortune, chief curator; Rebecca Kasemeyer, associate director of education; Dorothy Moss, associate curator of painting and sculpture; and David C. Ward, senior historian. "Portraiture Now: Staging the Self" is presented by the National Portrait Gallery in collaboration with the Smithsonian Latino Center.

The National Portrait Gallery is committed to expanding visitors' ideas of portraiture through its programs, including the ongoing series of "Portraiture Now" exhibitions, which explore contemporary artists working to explore figuration in new ways.

National Portrait Gallery

The Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery tells the history of America through the individuals who have shaped its culture. Through the visual arts, performing arts and new media, the Portrait Gallery portrays poets and presidents, visionaries and villains, actors and activists whose lives tell the American story.

The National Portrait Gallery is part of the Donald W. Reynolds Center for American Art and Portraiture at Eighth and F streets N.W., Washington, D.C. Smithsonian Information: (202) 633-1000. Website: npg.si.eduFacebookfacebook.com/npg.smithsonian; Instagram http://instagram.com/smithsoniannpg; blog face2face.si.edu; Twittertwitter.com/npg; YouTubeyoutube.com/NatlPortraitGallery.

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