Portraits from the École des Beaux-Arts Paris

The Drawing Center

-> June 28, 2015

The Drawing Center has commissioned artists Ryan and Trevor Oakes to use the exhibition Portraits from the École des Beaux-Arts Paris as a platform to further explore the genre of portraiture.

For eight consecutive Thursdays during May 7–June 25th, 2015, the artists will be in residence in our Main Gallery.

Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Portrait d'Agostino Mascardi © Beaux-Arts de Paris: T. Ollivier: J.-M. Lapelerie

This exhibition explores four hundred years of portrait drawings, emphasizing work from live models. Each week, a different set of four portraits from different centuries and with different formal qualities will be hung « in dialogue » with each other in a specially-built room located in the center of The Drawing Center’s Main Gallery. Forty portraits have been chosen from the Beaux-Arts de Paris’ collection based on diverse criteria such as the male and female gestures, caricature, frontal gaze, social class, and profession of the model. The room is inspired by the intimate gallery at the Galleria Doria Pamphilj in Rome where Velazquez’s portrait of Pope Innocent X (c.1649) hangs, which only accommodates a small number of visitors at a time and was designed to provide a space for close viewing and contemplation without crowds. The remaining thirty-six portraits in the exhibition will be hung on the gallery’s back wall and will be visible to the visitor throughout the exhibition’s run.

G. Baselitz, Sans titre (Marcel Duchamp), 2001 © Beaux-Arts de Paris: T. Ollivier: J.-M. Lapelerie

This unique exhibition will explore the notion of drawn portraiture and provide alternative readings of this important genre of art making within a contemporary context. The selection of works is extensive, ranging from seventeenth-century to the present. Highlights include never-before-exhibited drawings by nineteenth-century luminaries Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres and Charles Garnier to the work of modern and contemporary masters Henri Matisse and Georg Baselitz to portraits by recent graduates of the Beaux-Arts de Paris.

Co-curated by Emmanuelle Brugerolles, Curator of the Drawings collection at the Beaux-Arts de Paris and Brett Littman, Executive Director of The Drawing Center.