As Others See Us: The Contemporary Portrait

November 23, 2008 - February 22, 2009

The need to connect with others begins when a baby gazes up at its mother. We need to know and be known, and to be remembered. Portraits, by depicting another human being, seize our imagination and compel viewing in a way no other genre can. The individual captured in a portrait is presented in a manner that compels us to ask, Who is this person? What is his/her place in the world? What is his/her spirit?

Although the portraits in this exhibition differ from each other materially—they are painted, drawn, or sculpted; they are made with canvas, board, paper, Mylar, oil, acrylic, watercolor, pencil, ink, charcoal, pastel, collage, print, fabric and thread, stone, plaster, resin, and video—they all ask, in a profound way, What is it to be human?

These artists reveal their sitters, and themselves, to the viewer, in a huge variety of ways. For instance, a portrait is not always about face. A number of artists use only a fragment of their subject’s physical being (a braid, a posture, a gesture) to embody their model’s totality. Others omit physical representation almost entirely. Can a person’s essence be portrayed without a face? How does an artist capture a lifetime of experience? What symbolism is embedded in the artwork that affords us insight into the life of the sitter… the artist… ourselves?

Dawn Chan, Linda Rubinstein, Mara Williams, Curators

Click here to download the gallery brochure for this exhibit. (PDF, 11×17, double-sided)

Artists featured in As Others See Us: The Contemporary Portrait:

Sigmund Abeles

Cicely  Aikman

Robert   Bauer

Thomas Bayrle

Sarah  Belchetz-Swenson

Derek Bell

Tamy Ben-Tor

Scot Borofsky

Stephen Brown

Ric Campman

Tseng Kwong  Chi

Dana Clancy

Chuck Close

Susanna Coffey

Merry Converse

Judy Cooper

Jim Dine

Robert Sargent Fay

Rachel Folsom

Lucy Fradkin

Natalie Frank

Gloria Garfinkel

Gregory Gillespie

Timothy Greenfield-Sanders

John Hampshire

Haley Hasler

Susan Hauptman

William Hays

Mary Henerson

Christopher Irion

Adam Jacono

Noah Kalina

Alex Katz

Nikki S. Lee

Nina Levy

Whitfield Lovell

Jane Lund

Jill Magid

Sarah McEneaney

Dave McKenzie

Gloria McLean

Marion Miller

Sharon Myers

Laurel Nakadate

Alice Neel

Charles Parness

Marlo Pascual

Leonard Ragouzeos

James Riek

David Rohn

Jonathan Rose

Brian C. Rossignol

Deidre Scherer

Shirana Shahbazi

Cindy Sherman

Paul Shore

Cai Xi Silver

Zak Smith

Frank Stout

Jane Sutherland

Mickalene Thomas

John Thomlinson

Christine Triebert

Hellen van Meene

Costa Vavagiakis

Sarah  Wentworth

Clifford West

Kehinde Wiley

Robin Elizabeth Williams

Don Wynn

Cayce Zavaglia


Major support for As Others See Us: The Contemporary Portrait is provided by Chittenden Bank and the Vermont Arts Council. Additional support is provided by Bast Investment Co., Brattleboro Area Realty, Lawton Floor Design, Peerless Insurance, Pieciak & Company, and Vermont Country Store.

The exhibition was conceived by the curatorial team of Rachael Arauz, Susan Calabria, Dawn Chan, Linda Rubinstein, and Mara Williams. Early in the conceptual process, independent curator Lori Friedman and BMAC exhibition committee co-chairs Petria Mitchell and Carolyn DiNicola-Fawley provided guidance and support.