Tag Archives: Anonymous: The Contemporary Portrait
Wesley Anderegg. “Man,” “Two Headed Man,” “Woman,” “Lollipop,” “Man with Pipe.” Ceramic plates. 18˝ × 23˝ 
Photo by Lauren Rock.

31 nameless orphans, looking for a home

Very few pictures wear name tags. Naming is the province of the caption, or of an oral tradition, sometimes passed on from parents to children, but more often eluding the good intentions of commitment to writing. The boxes of anonymous photographs in most home closets are silent testimony to this nominative failure. Worse yet, consider the images of family and friends banished, orphaned, at estate sales and flea markets, touching evidence of the painfully anonymous tradition of the portrait.

Judy Barie, director of the galleries of the Visual Arts at Chautauqua Institution, has opened an image shelter for the nameless at Strohl Art Center, in which she offers 31 unnamed images to patrons ready to provide foster parenting and a new home for only partially identified images.

Yes, there are a few pictures known by first names in the shelter — Allen, Joe, Steve, Trudy, Joe, and Virginia among them. Otherwise, we must be content with Two Headed Man, Small Female Head, Young Bride, and Teens on the Beach.

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Michael Ferris Jr. “Allen” and “Steve.” Reused wood, pigmented grout.
Photo by Lauren Rock.

‘Anonymous’ exhibition provides new insights on subject, viewer of portraits

Portraits are everywhere: George Washington’s profile on the quarter, Greek and Roman statues, the Mona Lisa, wedding photographs, death masks on sarcophagi.

Portraits immortalize. But though they seem to be common, a different side to them emerges in Strohl Art Center this week in “Anonymous: The Contemporary Portrait.”

From 3–5 p.m. today in Strohl is the opening reception for “Anonymous,” a collection of everything that is a portrait without being, in fact, a portrait. Curator and VACI Galleries Director Judy Barie was inspired by Christian Faur, who creates art with thousands of hand-cast crayons, which resolves into images only at a distance.

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