Arnold Kemp: Fine Arts Center, University of Arkansas

Tue, 11/15/2016

About Face

October 24 – December 4, 2016
Fine Arts Center, University of Arkansas

It is difficult to mention the term, “narrative,” without acknowledging its wide use across academic fields ranging from psychology and literature to philosophy and visual art. Through the use of portraiture in storytelling, people have been able to document history, find cultural meaning, and explore personal beliefs. Moreover, in his 1980 essay, Secrets and Narrative Sequence, the British author and literary critic, Frank Kermode, maintained that stories have the unique ability to shift and develop with each interpretation. While one could argue that each artist in About Face channels Kermode’s hypothesis when developing artwork, it’s also apparent that the figure is the primary vehicle by which this message is conveyed. As such, the relationship between the intended subject matter and the continual reinterpretations bear witness to the possibilities found within the genre of narrative portraiture.

Artists included in the exhibition are Philip Guston, Trenton Doyle Hancock, Rashid Johnson, Mary Reid Kelley, Arnold J. Kemp, Amy Pleasant, and Carrie Mae Weems.

Curated by Marc Mitchell

image: "Headless", 2015. Rubber latex, lemon peel, oil paint and welded steel, 46 ½ x 12 x 25 ¾ in