Skip to Content

Found 327 Resources

Self-Portrait, Peterborough 57

National Portrait Gallery
Xavier Gonzalez was a painter, sculptor, and educator who was active in New York City and Wellfleet, Massachusetts. He was born in Almeria, Spain, but experienced a nomadic childhood in Spain, Mexico, and San Antonio, Texas. While his works draw from reality, he manipulated what he saw to conform to his vision and reflect a modern sensibility. In this self-portrait, which Gonzalez created in the middle of his life, a serious man looks out at the viewer with a determined set to his jaw. His round glasses, accented by prominent eyebrows, magnify his eyes and frame his penetrating gaze. The skillful use of ink with a light wash of paint translates human energy to a sheet of paper, capturing the artist’s spirit. Gonzalez stated that he had “to approach painting indirectly, slowly, because a painting like a flower can die from too much handling. The overstatement of a truth kills it.”

El pintor, escultor y educador Xavier González estuvo activo en Nueva York y Wellfleet, Massachusetts. Nació en Almería, España, pero tuvo una niñez nómada entre España, México y San Antonio, Texas. Aunque su obra parte de la realidad, manipula lo observado para adaptarlo a su visión y reflejar una sensibilidad moderna. En este autorretrato que hizo González en mitad de su vida, un hombre serio mira al espectador con actitud decidida. Sus lentes redondos, acentuados por las prominentes cejas, le agrandan los ojos y enmarcan su mirada penetrante. El hábil uso de la tinta con una ligera aguada de pintura transmite al papel una energía humana, captando el espíritu del artista. González comentó que tenía que “acercarme a la pintura de manera indirecta, lentamente, porque una pintura, igual que una flor, puede marchitarse de mucho manosearla. La exageración mata la verdad”.

Everett Shinn Self-Portrait

National Portrait Gallery
By 1901, when he drew this self-portrait, Everett Shinn was an acclaimed illustrator and pastel artist whose bright impressionist palette was very popular. In this drawing, he displays his theatrical personality in muted tones, vivid colors, and a downturned face. Recognizing that a degree of dramatic posturing was expected of an artist, he assumed the role of a brooding romantic and paid tribute to the cele- brated actress Julia Marlowe in an inscription. In 1908, the artist—who is best remembered as one of the Ashcan painters of urban scenes—sent a sketch of himself posing for publicity photos to fellow Ashcan artist John Sloan. “Great fun. being an artist. with temperament,” Shinn quipped.

Para 1901, cuando realizó este autorretrato, Everett Shinn era un aclamado ilustrador y dibujante al pastel cuya brillante paleta impresionista era muy popular. En este dibujo despliega su personalidad teatral en tonos apagados, colores vívidos y postura cabizbaja. Sabiendo que de un artista se espera cierto grado de dramatismo, aquí asume el papel de un romántico taciturno y rinde homenaje en una inscripción a la célebre actriz Julia Marlowe. En 1908, este artista —recordado como miembro de la Escuela Ashcan, grupo dedicado a pintar escenas urbanas— envió un boceto de sí mismo posando para fotos publicitarias a otro artista de la Ashcan, John Sloan. “Muy divertido, ser un artista con temperamento”, escribió Shinn en broma.

Willem de Kooning

National Portrait Gallery
In this portrait of Willem de Kooning, whose career as an Abstract Expressionist painter was just taking off in the early 1950s, the seated pose is open and informal and Willem’s facial features are essentially missing. However, the outlines of the head and body define individual likeness through sharp, jagged strokes of paint and contrasts of dark and light within a field of warm color.

Elaine drew and painted her husband often during the early to mid-1950s. This painting makes clear her interest in individual bodies and their recognizability. As she wrote in 1959, "I love the particular gesture of a particular expression or stance. I’m enthralled by the gesture of the silhouette (for portraits or anything else), the instantaneous illumination that enables you to recognize your father or a friend three blocks away."

Este retrato sentado de Willem de Kooning es de principios de los años cincuenta, cuando su carrera como pintor expresionista abstracto apenas estaba despegando. La pose es franca e informal, y las facciones son básicamente inexistentes. No obstante, la individualidad del sujeto queda definida en el trazado de la cabeza y el cuerpo con pinceladas firmes, de bordes accidentados, y contrastes de luz y sombra en un campo de colores cálidos.

Elaine dibujó y pintó a su esposo con frecuencia durante 1950–55. Esta pintura evidencia su interés en individualizar los cuerpos y hacerlos reconocibles. Tal como escribe en 1959, “Me gusta el gesto particular de una expresión o una postura. Me fascina el gesto de la silueta (en retratos o cualquier otra cosa), ese esclarecimiento instantáneo que te permite reconocer a tu padre o a un amigo a tres cuadras de distancia”.

Willem de Kooning

National Portrait Gallery

Self-Portrait as Lady MacBeth

National Portrait Gallery

John Steuart Curry Self-Portrait

National Portrait Gallery

Boardman Robinson

National Portrait Gallery

Joaquín Torres-García

National Portrait Gallery

William Morris Hunt

National Portrait Gallery

Winold Reiss

National Portrait Gallery

Ben Shahn

National Portrait Gallery

Willem de Kooning

National Portrait Gallery
Elaine de Kooning sometimes made detailed pencil drawings during the 1950s as the starting point for one or more paintings of her subjects. This precise rendering of Willem de Kooning is related to at least one painting, now unlocated. Its casual pose, with Willem holding a glass or can and another container on the ground, is typical of Elaine’s candid, informal approach to portraiture. She has used the drawing to sketch out a compositional arrangement and to delineate Willem’s characteristic features with fluid pencil strokes.

En los años cincuenta, Elaine de Kooning solía hacer dibujos detallados a lápiz como punto de partida para una o más pinturas del mismo sujeto. Esta imagen fiel de Willem de Kooning se ha relacionado con por lo menos una pintura (sin localizar hasta la fecha). La pose relajada de Willem, con un vaso o lata en la mano y otro en el suelo, es típica del tono cándido e informal con que Elaine aborda el retratismo. La artista usó el dibujo para definir una composición y delinear con trazos fluidos los rasgos característicos de Willem.

Keith Haring

National Portrait Gallery
Born Reading, Pennsylvania

Artist Keith Haring stands before Unfinished Painting (1989), one of the last works he completed before his death from the AIDS virus. The painting serves as a poignant statement about a life cut short at the age of thirty-one. In this and other works during a meteoric career that lasted just over a decade, Haring demonstrated a commitment to various political and social causes, including apartheid, nuclear disarmament, and especially the AIDS crisis. He vaulted to public prominence initially as a graffiti artist whose comical and enigmatic cartoons started appearing in New York City’s subway system. This success led him to mainstream fame in the art world. Although some critics expressed concern about his efforts to market his work to a mass audience, Haring believed that art should be as accessible as possible: "You can’t just stay in your studio and paint; that’s not the most effective way to communicate."

Boardman Robinson

National Portrait Gallery

Self-Portrait

National Portrait Gallery
Aaron Douglas was one of the leading figures in the flowering of modernist African American culture in the early twentieth century. This 1925 self-portrait attests to the remarkable skill and draftsmanship, not to mention self-possession, of the young artist months after he had left his position teaching high school art in Kansas City, Missouri, and moved to Harlem, New York. Using red Conte crayon and exercising restraint to create highlights on the cheeks, chin, and forehead, Douglas depicts himself as a sensitive, sentient black man. During the Harlem Renaissance, when this work was made, many young African Americans were exploring their identities, their roots, and their place in the world. Douglas depicts himself just as his self- consciousness and his political yearnings were being stirred. At the time, he had begun creating illustra- tions for the Urban League’s journal, Opportunity, as well as for the landmark manifesto of the Harlem Renaissance, Alain Locke’s The New Negro (1925).

Aaron Douglas fue una de las figuras principales en el florecimiento de la cultura afroamericana modernista a principios del siglo XX. Este autorre- trato suyo de 1925 manifiesta no solo la extraor- dinaria destreza y técnica de dibujo de este joven artista, sino también su seguridad en sí mismo, habiendo abandonado meses antes su puesto de maestro de arte en una escuela secundaria de Kansas City, Misuri, para irse a Harlem, Nueva York. Empleando crayón Conté rojo, con discretos toques de luz en las mejillas, la barbilla y la frente, Douglas se representa aquí como un afroamericano sensible y lúcido. Esta obra se realizó durante el auge del arte afroamericano llamado Harlem Renaissance, cuando muchos jóvenes negros estaban explorando su iden- tidad, sus raíces y su lugar en el mundo. Douglas plasmó su imagen justo cuando se despertaba su conciencia personal y política. Había empezado a crear ilustraciones para la revista Opportunity de la Urban League y para el manifiesto emblemático del Harlem Renaissance, The New Negro (1925) de Alain Locke.

Ben Shahn

National Portrait Gallery
Ben Shahn, a painter, photographer, and graphic artist, infused his works with a passion that made them both works of art and political statements. In 1932 he created a famous series on the Italian-American anarchists Sacco and Vanzetti, whose trial was widely criticized for its denial of due process. Shahn, a staunch New Dealer, painted murals and did other commissions for the government arts and public works programs. In this photograph by Ronny Jaques, Shahn, a strong supporter of labor, is shown with his poster, commissioned by the Congress of Industrial Organizations, urging workers to register to vote. Shahn's later work became more abstract and allegorical, although still politically charged, and in his last years he turned to religious themes, creating illustrated versions of books from scripture and the Torah.

Thomas Hart Benton Self-Portrait

National Portrait Gallery

Lyonel Feininger

National Portrait Gallery

Kenyon Cox

National Portrait Gallery
A conservative painter trained in the academic style, Kenyon Cox was best known for the murals he created for such institutions as the Library of Congress and Bowdoin College. For some twenty-five years he was also one of the nation's leading art critics. In that capacity he argued against much of the innovative modernism found in early twentieth-century art. Cox liked the work of sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens and published an article about its merits in 1887, the same year he painted a portrait of Saint-Gaudens. Two years later, Saint-Gaudens returned the compliment by executing this bas-relief of Cox.

José Gómez-Sicre and José Clemente Orozco

National Portrait Gallery
José Gómez-Sicre 1916–1991

Born Matanzas, Cuba

José Clemente Orozco 1883–1949

Born Ciudad Guzmán, Mexico

José Gómez-Sicre is a crucial figure in creating a modern awareness in the United States of the richness and variety of Latin American art. Born in Cuba, he studied law and politics at University of Havana and art history at New York University and Columbia, making a career of disseminating Latin American art through museum exhibitions, diplomatic programs, and publications. From 1948 to 1976 he was chief of the Visual Arts Unit of the Pan-American Union, later renamed the Organization of American States. He was also founding director of the Art Museum of the Americas.

Gómez-Sicre took this photograph of himself with Mexican muralist José Clemente Orozco in the painter’s studio in Guadalajara. A year earlier, in 1940, the Museum of Modern Art mounted the exhibition “Twenty Centuries of Mexican Art,” in which Orozco painted his portable mural Dive Bomber and Tank in front of the viewing public.

De Kooning Breaks Through

National Portrait Gallery
Red Grooms’s witty portrait of Willem de Kooning celebrates the achievements of this Abstract Expressionist, whose paintings of the 1950s were a formative influence on Grooms. Replete with visual puns, the work shows de Kooning literally “breaking through” the surface of the print, suggesting the transformative nature of de Kooning’s artistic contri bution. Grooms’s composition specifically references de Kooning’s Woman and Bicycle (1952–53), one of a series of Woman paintings that integrated imagery from popular culture, such as pinup girls and adver tisements, into a fine art context, bridging the divide between abstraction and figuration. Similar dynamics animate Grooms’s lithograph. The sense of playfulness, frenetic movement, and violent tearing of paper suggest the humor and energy of an animated cartoon. By combining the brushwork of action painting with the unexpected three-dimensional folding of paper, Grooms created a likeness as layered with cultural references as de Kooning’s paintings.

El ocurrente retrato realizado por Red Grooms celebra los logros de Willem de Kooning, expre sionista abstracto cuyas pinturas de los años cincuenta tuvieron una influencia formativa en Grooms. Repleta de juegos visuales, la obra muestra a De Kooning literalmente rompiendo la superficie del cuadro, en alusión al carácter transformador de su arte. La composición remite a la obra Mujer y bici cleta (1952–53) de De Kooning, parte de una serie de pinturas de mujeres que insertan en el contexto del arte imágenes de la cultura popular, tales como modelos de calendario y anuncios, salvando la brecha entre la abstracción y el arte figurativo. Una dinámica similar anima la litografía de Grooms. El desenfado, el movimiento frenético y el papel rasgado abruptamente recuerdan el humor y la energía de un dibujo animado. Combinando la pincelada de la “pintura de acción” con los ines perados pliegues tridimensionales del papel, Grooms creó un retrato tan cargado de referencias culturales como las pinturas de De Kooning.

Willem de Kooning

National Portrait Gallery

Frederick Kiesler and Willem de Kooning

National Portrait Gallery
73-96 of 327 Resources