Portraiture That Paints Engaging Images – washingtonpost.com

Here is the third exhibition to open at the National Portrait Gallery in recent months.

This one is the second installment of the Portraiture Now exhibition space that focuses on contemporary portraiture and loaned art. To quote from the article:

Known primarily as a history museum — where the selection of pictures on the wall is based more on the sitter’s accomplishments than on the artist’s message or merits — the National Portrait Gallery has, since its reopening last summer, devoted a small corner of the building to just the opposite. “Framing Memory,” the second installment in its long-overdue “Portraiture Now” series, presents five contemporary artists, each given a small room (and in one case, a hallway) devoted to work whose engagement with portraiture is less didactic and more lively than we have come to expect from the museum.

It’s an interesting show. I had my doubts while prepping for it but you really have to see the pieces in person to truly appreciate them. I really love the quilts of Faith Ringgold but I’ve been familiar with her work for years. I think what initially put me off was the color of the rooms – very intense, almost fluorescent, greens and oranges. It’s hard to work in rooms painted entirely in these colors, especially on the eyes. However, once the artwork was hung, I understood the choice. The color does draw in the visitors, too.

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