Credit: Jaswant Guzder, Prayer spaces and portrait 1, 2016, ink, cloth on natural linen.
Get up close to faces this winter in paintings, photographs, textiles, and more. This exhibit invites you to consider the importance of faces in a time of virtual gatherings, selfies, and mask-wearing.
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The human face tells us a lot about someone. From smiling or frowning to more complex expressions of hope, fear, or approval, the face is how we read others. During this pandemic, faces have taken on heightened significance. Most of our interactions with others happen virtually. Masks cover much of our face, only leaving us to communicate with our eyes.
While we can’t get close to many physical faces nowadays, you can get up close and personal with the faces in this exhibit. Collages of archival portraits, psychological portraiture, altered faces from art history as art stamps, photographs of amateur baseball players, drawings of aged faces suffering from illness, needlepoint representations of French philosophers, terracotta heads, and artworks that use social media as a medium are some examples of what you'll see in the show.
Art has always provided a lens to zoom in on society. The artworks in this exhibition, while mostly created before the pandemic, speak to our current moment of facial interfaces and increased digital activity. Time shrinks as we scroll through faces on social media, join another video conference meeting, and catch up with family and friends in the same or different time zones via video calls. More and more of our personal devices use digital facial recognition software for identification and surveillance. Selfies still abound.
Let’s face it: we have become mediated through technology. Can art help us reimagine how we represent ourselves and think about facial communication both now and in the future? More simply, what does a face do and how have artists sought to capture this? We invite you to look at the human face, in all its beauty, pain, and complexity, and consider these questions with us this winter.
Join us for the launch event on Instagram Live January 30 at 6:30pm.
Artists: Durrah Alsaif, Simranpreet Anand, Rebecca Bair, Lorna Brown, Diana Burgoyne, Chila Kumari Burman, Audrey Capel-Doray, Lisa Chen, Qian Cheng, Lincoln Clarkes, Share Corsault, Patrick Cruz, Francis Cruz, Eryne Donahue, Tom Douglas, R.W. Eastcott, Soheila Esfahani, Gabor Gasztonyi, Barry Goodman, Jaswant Guzder, Brian Howell, Jim Jardine, Bill Jeffries, Doreen Jensen, Ali Kazimi, Ann Kipling, Laura Wee Láy Láq, George Littlechild, Ken Lum, Al McWilliams, Elizabeth MacKenzie, María Angélica Madero, Chito Maravilla, Sally Michener, my name is scot, David Neel, Al Neil, Mark Neufeld, George Omorean, Leslie Poole, Deborah Putman, Marianna Schmidt, Jack Shadbolt, Drew Shaffer, Hari Sharma, Stephen Shore, Jarnail Singh, Jeannette Sirois, Manuel Axel Strain, Ed Varney, Carrie Walker, Jin-me Yoon
Curator: Jordan Strom
Origin of Exhibition: Surrey Art Gallery