November 20, 2013 - Mart Rovereto - The Other Portrait
November 20, 2013

The Other Portrait

Till Freiwald, Lotta II, 2008–2012. Watercolour on paper, 225 x 153 cm. Courtesy Galerie Voss, Düsseldorf (D). Private Collection of Wayne and Catharine Reynolds, Washington, USA.

The Other Portrait
5 October 2013–12 January 2014

Mart – Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art of Trento and Rovereto
Corso Bettini, 43
Rovereto (TN), Italy

The Other Portrait is an exhibition held at the Mart Museum in Rovereto, Italy, from 5 October 2013 to 12 January 2014, at the same time as and in parallel with a retrospective dedicated to Antonello da Messina.

The curator of The Other Portrait is the French philosopher Jean-Luc Nancy, author of numerous texts on the arts in general and on single paintings, photographs and films.

The project developed by Nancy for the Mart follows the publication of Le regard du portrait (Galilée, 2000) which examines the sitter’s gaze, considered the essential element of a portrait, through which the subject creates a relationship with an infinity in which he loses himself: in an absolute ‘outside’ gaze of the observer. That study focused essentially on classic and modern portraits.

At the Mart Rovereto, on the other hand, Nancy explores contemporary portraiture, considered from the last decades of the 20th century and down to the present day. Through 45 works, selected as being exemplary of their type, the exhibition seeks to explore the vanishing and re-emergence of the portrait, and its transformations.

The common thread running through the exhibition is that of the mystery revealed by portraiture: the most wholly accomplished stage of mimesis, a depiction of a face shows that the latter appears as though within a forever renewed mystery (divine or animal, liquified or lost in the shadows). A disturbing, anguished, ironic or chaotic secret.

“The other portrait,” writes Nancy, “is at the same time the other within, hidden in the portrait, inaccessible to the portrait, and the other, different portrait that can no longer resemble one.”

The exhibition layout does not impose a reading: it merely suggests some possibilities with which to approach the question—and the obsession—of the impossible subject now freed of any notion of sitter or depiction and—because of this—all the more true and all the less identifiable.

Featured artists:
Vito Acconci, Laurie Anderson, Francis Bacon, Miguel Barceló, Christian Boltanski, Elina Brotherus, Nancy Burson, Robert Cahen, Chuck Close, John Coplans, Daniela De Lorenzo, Marlene Dumas, Greta Frau, Till Freiwald, Lucian Freud, Alberto Giacometti, Douglas Gordon, Alex Katz, Bertrand Lavier, Mark Lewis, Paolo Meoni, Jorge Molder, Jacques Monory, Oscar Muñoz, Giulio Paolini, Claudio Parmiggiani, Jaume Plensa, Barbara Probst, Margot Quan Knight, Luca Rento, Gerhard Richter, Thomas Ruff, Thomas Schütte, Fiona Tan, Antoni Tàpies, Jeff Wall, Andy Warhol, Francesca Woodman, Shizuka Yokomizo

Mart Rovereto
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