This exhibition explores the breadth and global diversity of contemporary photographic portraiture since 2000, highlighting recent acquisitions to the museum's permanent collection.
About Face include works by twenty-nine artists from the United States, England, Canada, France, Germany, Russia, Japan, Iran and South Africa. Though each of these photographers approaches portrait-making differently, certain thematic threads resonate throughout the show, including questions of racial, cultural, ethnic, class and gender identity; the relationship between individuals and typologies; the way photographic processes themselves inform meaning; the relevance of historical precedents to contemporary practice; and the impact of media stereotypes on self-presentation. Considered collectively, the works in About Face offer a provocative and engaging forum for considering the question: how do we define portraiture today?
For this exhibition, co-curators Jane L. Aspinwall and April M. Watson at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art are partnering with FlakPhoto.com creator Andy Adams to create a collaborative exhibition project focusing on contemporary portraiture.
The project presents two distinct, simultaneous exhibitions: About Face, our in-gallery exhibition at the Nelson-Atkins, and Making Pictures of People, a digital exhibition presented online for web-based audiences worldwide. Visitors will be able to access the Flak Photo exhibition via touch screens in the gallery and on mobile devices outside the museum.
The goal of the show is twofold: to celebrate the complementary experiences of engaging with photographs as objects and as images, and to connect museum visitors in Kansas City with an international community deeply engaged in thinking about portraiture and contemporary photographic practice.
The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art Website