Sunday, May 3, 2009


Photo by Hannele Lahti

This week the Illustrators Club attended a very special and personal tour of the National Portrait Gallery's show, Reflections Refractions: Self-Portraiture in the Twentieth Century.

The tour was conducted by Curator of Prints and Drawings, Wendy Wick Reaves who has always provided such scholarly insight into past tours for the club. Her personal touch makes for a truly wonderful presentation. If you missed the previous tour, it was the Ballyhoo! exhibit of posters. For those of us who attended, we're still talking about that show.

The Reflections Refractions show is no different in it's thoughtful choices of works toward the theme. Don't let the reserved nature of self-portraiture fool you. For that matter, don't let the pre-conception of what self-portrait is influence your vision. The works of Reflections Refractions are full of complexity and many challenge the viewer to re-examine what indeed fulfills the requirements of of a work to be a self-portrait. It also asks the question, is the artist revealing everything about themselves to the viewer? What might they be leaving out? What statement do they intend to make? There are even a couple of fine examples of artists portraits throughout their lives. The psychology, the stories; all remarkable!

On behalf of the Illustrators Club, we cannot thank Wendy enough for once again being our guide through yet another spectacular show at the National Portrait Gallery.

Of course, you don't have to wait for a guided tour. You can always go down to the gallery and see the show for yourself. You won't be disappointed. I know I'll be back.

Here's a link to the Galleries web site for more information about Reflections Refractions:

David Labrozzi

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