The Katonah Museum of Art prompts a debate with a provocative and interactive approach to portraiture in its current, widely popular exhibition, Eye to I…3,000 Years of Portraits, ending in just a few weeks, on February 16. Join us on Saturday, February 1 for Free Admission Day sponsored by Kendal-on-Hudson.
Eye to I, which opened in October, has been widely embraced by the community: – It is one the most successful exhibitions at KMA, with more than 7,500 visitors to date. – Nearly 5,000 visits from school children from across the region (the highest number on record). – Artists and school children from the community have contributed more than 1,000 of their own portraits to Face to Face: Community Portraits, displayed in the Museum’s Project Gallery. – The exhibition’s interactive web site, www.eyetoi.org, has garnered more than 700 individual responses with feedback and reactions to the artwork in the exhibition. – Merchants in the town of Katonah and adjacent towns supported the exhibition by including posters in their stores. – KMA’s Facebook page has more than 400 new fans since the exhibition began.
Based on the ideas that no two people respond to an artwork the same way, and that any single artwork conveys many meanings, Eye to I explores the countless ways individuals experience imagery. Interpretive catalogue copy written by over 100 contributors – from a U.S. poet laureate to a local police officer – offer personal responses to the 60 portraits on display. Interactive video touchscreens offer visitors opportunities to contribute their own observations. The New York Times noted, “…. diversity of expression is not limited to the artists. The organizers of Eye to I asked 124 community members to write personal responses to specific pieces. It is these entries rather than traditional curatorial copy that appear alongside images of the artwork in the show’s catalog and on the exhibition’s website.” Please visit eyetoi.org and write your own response.
Borrowed primarily from private collections, the range of portraits is exceptional and many have never been publicly exhibited. The earliest works include a carved Egyptian bust of Amenhotep III, dating from 1,500 BC, and a marble sculpture of a Roman priest from 125 AD. The exhibition features portraits from Europe, Asia, and South America as well as works by contemporary American artists who create portraits in astounding ways. The artists include Diane Arbus, Chuck Close, John Singleton Copley, Gustave Courbet, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Duane Hanson, Vik Muniz, Alice Neel, Shirin Neshat, Pablo Picasso, Gordon Parks, Cindy Sherman, Auguste Rodin, and Andy Warhol, among many others.