Duddell’s inaugural show Face to Face, presents a rethinking of the genre of portraiture, evoking the history of dining rooms and clubs past, but with a contemporary take. While bars and restaurants have often hung portraits of their well-known patrons, Duddell’s selection of works by internationally celebrated artists including Hiroshi Sugimoto, George Condo, Pieter Hugo, Rodney Graham, and Yan Xing, turns the tradition on its head.
Historically, portraiture was one of painting’s main raisons d’etre, to record the likeness of real persons to be admired in their lifetimes and in posterity. Today, since the advent of photography and the rise of conceptualism, the traditional portrait has all but disappeared from the lexicon of contemporary art. In its place has risen conceptual portraiture, in which artists allude to the past genre to comment on larger issues such as identity, multiculturalism, social inequities, politics and celebrity culture. Whereas the old vanity portrait exists only outside the realm of serious contemporary art, portraits in this new sense have never been more relevant.
Press release courtesy Duddell's.