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August 9, 2013–January 19, 2014

Location: Bloch Building, Gallery L11
Admission is free

This exhibition will explore the breadth and global diversity of contemporary photographic portraiture since 2000, highlighting recent acquisitions to the museum's permanent collection.

About Face will 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 will present 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 our collaboration 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.

     August 9, 2013–January 19, 2014

Jocelyn Lee, American (b. Italy, 1962). Untitled (Julia and Greenery), 2005. Chromogenic print. Gift of the Hall Family Foundation, 2011.12.48.

Richard Learoyd, English (b. 1966). Erika, 2007. Ilfachrome print. Gift of the Hall Family Foundation in honor of the 75th anniversary of The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, 2009.6.76.

Sage Sohier, American (b. 1954). 12-Year Old Boy with His Father, 2009. Inkjet print. Gift of the Hall Family Foundation, 2013.20.5.

Jim Goldberg, American (b.1953). Prized Possession, Democratic Republic of Congo, 2008. Gelatin silver print. Gift of the Hall Family Foundation, 2011.37.11.

Michae Wolf, American (b. 1954). Tokyo Compression #18, 2010. Inkjet print. Gift of the Hall Family Foundation, 2012.24.5.

Artists Included in About Face

Gohar Dashti   Deanna Dikeman   Gloria Baker Feinstein
LaToya Ruby Frazier   Ben Gest   Jim Goldberg   Myra Greene   Rachel Herman   Philip Heying   Pieter Hugo   Ken Kitano
Richard Learoyd   Jocelyn Lee   Andrea Modica   Laura McPhee   Michael Robinson   Lise Sarfati   Tomoko Sawada
Anna Shteyushleyger   Lauren Simonutti   Sage Sohier   Alec Soth   Jerry Spagnoli   Joni Sternbach    Hank Willis Thomas
Dylan Vitone   Charlie White   Vanessa Winship   Michael Wolf  

This exhibition is supported by the Hall Family Foundation and the Campbell-Calvin Fund and Elizabeth C. Bonner Charitable Trust for exhibitions.