Summer of Portraiture at the Wadsworth

-The following article was submitted by the Wadsworth Atheneum-

In June, three portrait centered exhibitions will be on view at the Wadsworth. Kicking off the summer of portraiture, Giorgione’s La Vecchia has arrived in Hartford from the Gallerie dell’Accademia in Venice. The Renaissance painting rarely leaves Italy and the Wadsworth is one of only two cities in the United States to host the masterpiece. Very few works are attributed to Giorgione, La Vecchia is one of the precious few. The hyperrealistic portrayal appears to have been painted from life but the sitter’s identity and meaning remain elusive. It hangs in a new gallery space designed for an intimate experience with the singular work of art. Get to know La Vecchia while she’s stateside during a Gallery Talk on June 19 at 12:30pm and a lecture on July 10 at 6pm.

Giorgione, La Vecchia, 1502-08, oil on canvas. Gallerie dell’ Accademia, cat. 272, © G.A. VE Photo Archive, Courtesy of the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities – Gallerie dell’ Accademia, Venice.

Opening June 6, Tom Burr | MATRIX 182 | Hinged Figures features Tom Burr’s installations – a vastly different treatment of portraiture. Unlike Giorgione’s realism, Burr presents us with iconic figures from queer history and Modernism using materials including plywood, books, notecards, tinsel, and a Chanel dress. The works will be shown in the Wadsworth’s MATRIX Gallery, a period room, several collection galleries, and at the Austin House. Hear from the artist at a Gallery Talk on Thursday, June 6 at 6:30pm during Art After Dark, and curator Patricia Hickson on August 29 at noon.

Tom Burr, Chicks (detail), 2008. Plywood, wool balusters, vintage 1970s Chanel dress, vintage turntable, record and album cover of Four Saints in Three Acts by Virgil Thompson and Gertrude Stein. Private collection. © Tom Burr. Courtesy of SculptureCenter, New York; Tom Burr, One foot in the grave (reclining), 2010. Natural wood, hinges, postcard, soil. © Tom Burr. Courtesy of the artist and Bortolami, New York.

Near the end of the month Be Seen: Portrait Photography Since Stonewall explores how artists have used portrait photography to challenge, subvert, and play with societal norms of gender and sexuality in the 50 years since the Stonewall riots. Be Seen features prominent contemporary artists such as Mickalene Thomas, Paul Mpagi Sepuya, and Zanele Muholi, and seminal photographers Robert Mapplethorpe, Cindy Sherman, and Nan Goldin. Experience the exhibition with curator Patricia Hickson in a Gallery Talk Friday, June 28 at noon.

Mickalene Thomas, Racquel with Les Trois Femmes, 2018. Chromogenic print. The Douglas Tracy Smith and Dorothy Potter Smith Fund, 2019.3.4. © Mickalene Thomas.

In conjunction with Be Seen, June films include “The Happy Prince” and “Before Homosexuals”; June 27 at 7pm, June 28 at 2pm, and June 30 at 2 pm.

For a complete listing of our programs, films, and events visit our website

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