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"Hello My Name Is... Introduces Young Artists Through Self-Portraits"
2002-06-29 until 2002-09-29
Carnegie Museum of Art
Hello My Name Is..., an exhibition that introduces a group
of emerging international artists through their self-portraits, will be on
view June 29 through September 29, 2002 in Carnegie Museum of Art's Forum
Gallery. The 11 young artists in the exhibition have not previously shown
work at the museum.
Though sometimes relied upon to provide visual information about an artist's
physical appearance, self-portraits yield insights into the artist's
character and the society in which he or she lives. The self-portraits in
Hello, My Name Is..., which features recent works of photography,
sculpture, drawing, and video, are no exception.
My Potential Future Based on Present Circumstances (1999), a drawing by Beth
Campbell (b. 1971), deliberately avoids depicting the artist's physical
appearance. Instead, it charts a web of possible events in Campbell's life,
which she recorded in her handwriting. Like the diagram of a family tree,
the work begins with a single event and flows into an increasingly complex
network of potential outcomes that evolve from admixtures of choice and
chance. The resulting map of Campbell's inner makeup is a keen, sometimes
whimsical, portrait of the artist's yearnings and fears.
Korean-born artist Nikki S. Lee (b. 1970) presents photographs of herself
that have been called "trans-lifestyle art." To create these unique
self-portraits, Lee poses as a member of cultures not her own, and an
assistant or a willing bystander takes a series of photographs. In The
Hispanic Project (1998) and The Seniors Project (1999), Lee has gently
insinuated herself into a group of seniors and a Hispanic community by
imitating behaviors, adopting aspects of physical appearance, and living for
days, or even weeks, at a time within these assumed cultures. The works
capture dimensions of Lee's appearance and character, nurtured and revealed
through her chameleon-like temporary affiliations, while recording
fascinating social details.
Painter Zak Smith (b. 1976) has created a number of intricate portraits of
himself and his circle of friends that detail pop culture and the lifestyles
of the young. Smith's Self-Portrait for the Cover of a Magazine (2001),
which bears all the earmarks of the artist's fascination with contemporary
subcultures, is perhaps one of the more conventional portraits in the
exhibition. The work, painstakingly executed in acrylic and ink, depicts
Smith in sneakers, jeans, t-shirt, tattoo, and a Mohawk haircut, sprawled
insouciantly on the floor behind an upturned skateboard.
Spermini (1997) by the oldest artist in the exhibition, Maurizio Cattelan
(b. 1960), offers a wry, multi-layered commentary on self-portraiture. The
work is made up of 150 cast and painted rubber masks-each a likeness of the
Italian artist and varying slightly from the next. Not only does Spermini
invite one to evaluate what a portrait, like a mask, hides and reveals, the
work can also be viewed as a statement about cloning and genetic
The other artists in the exhibition are John Bock (b. 1965), Edgar Bryan (b.
1970), Trisha Donnelly (b. 1974), Roe Ethridge (b. 1969), Saul Fletcher (b.
1967), Jim Lambie (b. 1964), and Susan Smith-Pinelo (b. 1969).
This exhibition marks another introduction-the first collaboration between
Laura Hoptman, curator, and Elizabeth Thomas, assistant curator, of Carnegie
Museum of Art's department of contemporary art. "Hello, My Name Is...
reasserts the potential of contemporary self-portraiture and extends a
visual handshake from these artists to our community," Hoptman explained.
"We wanted this collaboration to feature some of the most exciting young
artists from the U.S. and Europe."
Major support for the exhibition program at Carnegie Museum of Art is
provided by The Heinz Endowments and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts.
American, b. 1969
Untitled (Self-portrait), 2000-2002, 1/5
30 x 24 in.