For nearly as long as artists have been making art, they have also appeared as its subject. One current exhibition at the Allen Memorial Art Museum, Artists on Artists, comprised of works from the AMAM’s collection spanning the 16th-21st centuries, considers the theme of the artist as portrayed by the artist. The exhibition is on view in our second floor Ripin Print Gallery, and will be displayed through July 29.
The exhibition begins with portraits. Pictured by their colleagues, artists are presented as mentors, comrades, and objects of veneration. Some images highlight the sitter’s personality, while others muse on his status as an artist, often shown at work amongst the tools of his trade.
Red Grooms’s characteristic absurd humor is featured prominently in his series Nineteenth-Century Artists. In these imaginary portraits, Grooms presents some of the most respected artists of the previous century—such as Paul Cézanne and James Abbott McNeill Whistle—as depraved caricatures. Above, we see sculptor Auguste Rodin prancing around his studio in women’s clothing. Grooms employs a wide variety of printing techniques—including etching, drypoint, and aquatint—to achieve diverse effects of line and tone. Nine works from this series are on view.
Red Grooms (American, b. 1937)
Nineteenth-Century Artists series (Whistler, Rodin, Cézanne), 1976
Etching, aquatint, and drypoint
Special Acquisitions Fund (through friends of John N. Stern in honor of his birthday)