Portraits - Selection of Works from the Collection - Summer 2019
From May 2019
Juliana Cerqueira Leite
Paul Mpagi Sepuya
This summer, Arsenal Contemporary Art Montreal presents a selection of works from its collection under the theme Portraits. These works can be found in the Majudia hallway, at the second floor of Arsenal Contemporary Art Montreal.
An array of bodies and faces can be found at Arsenal Contemporary Art Montreal this summer. Photographed, painted, drawn, concealed through optical illusions, warped, colored or moulded, these subjects line the walls of the second floor Majudia corridor. The figurative forms and faces propose themselves as portraits to our eyes, produced or reproduced in the artwork of Rodney Graham, David Altmejd, Juliana Cerqueira Leite, Chris Cran, Louise Bonnet and Paul Mpagi Sepuya amongst others.
The portrait can be broadly defined as the representation of an individual. From a semiotic standpoint as interpreted by Charles Sanders Peirce, a portrait can be iconic, meaning it bears a visual resemblance to the person depicted; indicial, or indicating the existence of the subject through its trace, such as its digital fingerprint; and even at times symbolic, if it describes the represented individual without explicitly referring to their body or person. The exhibited artists manipulate these modes of representation with agility and transmit to us a vision of the world that is their own. Ranging from real to imagined and from famous to anonymous, this cast of diversely portrayed subjects challenge singular conceptions of personal identity.