When artists create self-portraits, they reveal more than just their likenesses. Self-portraits are often windows into artistic psyches, giving viewers a glimpse at how artists see themselves or wish to be seen. In a self-portrait, an artist materializes the abstract and internal on paper, deliberately choosing how to present themself. Self-portraits merge the artist’s objective physical likeness with a subjective and self-composed portrayal of their identity. Self-Expression is a selection of 20th-century self-portraits on paper drawn from the FIA’s permanent collection, including woodcuts, lithographs, and etchings. The styles of self-presentation vary widely, featuring realistic to surreal portrayals, in serious to playful, and straightforward to complex approaches. Carefully constructed, and as individual as the artists who created them, these self-portraits explore intersections of self and artistic identity.
This exhibition is organized and curated by University of Michigan-Flint students enrolled in Dr. Sarah Lippert’s Museum Studies course. The students developed, researched, and curated the exhibition.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website