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The Portrait as a Process of Survival:
Lynn Hershman Leeson Becoming Roberta Breitmore

In On Portraiture, University of Lisbon, 2022

Lynn Hershman’s Leeson most iconic work to date – her transformation into the fictional character of Roberta Breitmore – is a performative portrait that enacts survival. This paper argues that subjectivity in the artist’s portraits and performances is not fixed, but rather an ongoing process in relationship with oneself and the others, enabling these works to ‘survive’ through her oeuvre.

Representations of Irrepresentability:
The Painted Portrait in the Twentieth-Century in the Works of
Edvard Munch, Francis Bacon, and Marlene Dumas

University of Amsterdam, 2020

This study proposes an understanding of the genre of painted portraiture in the twentieth-century that reaches beyond traditional notions of representation based on the Cartesian belief in a unique subjectivity. The study analyzes how this new type of portraiture functions in the works of Edvard Munch, Francis Bacon, and Marlene Dumas – emphasizing the novel ways these artists challenge the notion of representation as something reflecting an external, stable reality. 

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Blurred Boundaries:
Francis Bacon's Portraits

World Literature Studies, Vol. 11, no. 4, 2019

In his oeuvre, Francis Bacon hints at the fact that portraiture sacrifices the subject for the sake of representation. For this reason, portraiture as a genre needs to re-determine the conditions that originally shaped it. Through an analysis of the manner in which Bacon depicts his subjects, I will argue that his portraits blur the boundaries between object and subject, portrait and viewer, in order to remodel conventional notions of portraiture. Through Gilles Deleuze’s theory on Francis Bacon, I will reinterpret Bacon’s works through the prism of Buddhism, arguing that understanding the works through Buddhist practices opens the possibility of a complete transformation of pre-existing concepts that traditionally shaped portrait making.

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Framing the Viewer:
Edvard Munch's Hybrid Genres

JLGC, Leiden University, Issue 7, 2019

From the beginning of his career, landscape has been an integral part of Edvard Munch's compositions depicting figures. An element already perceivable in his most iconic composition The Scream, Munch's paintings show a complex entanglement between the subjects depicted and their surrounding environment. Evading the conventional aesthetics of classical painting categories, these compositions undermine formal structures of conventional portraiture or landscape painting as they juxtapose elements of both types, thus creating a hybrid genre of the two. Taking as study cases paintings from the turn of the century, this paper analyzes the manner in which these canvases depart from conventional art-historical genres to create new formulas for understanding human subjectivity.

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Unmasking the Icon:
Marlene Dumas' Liminal Portraits

View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture, no. 23, 2019

Marlene Dumas’ unrecognizable depictions of iconic figures such as Mary Magdalene or Marilyn Monroe make up some of her active commentary on the role and functioning of cultural icons in contemporary culture. Analyzing the meaning of “iconic portraits,” the author will evidence the manner in which Dumas unmasks the fact that cultural images represent collectively created stereotypical identities. By referencing the concept of “liminality” I argue that Dumas depicts these iconic subjects is in a state of transition and “in-betweenness” that functions as a process of rewriting the subjectivity of the depicted characters.

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Passages Online, Vol.3, 2019

Gallerist, artist, writer, collector, and patron of the arts, William N. Copley was a zealous promoter of Surrealism in the United States. The adopted son of a newspaper magnate, he was supposed to succeed his father in running the family business. His life took a different path when his brother-in-law, John Ployardt, introduced him to Surrealism. Together they decided to open the Copley Galleries in Beverly Hills in 1948, presenting artists such as Joseph Cornell, Rene Magritte, Yves Tanguy, Man Ray, Max Ernst, and Roberto Matta. Meeting with no financial success, the gallery closed its doors only months after opening. Nevertheless, they succeeded in leaving a deep impression on the local art scene.

Surrealism on the Rise:
The Copley Galleries and Joseph Cornell in Hollywood
To Model or Not to Model:
Transgressive Portraits of Mary Magdalene by Marlene Dumas

JLGC, Leiden University, Issue 5, 2017

A sinner converted into a saint, Mary Magdalene poses a paradox of representation. Conventionally portrayed as a beautiful and sensual woman with light skin and fair hair, she is most commonly shown in a state of repentance, shying away from the viewer’s gaze. Nonetheless, the penitent Magdalene is depicted with a highly sexualized aura. Marlene Dumas’ portraits of Mary Magdalene, by contrast, do not engage in the seduction of the onlooker. Her figures stand upright and directly confront the viewer with their gaze. Although sexually appealing, these figures’ sexuality is not what is at stake in these works. Starting from this premise, this article’s analysis explores the ways in which Dumas’ representations of Mary Magdalene transgress stereotypical representations of the saint, questioning and transforming canonical depictions of female subjectivity and at the same time deconstructing conventional notions of Western portraiture.

Maria Radna:
Short historic and artistic monograph of the papal basilica and the monastic complex

Carmel Print, 2011

The papal basilica and Franciscan monastery Maria Radna is considered to be one of the most significant religious, cultural, historical, and artistic sites from the historical region of Banat.  This volume offers an overarching view of this historical pilgrimage place from a historic and artistic perspective, for the first time in Romanian. 

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