Victoria Miro, Venice
February 12 – March 27, 2022
Victoria Miro is delighted to present an exhibition in Venice of works by Milton Avery, Jules de Balincourt, Hernan Bas, María Berrío, Chantal Joffe, Doron Langberg, Alice Neel, and Celia Paul. Seeing faces and communicating unspoken emotions and thoughts via facial expression has never seemed more significant than now, after nearly two years of a pandemic that has made mask-wearing an essential aspect of everyday life. In these works, a number of which have been created especially for the exhibition, artists convey the myriad nuances of the human countenance: the warmth of a friend’s smile; the pursed lips of a toddler; the resolute gaze of a self-portrait…
Featuring works by Milton Avery, Hernan Bas, and Alice Neel, with new paintings by Jules de Balincourt, María Berrío, Chantal Joffe, Doron Langberg, and Celia Paul, Unmasked coincides with the Carnival of Venice, which boasts a tradition of elaborate mask-wearing that dates back to the thirteenth century, when individuals from all social classes and walks of life could mingle with concealed identities.
The exhibition celebrates the physicality of paint and human presence while encompassing subtleties of expression and connection – how a look conveys or betrays emotion and reveals essential aspects of a character or psychological states. It confirms that, while our relationship to faces is ever-changing and increasingly mediated, our fascination with them and all they tell us about ourselves and our own experience is hard-wired and primal.