Portraits from the MacLaren’s Permanent Collection

Curated by Emily McKibbon and Noor Alé

The art of portraiture is a subtle one, evolving over time from stately portraits of power to contemporary works that challenge notions of beauty and identity. This exhibition features works from the MacLaren’s Permanent Collection that demonstrate how artists working across diverse media approach this venerable genre.

Consider the mobile, mutable face of someone you love: how it changes according to a mood, the angles from which it is viewed and under the lighting that flickers across it. The art of portraiture is a subtle one, evolving over time from stately portraits of power to contemporary works that challenge notions of beauty and identity.

This exhibition features works from the MacLaren’s Permanent Collection that demonstrate how artists working across diverse media approach this venerable genre. Spanning documentary photographs to commissioned paintings to enigmatic self-portraits, this exhibition highlights the inherent challenge of portraiture: how do we capture a subject, when our subjectivity is always in flux?

Images: Installation views of Portraits from the MacLaren’s Permanent Collection, MacLaren Art Centre, 2020. Photo: Tyler Durbano

LEARN

Family Activities

Due to the social distancing measures introduced to combat COVID-19, the MacLaren has created self-guided activities that families can do together at home. Through a variety of exciting games and challenges, this activity sheet is designed to help children and their caregivers have fun while learning about the content and ideas present in the exhibition. Families may also refer to the didactic text as a starting point to interpreting the exhibition.

Please download the PDFs below to get started!

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