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What Can a Face Do?

Petzel is pleased to present What Can a Face Do?, an online exhibition of works exploring portraiture and its many forms and interpretations. In the current pandemic state, our noses and mouths are covered with masks, which prohibits us from seeing each other face to face. As a result, the portrait becomes especially urgent as a model of representation: the face expresses and reveals the inner feelings of a person; it shows something that is hidden behind the facade, yet there is something in the appearance of a face that allows access to what is hidden beneath. This exhibition brings together a selection of works concentrated around the idea of faces, presenting a visual “group portrait” that highlights the relevancy of portraiture today.

What Can a Face Do? includes work by Yael Bartana, Keith Edmier, Asger Jorn, Sean Landers, Rezi van Lankveld, Maria Lassnig, Jorge Pardo, Joyce Pensato, Jon Pylypchuk, and Nicola Tyson.

 

Three roles of the face are recognizable: it is individualizing (it characterizes each person); it is socializing (it manifests a social role); it is relational or communicating (it ensures not only communication between two people, but also, in a single person, the internal agreement between their character and their role).

—Gilles Deleuze, Cinema 1: The Movement-Image, 1986

 

Mask on, fuck it, mask off.

—Future, Mask Off, 2017

Slideshow

Yael Bartana, Undertaker 5

Yael Bartana

Undertaker 5

2019

Archival pigment print

70.9 x 47.2 inches

180 x 120 cm

Head is all heart has. Help, head. Help heart.

—Lydia Davis, Head, Heart, 2007

Asger Jorn, Underdeveloped Nostalgia

Asger Jorn

Underdeveloped Nostalgia

1961

Oil on canvas

31.9 x 25.6 inches

81 x 65 cm

Jon Pylypchuk, Untitled

Jon Pylypchuk

Untitled

2015

Enamel on gessoed panel

78 x 78 inches

198.1 x 198.1 cm

Sean Landers, Buffalo Minotaur

Sean Landers

Buffalo Minotaur

2016

Oil on linen

50 x 43 inches

127 x 109.2 cm

Jorge Pardo, Untitled

Jorge Pardo

Untitled

2017

MDF, acrylic paint, Caoba, LED fixtures

47 x 35 inches

119.4 x 88.9 cm

Nicola Tyson, Portrait Head #65

Nicola Tyson

Portrait Head #65

2004

Acrylic on paper

20 x 14 inches

50.8 x 35.6 cm

Rezi van Lankveld, This Way

Rezi van Lankveld

This Way

2017

Oil on canvas

18.9 x 13.8 inches

48 x 35 cm

Maria Lassnig, Untitled

Maria Lassnig

Untitled

ca. 1995–2009

Acrylic and pencil on paper

24.1 x 33.9 inches

61.1 x 86 cm

Joyce Pensato, Cartman, Cartman

Joyce Pensato

Cartman, Cartman

2008

Charcoal and pastel on paper

22 x 30 inches

55.9 x 76.2 cm

Keith Edmier, N95 Respirator Mask with Clear Window

Keith Edmier

N95 Respirator Mask with Clear Window

2020

3M 8210 Plus N95 respirator mask, food grade platinum silicone, PETG, on a Hydrocal life mask of the artist

4.5 x 6 x 6.5 inches

11.4 x 15.2 x 16.5 cm

Slideshow Two

Yael Bartana, Bury Our Weapons, Not Our Bodies

Yael Bartana

Bury Our Weapons, Not Our Bodies

Mask 2

2019

Silkscreen on aluminum

24.9 x 20.2 x 1.2 inches

63.3 x 51.2 x 3 cm

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