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Capturing the Artist: Contemporary and Historical Portraits From Life

Robert Simon Fine Art is pleased to announce “Capturing the Artist” an exhibition of contemporary portraiture, together with historical precedents, at its gallery at 22 East 80th Street, Fourth Floor, New York, NY.

The three-month exhibit will consist of painting and sculpture inspired by portraits from the Renaissance through the twentieth century that capture their subjects through direct observation. While many of today’s portrait artists increasingly use technology and photography to record their subjects, the artwork in this show will be entirely artist generated, created from life, without the use of such modern tools.

“The bond that exists between an artist and his or her subject is a palpable one that is never so powerfully felt as when a portrait is made from life,” said Robert Simon, the gallery’s owner who has assembled a group of historical portraits to complement the contemporary ones. “This show celebrates the traditional techniques and modes of portraiture dating back to the Renaissance that are preserved and elaborated by artists working today.” The subjects of all the portraits, both old and new, are artists, broadly defined —creative figures who are often close friends of those who portray them.

The exhibit will open on 14 November with a reception starting at 6:00 PM, RSVP to The gallery will remain open until the end of the year from Monday to Friday from 10 to 5:00 pm, with select Saturday openings on Nov. 16, Dec. 7 and Dec. 14 but appointments are appreciated.

“Many artists in the portrait community feel that painting from photos, which obviously didn’t exist in the Renaissance period, require their own category, and vocabulary, and cannot not be viewed with the same understanding as paintings created from life,” said Dale Zinkowski, a co-curator for the exhibit and a showing painter.

He adds, “Painting (or sculpting) a portrait (from life) over the course of several hours, often over several days, is incredibly hard to explain unless one has experienced it. It captures a moment between artist and subject — compressing hours of enjoyment from life, of life, onto the canvas. There is something special that happens when the artist and the sitter are sharing a space together, which cannot be replicated with technology.”

The contemporary artists exhibiting include: Anthony Baus; Brendan Johnston; Charlie Mostow; Dale Zinkowski; Daniel Graves; Diana Buitrago; Greg Mortenson; Jacob Collins; Jessica Artman; Jon Brogie; Jon deMartin; Jordan Sokol; Kate Lehman; Katie Engberg; Kevin Muller Cisneros; Patrick Byrnes; Per Elof Nilsson Ricklund; Rodrigo Mateo; Rubin Gabeau; Savannah Tate Cuff; Ted Minoff; Travis Schlaht; Tsultrim Tenzin and Zoe Dufour.

Images are available for download here:


November 14, 2019
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm