Portraits: From the 19th Century to Today

August 26, 2020 - April 30, 2021
Jackson Hole, WY


Heather James Fine Art presents a selection of portraits covering almost 140 years. Within this time period, the purpose and style of portraiture has changed dramatically. From Winslow Homer’s watercolor to Richard Prince’s appropriations, portraits have lined up not just with the tastes of those being portrayed but artistic movements.

With the American and California Impressionists including Childe Hassam and Joseph Kleitsch, portraits depicted the wealthy in decoratively beautiful interiors. Within these pieces, the emphasis is on the subject but also on capturing the play of light via brushstrokes and color. By the early 20th century, artists like Matisse upended Western art history and their portraits by flattening the visual plane and abstracting the subjects.

Pop artists like Tom Wesselmann and Mel Ramos intersected commerce and society within their portraits. Closing the last century and kicking off the 21st century, George Condo and Richard Prince have projected postmodernism onto portraiture. Condo describes his paintings as ‘psychological Cubism” – representing the everchanging internal emotional lives of people onto a singular visual plane. Part of the Pictures Generation, Prince applies his trademark appropriative process using Instagram posts and comments to examine culture and society – how do we view ourselves, how do we project that view, and how do we see it reflected back onto us?

We are proud to be able to show the wide range of portraiture over more than a century. The works juxtaposed against each other open up our understanding of the transformations of art movements and what it means to paint portraits