portrait of man gazing toward PL and holding a brush or pencil horizontally in both hands; hands and images drawn in pencil; dark background with arched boarder; abstract purple shape behind PL shoulder; pencil drawn sketches in LRC

© Estate Emerson Burkhart

Study for Self Portrait - Don't Be Afraid of the Shape of Things to Come, c. 1950

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Ohio-based painter Emerson Burkhart was a prolific self-portraitist, painting at least three dozen works in which he casts himself in a variety of roles and captures many moods. In this study for an oil painting he holds up a stencil with a cut-out the exact shape of the finished painting—not a square or rectangle but an irregular half circle. Burkhart thought deeply about the nature of representation and reality and may be playing with the notion that every image is a slice of the real world.

Details
Title
Study for Self Portrait - Don't Be Afraid of the Shape of Things to Come
Artist Life
1905–1969
Role
Artist
Accession Number
2016.113.2
Provenance
The artist; artist’s estate; Karl Jaeger, Bath, UK in 1969; estate of Karl Jaeger; Eric Brecher, Daplo, Australia, 2016; given to MIA, 2016
Curator Approved

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portrait of man gazing toward PL and holding a brush or pencil horizontally in both hands; hands and images drawn in pencil; dark background with arched boarder; abstract purple shape behind PL shoulder; pencil drawn sketches in LRC

© Estate Emerson Burkhart

Because of © restrictions, we can only show you a small image of this artwork.