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Psychological Portraiture

June 20 – August 24, 2013

Robert Koch Gallery is pleased to present IDENTITY: Psychological Portraiture, a group exhibition of contemporary and vintage photographs that explores the “psychological portrait”. Featuring work by Delaney Allen, Roger Ballen, Ralph Eugene Meatyard, Dita Pepe, and Jan Saudek, IDENTITY: Psychological Portraiture offers a fascinating look at the human psyche.

In his Painting a Portrait series, Portland Oregon based photographer, Delany Allen creates contemplative, obscured self-portraits. Allen reveals by concealing; his images inform innately personal visions of loneliness, emptiness and confusion. Though we never see the artist’s face, we are presented with the emotional embodiment; a canvas on which to project our own visage, hidden in plain sight.

Roger Ballen’s most recent work focuses on the interactions of people, animals, and objects. Ballen creates ominous tableaus that apply principles of sculpture, drawing, and painting, resulting in theatrical photographs in which the environment, and not the human subject, is psychologically evocative. Ballen’s subjects confront the camera or strike angular and discomfiting poses against backdrops of tangled wires and walls decorated with graffiti calling into question fact and fiction.

Ralph Eugene Meatyard (1925 – 1972) worked from outside of mainstream photography. Forgoing the gritty "street photography" of the east coast and the romantic view camera realism of the west coast, Meatyard’s best-known images are populated with dolls and masks; typically family, friends and neighbors staged in abandoned buildings, ordinary suburban backyards or other benign yet eerie scenarios.

Czech photographer Dita Pepe’s chameleon-like self-portrait photography explores the shifting of personal identity in relationship to the other people and influences in our lives. By inserting herself into the lives of her subjects, Pepe deftly transcends age, social status, and gender role. Her work blends postmodernism with conceptual art and speaks to fashion, psychology, pop culture, and human adaptation.

Czech artist Jan Saudek’s hand-colored portraits, painterly dream worlds, and nude figure studies have won him international renown for their strikingly emotive, and occasionally irreverent, allegorical imagery.