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MFA : Personal Space – Self-Portraits on Paper

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Can a self-portrait depict more than just an artist’s physical appearance? The dozens of contemporary works on paper in “Personal Space,” ranging from straightforward representations of the self to more conceptual renderings, show an expanding definition of self-portraiture. Traditional self-portraits by major artists like Käthe Kollwitz and Jim Dine are on view here alongside experiments in the genre, such as Robert Rauschenberg’s Booster (1967), a monumental lithograph that uses X-rays of the artist’s own body. Works by younger generations of artists serve to broaden, subvert, and reinvent the notion of self-portraiture. Willie Cole’s Man Spirit Mask (1991) uses the household iron as a symbol to...

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