Face-to-Face at Opera Gallery

Face-to-Face at Opera Gallery

Pablo Picasso says it best in the introduction to the catalog of “Portrait,” the compelling exhibition at Opera Gallery thru Feb. 8, 2018. “Are we to paint what’s on the face, what’s inside the face, or what’s behind it?” the master ponders. The answer, of course, is all three, as evidenced in the diversity of works by the 30 artists on display. 

Drawing exclusively from Opera’s collection of modern and contemporary portraits from its worldwide chain of galleries, from Aspen to London to Beirut to Dubai to Seoul, the exhibition confirms the primacy of the human visage as a source of boundless inspiration for painters, sculptors and photographers. The A-listers are well represented here in New York: Picasso, Dufy, Warhol, Katz and Wesselmann, among others. But artists with less-than-household names (for now at least)—like Joe Black, Manolo Valdés and Seo Young-Deok—also take center stage and more than hold their own.

I stopped by on my way to the Winter Antiques Show last week. Check out the slide show below for some of the works that caught my eye and stick in my mind.

Opera Gallery New York, 791 Madison Ave., 646.707.3299, www.operagallery.com; Monday-Saturday 10 am-7 pm, Sunday 11 am-6 pm

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