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Found 24 Resources

Abe Frajndlich

National Portrait Gallery

Nancy Spero

National Portrait Gallery

Jim Jarmusch

National Portrait Gallery

Keith Jarrett

National Portrait Gallery

Tom Wolfe

National Portrait Gallery

Imogen Cunningham

National Portrait Gallery

Minor White

National Portrait Gallery

Louise Bourgeois

National Portrait Gallery

Peter Voulkos

National Portrait Gallery

Daniel Libeskind

National Portrait Gallery
Born Lodz, Poland

In the phrase of the day, Daniel Libeskind is a “starchitect”—one of a small number of architects who are not seen just as designers and builders but as celebrities who stamp a particular style on the times. The son of Holocaust survivors who immigrated to the United States in 1959, Libeskind came late to architecture, not building his first project until he was fifty-two; previously he had been a scholar and architectural theorist. He and his wife, Nina, founded Studio Daniel Libeskind in 1989.

Libeskind came to widespread public attention in 2003, when he was selected to rebuild at Ground Zero in New York City. Although his master plan was the winning entry, the design has been altered in practice. This 1995 Abe Frajndlich portrait showing Libeskind holding a photograph of a ruined library during World War II seems to anticipate the architect’s subsequent work rebuilding the World Trade Center site.

Bill Viola

National Portrait Gallery
Born New York City

Bill Viola, along with Nam June Paik, has been called one of "the bookends" of video artists. In this relatively new electronic art form (with a history of half a century, rather than multiple centuries), Viola explores what he calls "the great themes in life," such as love and hate, birth and death, and the notion of human consciousness. "He's taken this medium so identified with television and commercial display and made it the medium of the artist," said one critic. "His choice of video as a means of expression may be his greatest achievement." In 1998, when the Whitney Museum hosted a twenty-five-year retrospective exhibition of Viola's work, the event was billed as the largest one-man show ever devoted to a video artist, clearly establishing the medium as a central one in contemporary art. It was on this occasion that Abe Frajndlich created his portrait of Viola.

Roy Lichtenstein

National Portrait Gallery
Artist Roy Lichtenstein peers from behind a wide brush dripping with paint in this 1985 photograph by Abe Frajndlich. Celebrated as one of the founders of the American pop art movement, Lichtenstein worked for almost two decades as a realist painter and then as an abstract expressionist before debuting in 1962 the work for which he would be best remembered: oversized compositions based on popular advertisements and comic book illustrations. Appropriating both the content and the style of these lowbrow graphic traditions, Lichtenstein employed brightly colored Ben Day dots in rendering subjects best known in the comics. The work represented everything that abstract expressionism was not and helped to precipitate a sea change in American art. As painter Larry Rivers suggested, "Roy got the hand out of art, and put the brain in."

Art Blakey

National Portrait Gallery

Peter Sellars

National Portrait Gallery
Born Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

"Everybody says I am shocking and provocative. So what? That should be normal. I'm an enfant terrible? Oh, please. This is what I do every day." Often referred to as the "bad boy" of American theater, Peter Sellars is known for innovative stagings of classical operas and for directing contemporary operas. As a student at Harvard, Sellars staged a condensed version of Wagner's The Ring of the Nibelungs cycle with marionettes. Later, he set The Magic Flute in a fantasy landscape of Los Angeles, and staged Handel's Orlando with the hero as an astronaut set at Cape Canaveral, the Florida Everglades, and Mars. His energy and zest for innovation go hand-in-hand with his signature unkempt hair. By age twenty-six he was appointed director of the National Theater at the Kennedy Center. Still involved in theater today, Sellars is also a professor of World Arts and Cultures at UCLA.

Robert Duvall

National Portrait Gallery
A masterful performer who has brought stunning authenticity to his roles for nearly five decades, Robert Duvall is widely regarded as one of the screen's most versatile and proficient actors. His career began in the late 1950s with roles in several off-Broadway productions and soon expanded to include guest appearances in such popular television series as The Fugitive and The Untouchables. Since making his motion picture debut in 1962 as the mute and reclusive Boo Radley in To Kill a Mockingbird, Duvall has created memorable characters in dozens of films, including M*A*S*H (1970), The Godfather (1972), Apocalypse Now (1979), The Great Santini (1979), and The Apostle (1997). A frequent Oscar nominee for his supporting roles, Duvall captured 1983 Best Actor honors for his portrayal of a washed-up country singer in Tender Mercies. He posed for this portrait at his Virginia farm.

Allen Ginsberg

National Portrait Gallery
"I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked." With this, the first line of Howl (1955), Allen Ginsberg launched the postwar counterculture’s revolt against the American consensus. Ginsberg sparked the self-styled Beat movement that took the double meaning of its name from a sense of exhaustion with postwar American triumphalism and a despairing commitment to rebel against it with a new cultural politics rooted in individual identity. Howl was also Ginsberg’s coming-out as a poet, as he put aside all his self-consciousness and allowed his unmediated voice to pour out. With Howl "Allen finally accepted his homosexuality and stopped trying to become ‘straight’" in all meanings of the word, noted his biographer, Bill Morgan. In a photograph by William S. Burroughs displayed in this grouping, Ginsberg presents himself as a nice, buttoned-down Jewish boy who was recently a student at Columbia. His appearance gives no indication of the internal turmoil that would result in America’s greatest long poem since Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass.

Robert Altman

National Portrait Gallery
For more than thirty years, director Robert Altman has challenged Hollywood conventions and tweaked the public's consciousness with his innovative, provocative films. After making his start as an industrial filmmaker in the 1940s, Altman moved to television, where he worked until the mid-1960s, developing such shows as Combat and Bonanza. His big-screen directorial breakthrough came in 1970, when his feature film M*A*S*H scored a huge hit with moviegoers and critics alike. With M*A*S*H, Altman introduced many of the elements that have since become hallmarks of his unorthodox moviemaking style in such films as Nashville (1975) and Gosford Park (2001). These include a flexible script with a multifaceted storyline; a large ensemble cast that is encouraged to improvise; a richly layered soundtrack with overlapping dialogue and music that propels the plot; and wide-screen shots filled with details that vie for the viewer's attention.

Leon Golub

National Portrait Gallery

Frank Gehry

National Portrait Gallery

Arnold Newman

National Portrait Gallery

Robert Arneson

National Portrait Gallery

Charles Addams

National Portrait Gallery

Calvin Klein

National Portrait Gallery
One of the fashion industry's most successful and influential designers, Calvin Klein reinvigorated American couture in the early 1970s with his deceptively simple yet thoroughly sophisticated creations. Just twenty-six when he founded his apparel company in 1968, Klein launched his first women's sportswear collection in 1973. Featuring a muted palette and spare, clean lines, Klein's unfussy fashions set the standard for minimalist chic and earned him the prestigious Coty Award for three consecutive years (1973-75). He soon expanded his line to include more affordable clothing and sparked the popular craze for designer labels when he introduced his name-brand jeans in the late 1970s. Since that time, Klein has not only built a fashion empire encompassing everything from menswear and fragrances to eyewear and home furnishings but has also revolutionized fashion marketing with his sexually provocative print and television advertising campaigns.

Nam June Paik

National Portrait Gallery
Born Seoul, South Korea

Celebrated for his groundbreaking contributions to time-based art media, Nam June Paik was a pioneer in his recognition of television and video as artistic tools. The Korean-born artist studied music in Japan and Germany during the 1950s, becoming a key participant in the international fluxus movement, which stressed liberation from traditional artistic categories, with an emphasis on performance. Combining his interest in electronic art and musical composition, Paik collaborated with John Cage and developed a longstanding artistic partnership with the cellist Charlotte Moorman, who famously performed in a "TV bra" created by Paik. A deep sympathy with Zen Buddhism, shared by many artists of his generation and alluded to in this playful portrait by Abe Franjndlich, informed much of Paik's art, leading to projects such as Zen for Film (1962) and TV Buddha (1974). In 2009, the Smithsonian American Art Museum became the home for Paik's archives.