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Benny Andrews: Portraits, A Real Person Before the Eyes


Michael Rosenfeld Gallery / New York / Art

“I start out with a face,” said the American painter Benny Andrews, who lived from 1930 to 2006. “If I get a real person before the eyes, then I’m on my way.” After a stint in the U.S. Air Force in the 1950s, Andrews attended the Art Institute of Chicago on the G.I. Bill, where he began to develop his unique, figurative style. An accomplished portraitist, he painted his contemporaries—Marcel Duchamp, Alice Neel, and Howardena Pindell among them. But what was most important to Andrews was how portraiture could personify ideas, emotions, thought, and values. In this exhibition, 35 of his deeply humanizing works, executed between 1957 and 1998, are on display. —E.C.

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