Portrait Study of Beckett1980
23 15/16 in. x 18 15/16 in. (60.8 cm x 48.1 cm)
Although drawn from a photograph, instead of producing a recorded likeness the artist makes Beckett's face an introspective exercise in graphic mark-making inspired by the writer's existential plays, Waitingfor Godot and Endgame. It has been said that Samuel Beckett's writing offers a "picture of unrelieved blackness." Similarly, Jagel's gestural depiction of the author drips with darkness. In much the same way that literary critics found Beckett's writing dualistic, both pessimistic and optimistic, a battle between chaos and form, Jagel's portrait presents an evocative image that may express the essence of human existence.
This object was included in the following exhibitions:
- American Portraits: Colonial to Contemporary Addison Gallery of American Art , 4/21/1992 - 5/10/1992
- Faces of the Addison: Portraits from the Collection Addison Gallery of American Art , 4/23/1994 - 7/31/1994
- Toward Resolution: Artists’ Studies from the Collection [Phillips Academy Art 300] Addison Gallery of American Art , 5/30/2014 - 7/31/2014
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